“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Good old William Shakespeare. He really understood human nature.
Regarding the great discussion in Summerland which has seen hundreds come out again and again to speak and hopefully be heard on the question of a new Official Community Plan for the municipality, the crux of the matter is not really growth, which will only happen if there is good reason. It is the matter of removing 87 hectares of a valuable, irreplaceable resource from its protective zoning in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
All the rest is smoke and mirrors, i.e. the “swap” and the “need.”
The mayor blithely stated that “food safety is not an issue.” I beg to differ.
Much of our fresh food is imported from areas that are experiencing severe drought, so it is vital that we retain our ability to grow our own food. We have first class land, a knowledgeable people, a favourable climate and transportation and storage abilities.
New families would be welcome, but they need jobs to be able to afford to live here. Otherwise, we would become even more a bedroom community.
So far all we have seen downtown is the proposed destruction of the arts centre and a business to make way for the new library.
Meanwhile, let us hope the oft-mentioned agri-businesses begin, suitable buildings are erected in the Wharton Street and old police station lands and houses built on the many available lots. That will suffice for a number of new residents.
No “growth” plan is needed now.
Summerland has grown slowly for over 100 years. It is a lovely place with intelligent citizens, many amenities and a proud community tradition.
We also need always to have a hearing, caring council.