In 2008, when the latest Official Community Plan was adopted, the growth area was limited.
More than one-third of the urban growth area in the plan was the site of the proposed Summerland Hills Golf Resort development.
The plan seemed sensible since the development would have added around 1,700 housing units to the community.
Then, when the development plan was abandoned, Summerland was left with a community plan which no longer made much sense. There is a need for the community to review its urban growth strategy.
Summerland needs a community plan. More than that, this plan must be kept up to date if it is to have any value.
In the past, all issues of growth and land use at the municipal level have been decided together in the Official Community Plan.
Building a comprehensive plan as a single unit seems to make sense until one considers the time and effort involved.
The community plan adopted in 2008 and the previous plan, adopted in the mid-1990s took several years of intense work for the municipality’s planning department.
Working on one section at a time becomes much more manageable for the planning department, for those who wish to provide input into the plan and for the council members who will ultimately make a decision on the proposed changes.
The biggest drawback to breaking up revisions to the plan comes because the various parts of the plan are connected to a greater or lesser degree.
A decision on urban growth may also affect industrial land areas or transportation plans.
Still, working on an updated plan for urban growth by itself and adjusting other areas affected by this revision will be much simpler and much less expensive than reworking the entire plan.