Farm land, not growth, was reason for concerns

I was pleased to see so many people come out to voice their opinions and listen to the opinions of others at the public hearing on March 3.

Dear Editor:

I was pleased to see so many people come out to voice their opinions and listen to the opinions of others at the public hearing on March 3.

As I sat there and looked around the room I was amazed by the passion and concern that one young woman has been able to inspire in an entire community.

Thank you Erin Carlson.

The one thing that I object to is the idea that those of us who spoke out against the land swap are simply opposed to change.

One young man even made the point that we consider “growth” to be a dirty word.

This idea, that to oppose the development of ALR land is tantamount to opposing “growth” or “change,” has long been the view of people who argue in favour of such development.

The truth is, at no time did I say that I oppose either.

I didn’t hear a single person who spoke against council’s proposal say that they were opposed to change.

Change is inevitable. Growth is also and with that growth will come development.

I have always known this, Joe knew this and the people I have spoken to who spoke out against council’s proposal know this also.

We do not oppose growth or development — we simply refuse to believe that it requires the decimation of our productive food land.

I applaud every person who had the courage to stand up and speak at the public hearing whether I agree with your views or not.

Every person has a right to their own opinion on this issue. No one, however, has the right to put words in my mouth or the mouths of others.

The truth is this entire process has been flawed since the beginning.

The Agricultural Land Reserve was created to preserve viable farm land for the production of food and to make it unavailable for development in perpetuity.

By the very definition and mandate of the ALR, these 199 acres should never have been included in Summerland council’s “Where do we grow from here?” scenario.

Julie Sardinha

Summerland