A public meeting about a proposed seniors care facility was intended as a question and answer session, but the comments, at times, took on the tone of a public hearing.
For some, the forum was not a time for asking questions. Instead, it was an opportunity to voice their opinion about why the proposal should not proceed.
Since it was made public in November, the Banks Crescent proposal has generated significant controversy in the community.
From the outset, a significant number of Summerlanders have been calling for council to reject this proposal. A petition, circulating since December, has garnered close to 1,000 signatures in opposition to this development.
This response seems premature.
In order to make an informed decision about any development, one must first have adequate information.
In the case of this proposal, there are still some important questions which must be answered.
Some of the questions raised so far have been about the effects of this project on traffic in the area. Others have asked how this development could affect groundwater and the fish hatchery. Some have raised concerns about the changes a large-scale development could bring to the community as a whole.
These questions need to be answered as completely as possible, before the public hearing and before council members are asked to vote on this proposal.
Closer to the time of the vote, the public will have the opportunity to present opinions about this project at a public hearing.
This part of the process is important, as it shows whether the community is receptive to the proposal. Comments from the public should be taken into consideration when making a decision.
However, for now, it is time to answer the questions which have been raised about this development proposal.
Without adequate information, it will be impossible for council to make a wise decision, in the best interests of the community.