The mayor called an information meeting to clear up some misinformation about the proposed Agricultural Land Reserve land swap.
I started work in Summerland in 1967 and moved here in 1973. In that time I have seen the changes.
The mayor stated that we have lost three packing houses and two canneries from our tax base. The fact is that the three packing houses amalgamated into one. The land from one is now the site of the Sungate Plaza and on another is the site of the Builders Mart.
The land from one cannery is now a town house complex. How is this a loss to the tax base?
The mayor stated that the enrolment was down in the high school and we will lose the high school. Enrolment in Trout Creek and Giant’s Head is up. Some day these young people will move on to high school.
On Page 77 of the Summerland MCA-housing report it shows a total of 1,112 building sites that are not in the ALR. At 30 building permits per year, that will last 37 years or until 2051.
By taking the ALR land, this is a gain of 871 building sites that will make a total of 1,983 building sites. At 30 permits per year, that will last for 66 years or until 2080. We do not need this land for more growth.
Council stated that even if the land is removed from the ALR it can still be used as farm land. How long before the new neighbours smell spray at 5 a.m. or hear the wind machines in the night or smell the animals and complain to council? Will this council be there to fight for the farmer who will be forced out?
How can this council say that they are working in the best interests of the residents of Summerland after receiving a petition of over 2,000 names against the removal of land from the ALR?
How can this council base their decision on a survey that had only 152 replies?
Of the 152 replies, how many were in favour of removing the land from the ALR?