Community was designed for needs of agriculture

I have no issue with community debate, providing it’s fair.

Dear Editor:

I wish to respond to council’s former Advisory Planning and OCP Committee member Don Hudgeon’s letter on the growth strategy (Jan. 2, 2014.) I have no issue with community debate, providing it’s fair.

Hudgeon writes, “Summerland was conceived as a real estate venture for wealthy English folk.”

The wealthy English folk actually came to Trout Creek (Summerland’s old name) in the 1890s to work at the George Barclay cattle ranch. They were not involved with the creation of our community.

Summerland was founded in 1902 by Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The C.P.R. wanted to create an agricultural community. Our roads, water and electrical systems were designed to meet the requirements of agriculture.

Following initial success, these three systems were sold to the District of Summerland in 1910.

A recurring theme of council has been development north of town: a new approved Urban Growth Area (Rattlesnake Mountain,) a new approved Bentley Road Industrial Park and now a proposed new growth area.

For efficient use of land, all three proposed developments will eventually require servicing (sewer.)

The long-standing utility corridor is Garnett Valley Road where two councillors own property (Growth Area #9.)

With these three significant proposals, councillors removing themselves from council chambers for just one of these three proposals wasn’t nearly enough.

Our present OCP provides for an abundance of future residential development on Rattlesnake Mountain, Cartwright Mountain and Deer Ridge.

This council has increased our industrial base by creating a new industrial park north of town but now wants to remove prime land from our fruit industry.

David E. Gregory