Community vision is a patchwork

The community vision is not a Summerland city surrounded by rural agriculture. The vision is a patchwork.

Dear Editor:

Where do we grow from here?

Summerland council and planner Ian McIntosh, want the community to support a change to a smaller growth area on the Official Community Plan.

Consultants have been hired to gather community input and to develop growth boundary options that accommodate growth, presumably, for the life of the OCP.

About 75 people at three workshops were asked to describe what was most compelling about Summerland.

The consultants said the answers were remarkably consistent.

Access to nature and agriculture and the small town neighbourliness of the community was the consensus of the three workshops.

They expected growth would be at replacement pace: that density would occur in the downtown core with some additional in Lowertown, Trout Creek and South Victoria and that agricultural land, in general, and therefore Agricultural Land Reserve land, in particular, would be retained.

I have heard this view at public hearings, open house presentations of the municipality and public meetings on development issues yet councils have consistently approved rezoning and development applications opposed by the community.

So, no surprise, when the consultants presented three growth boundary proposals and two required that lands now zoned ALR be rezoned for dense development.

Participants at the presentation questioned why the proposals did not follow community input that had stressed the value of agricultural land to the future of Summerland as a small town with a beautiful, outdoor, quality of life.  Ian McIntosh said that to get density downtown the “trade off” was losing ALR properties.

There was a zoning review in 2012 which gave single family, sewered lots the ability to subdivide, allowed multi family zones and allowed for carriage houses.

Therefore the downtown core already has the tools for densifying: sewered corridors connecting to downtown already have the tools for densifying.

Community members suggested a fourth option combining density in the town core, retaining ALR land and focusing on Summerland’s existing strengths (agriculture, retirees, tourism, sport and others) when planning for growth.

The community vision is not a Summerland city surrounded by rural agriculture.

The vision is a patchwork.

If it is not a patchwork then ALR lands will continue to be included in an ever-expanding downtown core as the growth boundary is amended and re-amended.

The bylaws approving higher density development and the areas where this density can occur have already been passed so it appears that the only function of revising the growth boundary is to create an opportunity to remove certain agricultural properties from ALR designation by amending the OCP.

Once again, an expensive consultant is used to gather “public input” which was never needed but will be cited as vital to the decision.

Elsa Gladwin

Summerland

 

Just Posted

Supreme Court of Canada ruling a “missed opportunity” for B.C. wineries

B.C. Wine Institute and its members disappointed about ruling on interprovincial trade

Summerlanders provide family tree information

Sisters from England to visit community to learn more about their relatives

A time to plant

This year’s Earth Day event is happening Sunday April 22 from 10 a.m. to noon

Railway elects new directors

Kettle Valley Railway Society preparing for new season

Skating raises money following tragedy

Event was held at Summerland Arena on Friday evening

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Driving Change: A B.C. man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

The “industry will collapse” : South Okanagan winery reacts to ruling

Okanagan Falls winery concerned for the future of the industry after Supreme Court ruling

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

Most Read