I write in regard to the proposed Urban Growth Plan in Summerland.
Mayor Perrino was patronizing at best during the March 10 council meeting, telling us how misinformed we are, and how if we have better information we will understand the need for the proposed plan.
I attended the public hearing and heard much practical and factual information, offered by citizens of various ages and occupations, refuting the need to remove land from the ALR. I also heard educated assessments of the survey process, with specific doubts cast on the participation count and the interpretation of survey data.
These doubts have in part stemmed from comments made by council when the Urban Growth Plan report was accepted in December 2013. We were told that participants chose densify the downtown core and protect the agricultural land as the major considerations in urban growth of our town.
Exactly how densify in the downtown was interpreted to mean increase the size of downtown, and protect agricultural land interpreted as build on this land, they will come remains a mystery to those of us who participated in the open house and survey processes.
Mayor Perrino says what she heard from presenters at the public hearing were concerns about food and food security – a correct understanding, but quite limited.
Mayor and council seem to be ignoring other serious points made by their citizens. Concerns and questions were expressed regarding conflict of interest in properties involved, support for our agricultural economy, continued growth in the hill areas, demographic research pertinent to urban growth, present availability of building lots, and how to draw new business and industry, as well as local food strategies.
I look forward to further public discussion of this matter.
Heather S. Ross