How can we, the citizens of Summerland trust the development approval process and have confidence that the Summerland Trout Hatchery and the Banks Crescent development will coexist and each will contribute to the future prosperity of our community?
Well, let’s start by examining what has been done so far.
The developer commissioned Piteau Associates to conduct a hydrological engineering assessment. Piteau is an international engineering firm that has, since 1976, conducted geotechnical, water management, and environmental services in over 1,000 locations worldwide.
The developer also commissioned Rock Glen Consulting from Okanagan Falls to complete a geotechnical engineering assessment.
Rock Glen is an Okanagan firm established in 2001 that specializes in slope stability.
Exactly what is required — two highly specialized engineering firms with a combined 60 years of experience. Their professional assessments state that subject to meeting certain conditions, any risks associated with both the quantity and quality of Shaughnessy Springs water and, with the slope stability will be mitigated.
But wait, that’s not all.
Summerland’s District engineering team also scrutinizes these studies. That team has the authority to commission yet another independent engineering assessment.
Amazing. Expert professionals double-checking the work of expert professionals.
I understand that, in the past, the hatchery recognized the critical importance of a reliable second water source but, as yet, has been unsuccessful in their efforts to attain one. I also understand that the developer has offered to donate the infrastructure required for a secondary water source to the district and, that water would be made available to the hatchery.
How wonderful. Risk mitigation for the Shaughnessy Springs water source plus an infrastructure gift to the district and a needed secondary water source for the hatchery.
However, at a recent council meeting, the Summerland Trout Hatchery announced that it has decided to refuse the gift of a secondary water source.
I believe this refusal was largely based on two concerns: water temperature and possible pathogens.
These two concerns are common to all commercial fish hatcheries and therefore, the solutions are also commonplace and readily available to the Summerland Hatchery so, I find their refusal puzzling.
All these detailed expert analytical studies and recommended conditions are critical components of the rigorous approval process required for the Bank Crescent development.
The many professionals who sign the technical documents put their professional reputations and even their personal livelihoods on the line.
I am confident that the Summerland Trout Hatchery and the Banks Crescent development will coexist and each will contribute to the future prosperity of my beloved community.