LETTER: Proposal does not follow municipal plans

The District of Summerland has created and amended several community plans to provide guidance for growth and sustainability.

Dear Editor:

Over the past few years the District of Summerland has created and amended several community plans to provide guidance for growth and sustainability for Summerland.

These include 2016 Cultural Plan, the amended 2015 Official Community Plan, the Summerland Strategic Plan 2015-2016, the Summerland Guide to Development in Sensitive Lands, the Transportation Master Plan.

When the Shaughnessy Springs was designated as multifamily medium density in the OCP and Urban Growth Plan was the Fish Hatchery consulted as to the impact it may have on their water source?

If not, then why not? Surely due diligence would have prevailed to have all stakeholders input.

The Strategic Plan for Lower Town shows Shaughnessy Springs as potential medium density residential urban growth, surrounded by ‘walking trails’ up Solly Road. Surely it is disingenuous to use ‘walkability’ without disclosing the steepness of the roads and surrounding areas most of which do not have sidewalks?

The Cultural Plan states, “Protect the integrity of Lower Town’s unique and compact residential neighbourhoods. Respect and preserve the environmental and natural qualities of Lower Town and adjacent lands.”

How does this big box development embrace these principles?

The OCP states “High density development should have direct access to a major collector or arterial road; Pedestrian access provided to nearby parks, schools and commercial/institutional facilities, and appropriately cater to a range of the community’s demographics (i.e. seniors, singles, young families, etc.)”

How does this location and this development meet this criteria?

Why wasn’t a viability study before the rezoning application?

Why weren’t issues such as impact on the hatchery aquifer, road widening and infrastructure, increased traffic, real financial impact and demands on utilities thoroughly investigated and thought through?

The developer promoting this as ‘seniors condo resort living’, promising upwards of 100 jobs and increasing the tax base to a yet unproven amount without the district doing due diligence themselves, has potential liability and increased ongoing financial and social burdens to the residents of Summerland that have not been taken into consideration.

Why would the district spend time and energy in developing all these community plans to enrich and protect Summerland if they aren’t going to be followed, or used thoughtfully and have instead have seniors living on an ice floe isolated from town?

Diana Smith