While Summerland is one of the largest municipalities in British Columbia in terms of geographic area, land for manufacturing and industrial use is in short supply.
At present, there are a few available industrial sites and no vacant, undeveloped industrial properties.
Without land available, there is no way the community can attract industrial developments.
And without industry, the Summerland job market will be weak at the best of times.
Summerland has already lost jobs because suitable industrial land could not be found.
We cannot afford to have further job losses and we need to take measures to turn around the declining population we have experienced in recent years.
Without a suitable industrial land base, there is no way to bring new industry — and new jobs — to the community.
For this reason, a proposal to remove a 10-unit block of properties from the Agricultural Land Reserve for future industrial use seems sensible.
The properties in question, in the Bentley Road area, are adjacent to existing industrial land.
In 1995, the Agricultural Land Commission has identified it would consider supporting the exclusion of these properties.
While any removal of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve must be treated carefully, there are times when it will be necessary for the greater good of the entire community.
In this case, none of the 10 parcels are being used as commercial farms at present, nor have they been farmed for many years. Removing them from the land reserve would not reduce food production in Summerland.
Any reasonable plan to put this land to productive use, deserves serious consideration.