More time needed for land decision

I attended the public hearing on Aug. 8 regarding the removal of 10 lots on Bentley Road from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Dear Editor:

I attended the public hearing on Aug. 8 regarding the removal of 10 lots on Bentley Road from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The land would most probably then be rezoned for light industrial. Our property is directly to the south of the ones in question.

As orchardists, my husband and I had no knowledge of this proposal until we saw a sign posted in this area.

At first, we were led to believe our property would be included as it seemed to be a natural cut off point along Sanborn Street. This did not happen.

It was mentioned that since there is already industrial lots on part of one side of Bentley Road, it makes sense to have some on the other side.

It was also mentioned that the lots in question do not have good growing soil.

My husband has been farming our soil since he purchased it more than 40 years ago and it was a thriving orchard at that time.

We choose to farm our land. The others who want their land removed from the ALR choose not to. That is their right, but this does not mean the land is not good growing soil.

Take a drive down Bentley Road to the highway and look at the industrial area.

It mostly consists of derelict, abandoned, dry, overgrown land. What a lovely welcome to Summerland for the many tourists who visit our town.

We have had nearly 3,000 visitors to our farm this summer and have many complaints about the fiberglass smell from across the road.

What is to stop similar industries from being built adjoining our property?

We also heard at the meeting that Summerland is in desperate need for industrial land and this is the only property that the commission has supported in the past.

Why does the town need to have ALR land for more industrial area?

It is hard to believe that in the entire area of Summerland, that it has to be this particular piece slated for industrial.

I researched previous meetings regarding this issue and found that council had given this issue a total of five minutes in one meeting and 12 minutes in another meeting.

The Advisory Planning Committee took 33 minutes to approve that the application be sent to the ALC.  A total of 50 minutes for such an important issue.

The majority of the people attending the Aug. 8 meeting requested more time and the vote was deferred until Monday, Aug. 22.

Too bad it cannot be deferred until after the fruit season to give us time to gather the information we need.

Why can it not wait a couple more months?

If you have an opinion about this issue, please write to council.

I am not asking you to agree or disagree, just make your opinion known before Monday and there may be a chance this motion will be defeated.

Renee Dickinson



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