In 2017, the people of Summerland and the members of our municipal council will have to make a decision on whether to allow a proposed 380-unit seniors’ care facility for the Banks Crescent area.
The proposed development is large and if approved it will have an effect on the surrounding neighbourhood and on the rest of Summerland.
When this many units are added in a small community, it will result in some changes.
Already some have expressed concerns about the proposal, suggesting the concept does not belong here or the location is unsuitable. Some have mentioned the possible effects on traffic patterns or on the future of the Summerland Trout Hatchery.
These concerns and others need to be taken seriously. A development, especially one of this magnitude, will have a long-lasting effect on the community.
If this seniors’ complex goes ahead, it will change Summerland.
However, it is important to note that rejecting the proposal does not mean we will continue with the status quo.
Summerland has been undergoing some changes over the past years and these changes will continue unless action is taken to change them.
The community has an aging population. The number of school-aged children is lower now than it was a decade ago, or even last year. Businesses in the downtown core have closed, even though there is concern and discussion about economic stability.
These trends will continue unless some action is taken to reverse them.
The proposed development may or may not be the ideal solution to the challenges facing Summerland. We choose to reserve judgement on this proposal at this time.
Instead, it is important to give careful, thoughtful consideration to this development proposal.
Rejecting it or accepting it without a thorough examination would be a mistake.