LETTER: Lark Group did not earn public’s trust

LETTER: Lark Group did not earn public’s trust

Questions raised about development proposal in Summerland

Dear Editor:

The following is an open letter to Kirk Fisher, Lark Group.

Several weeks ago, some concerned locals contacted me about large trucks dumping gravel off Bristow Road at the top of the silt bluffs on the Banks Crescent property (a red zone.)

After speaking to the district, it seems that your company will be setting up a drill rig to search for an emergency water source for the fish hatchery as it prepares to submit a second development proposal to council likely after the next municipal election?

The first proposal was turned down because your company did not earn the necessary trust or obtain the consent of the community, including those in lower town who would have been most affected.

For some odd reason, your company did not seem interested in earning trust or consent but rather, gave every indication that it didn’t care.

Case in point, when it heard loud opposition that the development was too large, your company continued to make the development even larger.

Also, instead of addressing concerns about the extra 2,000 vehicles per day that the high density development would generate, your company implied it was doing us all a big favour because there would be even more vehicles if it had proposed a medium density development (I’m still confused by your company’s claim.)

Telling us that the aquifer and springs would be 100 per cent protected by the development is a promise you could not make.

The Advertising Standards Council agreed and put you on notice.

Repeatedly changing your commitment to provide an emergency water source for the hatchery, by claiming that the quality and quantity of the springs is declining anyways, was not truthful, caused confusion and earned your company unprecedented warnings from the Freshwater Fisheries Society (fish hatchery) to stop misrepresenting them.

It also did not help the integrity of your company by paying people to collect petition signatures then hiring a consulting firm to write a report that seemed to belittle the importance of the over 3,000 petition signatures against your development collected by community volunteers.

Your company’s analysis was kind of insulting and akin to trying to convince us in Summerland that we support wide scale housing development on ALR lands and that the “Stop-the-Swap” petition was flawed and should be disregarded.

We are not stupid people here in Summerland!

I’m not sure if the Lark Group will be able to earn the necessary trust or obtain the consent of the community for their next development proposal.

Two things I know for sure. One is that setting up a drill rig and scaring the locals (especially locals living next door in the red zone) before you even try to talk to them is just making my points all that much stronger. The other thing I know for sure is that the Lark Group did not earn my trust or obtain my consent and never will.

Doug Wahl

Summerland

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