Re: Don Hudgeon’s letter of Jan. 2. It’s true that around 1,300 people were involved in various ways with the Future of Summerland Project.
The first two goals identified through this process were concentrate on the economy and jobs followed by preserve farmland.
Approximately 309 people filled in the first survey.
From this survey there was no clear direction for where development should go.
A second survey was developed, completed by approximately 153 people, which gave us the direction council is now headed.
I would encourage people to read through the results of the survey and report summary because it is not as clear cut as some people are indicating.
I also question why there would be questions asking about whether or not people want further development in areas which have not been developed but which have already been zoned for development. Hunters Hill (zoning passed by the current council) and parts of Deer Ridge which are currently open land have both been zoned for residential development but are to be excluded from the Urban Growth Boundary.
That will not stop future development but will make any changes in zoning more difficult.
We no longer expect to treat our forests, water sources, oceans and fish the way we did 100 years ago.
Large chunks of exceptional agricultural land has been lost all over the province in the past hence the formation of the Agricultural Land Reserve.
We need to respect agricultural land as the resource it is and protect it from further encroachment.
If the ALC were to allow this proposal to go forward what would be the implications for the rest of the province?
Our community is in a difficult place. Yes, it’s easier and cheaper to develop flat farmland but where and when will we stop using agricultural land for development purposes because if we go ahead with this in around 30 year we will be faced with the same problem.
Farmland is becoming increasingly valuable around the world as it disappears.
he current proposal to swap flat, viable farmland near downtown for marginal land in Prairie Valley is simply short term gain for long term pain.
Please get involved before it’s too late.
Read through the Summerland Urban Growth Boundary Report and let both council and the ALC know how you feel about this proposal.