Chamber supports community growth

At its recent February meeting the chamber board discussed an issue that is of importance to all of us, the Urban Growth Strategy Report.

At its recent February meeting the chamber board discussed an issue that is of importance to all of us, the District of Summerland’s new Urban Growth Strategy Report.

The district’s director of development, Ian McIntosh, walked the board through a presentation detailing the history of our community’s growth, the variety of efforts that were made to reach and communicate with all members of our community and the resulting recommendations found in the report.

Following discussion among the elected board members, we want to publicly share our position on this issue.

First, we applaud the extensive public engagement process that the district has gone through in order to prepare this report.

More than a year and a half of staff time has gone into this process and multiple efforts were made to connect with all of us, to hear our voices, and to listen to input from even the youngest members of our community – the ones that will have to live with our decisions.

It’s important to remember that while the consulting firm that supported these efforts was from out of town, the bulk of the work was done by people at the district that are long term residents of Summerland and just as passionate about our collective future as any of the rest of us.

The board also welcomes and encourages the healthy debate that has resulted from the recent report.  It’s good to see that when something is important enough, we can stand up for what is meaningful to us.

However, given that Summerland is home to two national anti-bullying organizations, it’s also very important that as adults we model only the most positive of discussion methods, respectfully acknowledge that people with differing views are no less committed to the community and remember that our comments in public and on social media live long after we’ve spoken them.

As the organization that’s responsible for marketing Summerland, we particularly see how negative news stories affect our town.

Regarding the report itself, the chamber supports the principals of the report that apply to businesses and our business members.

These include: efficient and cost-effective planning for Summerland, a farmer’s right to farm, enhancing our downtown area, recognition of the need for community growth, reduced greenhouse gases, efficient use of industrial areas, reduced costs for infrastructure, the densification of the downtown core and walking convenience to downtown stores and amenities for residents.

As many recent letters to the editor have pointed out, we need growth in Summerland and places for young families to live.

The proposed trading of a central parcel of ALR land for one that is further from the core is a reasonable way to gain the needed land to build in the coming decades.

The land proposed for the exchange is highly useful to at least two agricultural businesses, both of whom create jobs in our community.

Housing, jobs, an improved tax base, investment and development are all things Summerland needs in order to thrive.

It’s almost impossible to have all of these things at once; they will come to us bit by bit as we make efforts in each area.

We can achieve these things and still retain our attractive rural character.

Continued careful long-term planning efforts are required to ensure this.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at president@summerlandchamber.com or Christine Petkau at manager@summerlandchamber.com.

 

Arlene Fenrich is president of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism. All of the members of the board of directors serve as volunteers.

 

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Young PIB man skips jail time for grad party assault

Aaron Jack-Kroeger was sentenced to a 15-month conditional sentence in Penticton’s courthouse

Vernon Search & Rescue find lost snowmobiler

Male, 19, went missing in Hunter’s Range area near Enderby

New development in missing plane near Revelstoke

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

Honesty turns to harsher jail sentence for Penticton man

Jakob Holmes kicked a cop in the face while she was on the ground after she attempted to arrest him

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Flying squirrel touches down inside Salmon Arm home

Rodent jumps around residence before homeowers encourage it back outdoors

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Slayer adds Penticton to North American tour

Slayer adds the South Okanagan Events Centre as a stop on their last tour

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Vancouver Canucks confirm participation in NHL Young Stars

Canucks confirmed participation, at least for this year, in the NHL Young Stars event in Penticton

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Most Read