Banks vote set for Tue.

Chelsea Powrie

UPDATE 10:00 p.m.

Summerland council will hold its final vote on the controversial Banks Crescent development Tuesday night.

Mayor Peter Waterman made the announcement at the conclusion of Monday evening’s public hearing in the arena banquet room.

More than 80 people stood during a pair of three hour sessions Monday to speak their mind on the proposed seniors resort.

“I really have to applaud the public,” Waterman said. “The public listened to what we had to say about how we wanted to run the meeting, and they were respectful of us.”

The mayor pushed back against some project opponents that attacked council for not killing the development earlier in the process.

“This is the process. This is public engagement, what we did here tonight, is a major portion of the public engagement — hearing from the public, on a particular issue.”

“We’ve heard a lot of people’s opinions,” he added.

Throughout the evening session, a parade of residents stood to speak opposed to the project based on concerns around traffic, its impact on the hatchery and sheer size of the development.

Supporters of the development, most from outside the community, spoke about the dire need for seniors housing in Summerland.

Council’s final vote on the project will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the arena banquet room.

ORIGINAL 5:30 p.m.

The proposed Banks Crescent development, a 424-unit senior community that has been stirring controversy in Summerland for over a year, got a public hearing in front of the district's mayor and council Monday.

Members of the community both for and against the Lark Group development filled the Summerland Arena banquet room to capacity at 270 attendees.

Lark Group senior vice president Kirk Fisher was also present, assuring council that he believes the Banks Crescent development would be great for the economy and safe for the environment. 

"We have wonderful engineers that were hired to ensure the stability of the project," Fisher said.

One of the main concerns about the project has been if construction would affect the Summerland Trout Hatchery's water supply, and some at the meeting voiced those worries.

"We've been fighting this fight against the developer for 18 months or more, living and breathing it," said resident Donna Wahl, who was handing out bright yellow "vote no" signs. "To put our hatchery at risk, people's lives at risk, so wrong."

The first round of the hearing, which lasted from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, saw over 40 people rise to take their five minutes to address council, and a second round is planned for Monday evening 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Castanet will update this story with more from the evening session.

Council will make their final decision on the project in the weeks after the hearing.

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