Land owners can continue to farm

Summerland’s mayor and councillors have done what is expected of them.

Dear Editor:

Many objections have been expressed and directed at Summerland Municipal Council for its intention to ask the Agricultural Land Commission for removal of some farmland from the Agricultural Land Reserve, to allow its inclusion in the Urban Growth proposal.

Re: Sheila Polito’s letter of April 10, there is no evidence that the majority of Summerland’s citizens oppose the proposal.

Summerland’s mayor and councillors have done what is expected of them.

Their staff has engaged in research of the local situation, engaged consultants, sought opinions from Summerland citizens, and then given much study and careful thought to preparing the proposal.

Now members of the ALC have to make their decision, if the proposal, as written, is presented to them.

And, the most important item, and a real “upper” feature — the owners of these properties can continue to produce crops for themselves, for their descendants and their descendants’ descendants for as long as they wish.

Many of us think these properties will be producing food for many years to come.

Coun. Peter Waterman, in his statement about satisfying enterprises to engage in, in Summerland, wrote about the chances of making a desirable and sustainable income from growing Ambrosia apples.

Why would anyone want to give up such an opportunity and decide to use their land for, say, a housing development?

If the Urban Growth proposal, as it is now written, is approved by the ALC, and if owners of some of the withdrawn properties decide to get out of food production, will people object to them, as they have to Summerland’s council? Will there be letters to editors? Will we have protest rallies outside these owners’ properties?

Whether or not to continue producing food crops will be owners’ decisions, not Summerland council’s.

D.L. McIntosh