Development project unsound on several fronts

(re: Land deal not a good idea, Letters, Western News, Oct. 25)

I am responding to Mr. Horejsi’s letter regarding the 600-house development on the west side of Okanagan Lake by the Penticton Indian Band and enthusiastically supported by Penticton city council, tourism and the Chamber of Commerce, as another example of constant mindless growth.

Since Mr. Horejsi covered the negatives of irreversible destruction of native habitat, excessive future demand on our already finite water supply, urban sprawl, servicing and local job creation, I want to mention other dynamics to be considered.

Given the current slowing of the world economy, including British Columbia and Canada, it is unsettling that some people continue to put the economic cart before the horse of fiscal and social responsibility.

This proposed development will not increase the supply of much needed affordable housing in Penticton.

Rather, as a recent public relations media statement noted, this development is aimed at high-end consumers, most of whom will not live here permanently as full-time residents.

These homes will be summer cottages for foreign investors, oil-patch workers, overpaid professional athletes, CEOs, speculators and the like, not to mention the snowbirds.

I can attest to the above right here in little Summerland. In fact, the snowbirds will be the only native species still living on that land.

Young families, that are needed to keep the schools open and the economy growing, will not be able to get a piece of this pie in the sky, no matter how many low-paying local jobs are produced.

Proposed developments like this when the world is on the verge of total collapse is irresponsible and short-sighted.

It will borrow heavily on our natural resources and future generations, leaving them with few options for a healthy environment and livelihood.

Despite the 20-year phase in development plan I am very concerned,based on what I have seen with other such developments, that large patches of native grassland will be destroyed in anticipation of the next phase of buyers who may never arrive, leaving a wasteland devoid of all but weeds and invasive plants.

Laurie Rockwell

Summerland