Banks Crescent public hearing on hold

Summerland council awaiting third-party report on aquifer

Coun. Toni Boot

Coun. Toni Boot

A public hearing on the proposed Banks Crescent seniors housing development in Summerland will be held once council receives a report on the aquifer protection strategy.

At the Nov. 14 municipal council meeting, council received an update report from the Director of Development Services about the proposed development.

But one key piece of information, a third-party professional review of the proposed aquifer protection strategy, is not yet available.

In October, council directed municipal staff to proceed with having a third-party professional review of the proposed aquifer protection strategy. While staff has hired an engineering firm to conduct the review, the report is not expected until mid-December.

However, while the report has not yet been received Coun. Toni Boot put forth a motion to deny the rezoning application for the proposed 424-unit seniors housing facility.

“I am philosophically against this development. It is the wrong development, in the wrong location,” she said.

She added that it is unfair to request more information from the developer when she is opposed to the development.

Boot’s motion, which was defeated, would have eliminated the need for a public hearing on the development.

Coun. Doug Holmes said council still does not have the information needed to approve the development proposal.

“None of the requests for more information have ever been fully met,” he said. “We really don’t have a whole lot more information today than we had a year ago.”

Others on council still want to receive the third-party report before making a decision on the development.

Coun. Janet Peake said the process should be followed before a decision is made.

“Allow the process and depend on the process,” she said. “We need to let that process finish.”

Mayor Peter Waterman said the information is needed because of the nature of the development.

“It’s a complex issue,” he said. “It needs to be fully addressed. We’re very close to having the full information.”

Coun. Erin Trainer would like to have a public hearing on the development as soon as possible.

“I think the public hearing is very important,” she said.

Coun. Erin Carlson said the third-party review will provide some answers to questions she has on the proposal.

The motion was rejected with only Boot and Holmes in favour. Coun. Richard Barkwill was not present at the meeting.

The date of the public hearing has not been determined.

In a report to council, Dean Strachan, director of development services for the municipality, recommended that the hearing not be held before the third-party aquifer protection strategy report has been received.

“Please note, the third-party review may result in additional findings and/or recommendation that may result in council seeking additional information,” he stated in the report. “If council were to request additional information, the public hearing may need to be postponed.”

While the aquifer report has not been completed, other information on the development proposal was received by council.

A four-page summary of information from a council workshop on Oct. 25 was received by council.

The summary examines the effects of the development on Summerland’s infrastructure, the work required and the costs paid by the developer.

The information had been presented at a Committee of the Whole meeting in late October, examining the impacts of the proposed development on water, storm water, sewer, roads and electrical power.

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Coun. Doug Holmes

Coun. Doug Holmes

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