I have great respect for those who stand for public office and — God forbid — get elected. It is a thankless job. Residents who are happy enjoy their happy lives. Those who aren’t happy complain bitterly, to council, the newspaper and anyone who will listen.
There is a joke that the only thing a council can do without controversy is dedicate parkland. Not so in Summerland.
Even when everyone thought Conkle Mountain Park was dedicated in 2006, and a monument was installed saying such, council still couldn’t make it so without a gallery full of disgruntled residents. Really?
Every project is opposed by those who think it will end life as we know it. The current project raising ire in the community is Banks Crescent.
Will this development cause catastrophic slope failure? No.
Can anyone guarantee that? There are no guarantees in life.
Will this development destroy the environment? No.
Can anyone guarantee that? See above. The natural environment was already destroyed by the vineyard.
Will the project destroy the fish hatchery? Two groups of professional engineers say no.
Can anyone guarantee that? See above.
Will the project impact views? Most certainly for the immediate neighbours, not so much for the rest of the community.
Will it impact views significantly enough to deny the proposal? Good question.
Will the project increase traffic? Most certainly.
Will it cause gridlock. No.
Will it increase traffic significantly enough to deny the development? Good question.
Is it a dumb place to put a seniors’ development? Good question.
All my neighbours are 55 plus, as are most of the residents in Lowertown — and pretty much all the residents of Summerland.
My 90-plus-year-old neighbour walks up to town every day.
I think it’s a pretty nice place to live and has great lake views.
Is this so far from downtown that it should be denied? Good question.
Will the development create jobs? Yes. Quite a few. Seems like a good thing.
Will the development pay taxes? Yes. Quite a lot. Seems like a good thing.
Can the development be serviced with water, sewer, etc? Yes. And they will pay for the required upgrades. Seems like a good thing.
The developers will also construct a sidewalk all the way from their site to the highway. Sidewalks would be nice. They will also construct a pedestrian shortcut to Solly Road. What a great idea.
I bet many new residents will join our arts clubs and go to church and attend Wednesdays on the Water.
They might even volunteer for community groups.
What are we so afraid of?
I am sure council will struggle with this one. The question is will the bad part —traffic, views, more people — outweigh the good part — increased jobs, increased taxes, upgraded infrastructure?
I guess we will see.