Questions raised about sustainability

Both sides agree Summerland isn’t growing fast and there are hundreds of existing building lots. Why the urgency?

Dear Editor:

We moved from Penticton last year, after finding a lovely house next to an orchard, on Agricultural Land Reserve land. This land is included in the exclusion proposal for the amended Official Community Plan.

I’ve taken great interest in the OCP amendment in part because it affects us and also because I’m working on an MSc in sustainable building and I sit on the Climate Action Advisory Committee for Penticton.

The amendment has created a sustainability versus sustainability debate, with one side arguing the benefits of less urban sprawl while the other advocates the benefits of food security and the carbon sequestration.

Both sides agree Summerland isn’t growing fast and there are hundreds of existing building lots. Why the urgency?

Summerland’s Climate Action Plan (published in 2011) has as Goal #1: Support the trading of ALR land within 800 meters or about a 10-minute walk of downtown with land in the periphery if additional development land is required.

I asked three members of the Climate Action Committee and nobody knew how this ended up as Goal #1.

In 2013, Summerland decided to spend $80,000 on the Future Summerland Project, asking residents where they would like to see future development.

The public confirmed that Goal #1 is a good idea. Or did they? Even before the hearings, there have been concerns about the legitimacy of the Future Summerland Project.

After considerable research it appears these concerns are valid.

The Summerland Urban Growth Strategy Final Report contains errors, contradictions and misrepresentation.

My analysis paper, Urban Growth Strategy using Multi-Criteria Analysis – Fact or Fiction?, is available free online at Because of my findings, it is appropriate to question the sincerity of the ALR inclusion part of the swap.

A section of this hillside land was removed from the ALR in 2005, with Summerland arguing it was unfit to farm.

Without two businesses expressing an interest in farming this land, the Agricultural Land Commission would not entertain the OCP amendment.

If mayor and council had taken the time to look deeper into what has transpired, I believe they would not have supported this OCP amendment.

If I’m wrong, Summerland is far from sustainable.

Phil Hawkes



Just Posted

LETTER: Concerns about effects of Lark development

Impact on aquifer and ground movement must be considered

LETTER: Internet slow in Garnett Valley

I have a home office like many people and most of my work requires a much higher speed than 2.5 mbps

LETTER: OCP amendment should be considered carefully

Much of what should be discussed is dictated by your community plan and other support documents

LETTER: Thanks for support

Assistance following operation was appreciated

LETTER: Examining claims about development proposal

They are not interested in preserving the land. They are interested in preserving their view

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Team chaplain reflects on time with Silverbacks

Kenny Toews served as a mentor and spiritual leader to the team for six seasons

Drawings connect autistic student with the world

Leifen Mitchell-Banks creates colourful cartoon characters at Salmon Arm Secondary.

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

10 Safeways in Lower Mainland to close, union says

Locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Mission slated to shut

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

‘Miraculous that nobody was killed’

Tanker full of aviation fuel involved in Highway 3 crash

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Most Read