LETTER: Development will affect community

Apart from personal concerns there are real concerns that affect all of Summerland

Dear Editor:

Although I don’t live above the Banks Crescent ravine I do live on the corner of Solly and Latimer.

We will be affected not only by the five to seven years of construction disruption, but also potential Solly Road failure from the weight of construction trucks, potential construction truck brake failure hitting the fire hydrant on the corner of our property, and then the legacy of increase in traffic (an additional 2,000 car trips/day).

All this might sound very NIMBY but its reality, and how many residents of Summerland on quiet rural streets would welcome this scenario?

Apart from personal concerns there are real concerns that affect all of Summerland. The most alarming is the threat to the 100-year-old fish hatchery that provides fish to provincial lakes for locals and tourists to enjoy.

None of the reports have been able to unequivocally state there will no impact to the water source as the aquifer has never been mapped.

Does Summerland want to be known and perhaps liable for compromising a provincial program that generates millions of dollars a year for the province?

For Summerland to become more vibrant and a place to attract young families, the town desperately needs affordable housing for all demographics close to the schools and amenities.

Building 415 expensive market housing units (townhouses and apartments) in an isolated ravine on steep, windy roads, does not fit with the recent Affordable Housing Report submitted to council, or the Green Initiative Report (reducing carbon footprint), or the current Cultural Plan or the Official Community Plan (medium density housing).

Taking in all the recommendations from these official documents how would council in all good conscience reconcile and approve this development when its in opposition of everything that’s been documented?

The developer has continued to increase the number of units, change the type of units and amenities all driven by their bottom line, not in the best interests of Summerland residents.

Without affordable housing (rental or owned) neither construction workers or the potential staff for the ‘Assisted Living Group Home’ will live in Summerland and therefore have minimal benefit to local schools and businesses.

The continued use of “Seniors Housing” by the developer is disingenuous and the media has influenced many peoples views on what this development is providing.

Let’s be clear that the health care piece appears to be secondary to the market condos, and that the health care services being touted by the developer are all fee for service, and not funded by Interior Health.

You as council have had many months (since April 2016) and much information provided to you for consideration.

When making your decision I urge you to weigh up all the pros and cons and ask yourselves if this is the way we want to develop Summerland. Is this the legacy we want to leave? Is this the risk I want to take?

Diana Smith


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