I left Summerland several years ago after graduating from Summerland Secondary School. I return occasionally to visit family and friends to relax in this wonderful community.
I recently learned about the plan to replace prime agricultural lands with housing.
There are many things that bother me about this plan and I have many questions. The most daunting is why?
While I have read the municipality’s position there seems to be a list of assertions, most questionable is the economic development argument.
In my travels beyond Summerland, I have seen slums and prosperity. I have come to recognize that success of a community often depends upon its ability to supply its own needs for food and water, anything less makes communities vulnerable to outside economic and environmental conditions.
Available arable land has become more precious all over the world, not just a trend, but a reality. The lands in question are far more valuable as agricultural land than as pavement and houses.
In 2005 we were told a golf course and housing development were imperative to our community’s economic survival.
After the recession of 2008, it has become apparent that it is agriculture and tourism that is imperative to our economic survival.
As part of the youth that will inherit the community you are creating, I can’t help but be concerned about this decision — one that moves sharply away from the vision I have of a sustainable and local agricultural economy.
Please do not leave for us to inherit, an agriculturally impoverished community.