Growth plans

Of all the decisions made at the municipal level, those dealing with land have the most significant impact.

Of all the decisions made at the municipal level, those dealing with land have the most significant impact.

Once a development proceeds, it will remain for many decades and possibly longer.

The update of the Urban Growth Strategy is badly needed as the growth plan in Summerland’s Official Community Plan is now out of date and in need of an overhaul.

In the 2008 plan, the proposed Summerland Hills Golf Resort was set aside as the area for Summerland’s future growth.

When the proposal was abandoned two years later, the plan no longer had an adequate and clearly defined area for future growth.

In addition, the municipality’s approach to development changed in the years following the adoption of the plan.

The preference, at the present council table, is for infilling and developing heavily in the area near the core of the community.

An easy approach to the new Urban Growth Strategy would be to simply let municipal officials and consultants draft the plan and then have council adopt it.

In the long run, however, such an approach would be unwise as the plan would not necessarily have the support of the public.

A better option is to provide as many opportunities as possible for the public to be able to provide input and raise questions.

The result becomes a plan which the public can support and embrace.

Of course the public input cannot work unless the public takes an interest in the strategy.

Unless a large number of Summerlanders offer their comments and suggestions, the plan will not truly represent the wishes of the community.

During the public input process, please take the time to examine the options and offer your own input.