Summerland’s proposed Urban Growth Plan has received plenty of attention from the community, with strong opinions for and against the concept.
Advocates of the plan say the public consultation process in 2013 involved around 1,300 people and resulted in the largest public involvement of any municipal plan.
Opponents of the play say a petition with more than 2,000 signatures, including 1,000 from Summerland, should indicate there is considerable opposition to the growth concept.
The petition will be presented at the public hearing on March 3 and will show the number who have signed to show their opposition to the land exchange in the proposed growth plan.
In addition, the public hearing will provide an opportunity for any and all to speak about the plan, whether in support or in opposition.
It is important for any governing body to consider the various comments made about a plan and the amount of support or opposition it receives, especially if it is as significant as a future growth plan.
In a democracy, the views of the people must be heard and considered.
At the same time, the decision is not one which can be decided based on popular support alone.
Instead, those who sit at the council table are elected to make the best decisions on behalf of their constituents. Sometimes this involves making unpopular or uncomfortable decisions.
Those at the Agricultural Land Commission, who also have a say in this plan, must follow their mandate of protecting agricultural land in British Columbia.
No matter what happens, a significant number in the community will not be pleased with the final outcome, but the democratic process will allow all views to be presented and considered.