letter to the editor

LETTER: I’m a proud Naramata NIMBY – here’s why

More than 300 homes jammed together will cause a traffic nightmare and other problems

I am a Naramata ‘NIMBY’ and wish to reply to Mr. G. Szabo’s recent letter “To the Editor.” I also would like to say how I love this area, and why my husband I moved here more than 13 years ago. We left the overcrowded, residential areas of North Vancouver to move to a much quieter, greener area in B.C., where homes were spaced far apart, for privacy, green space, wildlife and the lake’s beauty, enticing us to pack up and leave the volumes of traffic and noise for a more tranquil area filled with beauty and peacefulness.

This is the first time in my life I have had a herd of 50 elk on our property, as well as many deer foraging.

To reply to Mr. Szabo, that we struggle to sleep due to our opposition to Canadian Horizon’s mega development proposal, he is half right. We do struggle to sleep knowing this beautiful area could be ruined by such a huge project, changing the area from vineyards, wineries, orchards and sleepy B&B’s, to a concrete jungle of hundreds of homes saddled up to each other. Enough to give us nightmares just thinking about this radical change to the Bench. So sad to see orchards and wildlife habitat replaced by concrete.

How can Mr. Szabo say that CH’s development will not affect agricultural land? It will affect every person living in Naramata and Penticton, along the Naramata Bench as well as those who visit annually. It will create major roadwork, traffic slowdowns, most likely more vehicle accidents with another 600+ vehicles from this proposed project, roadkill, increases in taxes etc. etc.

Saying the traffic may be increased ‘somewhat’ is absurd. Spring, Summer and Fall months we are down to a crawl on our only road so I cannot imagine what long-term roadwork and hundreds of additional vehicles will cause. There have been thousands of Pentictonites and Naramatians opposed to this development, even winery owners who paraded to Penticton on their tractors to voice their opposition. Numbers of more than 10,000 have voiced their opinion against this plan, so not sure why Mr. Szabo hasn’t heard about it, nor the “Preserve Naramata Bench’ website. A ‘blind eye’ perhaps?

No one should be forced or directed to support this ridiculous scheme. Hopefully those voting on this issue will listen to both sides and make a proper decision. Take into consideration those whose livelihoods are along the Bench and how this will impact tourists as well.

Think about any emergency response. Think about where the water is coming from during the hot, dry summer months to these new 340 homes when we are on water rationing. Think of what will happen to the wildlife habitat and corridors. For such a small community, more than 10,000 voices opposing this development should be heard and taken into account. We are screaming loud and clear ~ NOT IN OUR BACK YARD!

Barbara Smallwood

Naramata resident

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