Penticton & South Okanagan News
Strong opposition to land swap
Several hundred people plan to show their opposition on Monday in Summerland to the removal of prime agricultural land from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
The Stop the Swap group, founded by Erin Carlson, will present a petition with over 2600 signatures at the Public Hearing taking place at the Arena Banquet Hall in Summerland, Monday, March 3.
“We are a grassroots campaign of young people doing this for the first time and we have collected over 2,600 signatures, including over 1,200 from Summerlanders” said Carlson.
The subject of the hearing is a new Official Community Plan.
Under the proposal, about 80 hectares of flat, arable farming land would be removed from the ALR for future residential development. About 90 hectares of marginal, hilly land would be swapped into the ALR to compensate, some of which was itself removed from the ALR for a failed residential development in 2005.
Summerland Council has already voted once in favour of the new plan.
The District of Summerland consulted with a total of 1,300 people in its community consultation, which it has claimed was the most successful in Summerland history.
The Stop the Swap group argues that of the 1,300 people consulted a very small number of them actually supported the plan that resulted.
“If you look at the numbers, they drop very quickly” said Alexander Thistlewood, one of the founding members of the group.
“The people were never asked explicitly if they support taking this land out of the ALR” continued Thistlewood. “They are speaking up now. Summerlanders have stood up for agricultural land when it has been threatened many times before and they are doing it once again.”
“We have the support of experts in soil science, modern production practices, global food markets, climate change, and local history” said Carlson. “We hope that Council will listen to everyone who wants to speak out.”
Comments on this story are pre-moderated. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.
Read more Penticton / S. Okanagan News
- Bobbitt hearing continuesPenticton / S. Okanagan - 6:56 pm
- Is your online data safe?Poll - 7:00 pm
- 53 animals seizedBC - 6:17 pm
- Charges in child's sexual assaultBC - 5:46 pm
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
Penticton & Wine Country Chamber
Penticton Discussion Forum
District of Summerland
Summerland Chamber & Tourism
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
Okanagan Regional Library
Township of Hedley