LETTER: Land is first component in affordable housing

Review of Summerland’s Official Community Plan badly needed.

Dear Editor:

We own a significant amount of raw land.

We have a significant lack of affordable housing. Land is the first component in housing.

Since 1996 we have had a plan to use some of our raw land for future growth.

One of these parcels is on the south end of Cartwright Mountain. It is land that has been used in the past for public works storage and is no longer in a natural state.

READ MORE: Development proposed for Banks Crescent

READ MORE: Summerland church’s housing proposal passes third reading

In late 2014 a proposal was sent to council offering two different options for housing to activate their thinking caps and try to encourage some thought for affordable housing.

It’s been an easy location to project other community uses for like a college site.

But it’s a natural for affordable housing and alas its the only large area left with that potential.

In 2015 our council reduced the future growth area by 50 per cent.

They removed the community owned North Prairie Valley lands which had provided a significant relief valve for pressure to use ALR lands for housing.

Unfortunately they did this without adequate public consultation and then suggested that an Official Community Plan review was in order. That hasn’t happened and now our OCP is over 10 years old and in a mess.

Making major decisions on community assets without thoughtful discussion makes for poor decisions.

Lorraine Bennest

Summerland

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