Traffic concerns raised

Residents spoke about the effects from a proposed industrial area expansion.

While an expanded industrial area would provide some much-needed industrial land in Summerland, traffic in the area has some residents concerned.

Speaking at a public hearing on an amendment to the Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw for the area, Steve Matthews said the increase in traffic will be “a devastating change.”

He said a traffic study shows a tenfold increase in traffic in the area if the plan goes ahead.

He added that the land use in the area, with country residential lots near the industrial area, is not a good mix.

Others who supported the plan also had concerns about the traffic in the area.

George Guernsey said the intersection of Bentley Road and Highway 97 should be examined, since the highway speed limit is 100 kilometres an hour at the intersection.

He added that he is in support of the proposed industrial area expansion.

Thor Clausen also spoke in support of the expansion.

“We do not have enough industrial land in this town,” he said, adding that some businesses have left because they could not get the land they needed.

Patrick Murphy, a real estate agent, said he was initially skeptical about the expansion, but now supports the plan.

“I hope it will help the economics of the town,” he said.

Members of council also had concerns about the traffic in the area.

“The concern I’ve always had is traffic flow,” said Coun. Martin Van Alphen.

Municipal planner Ian McIntosh said the traffic studies examine the worst-case scenarios in the area.

Coun. Lloyd Christopherson said the expansion in the area is needed because there are not other areas available for industrial land use. “We don’t have much choice,” he said.

Mayor Janice Perrino agreed.

“We have no industrial land left,” she said. “We have to do something that will help our community grow and prosper.”

The second and third bylaw reading for an Official Community Plan and zoning amendment for the area received unanimous council support.