Stop the Swap
LAND SWAP TO COME BEFORE ALC FOR FINAL DECISION
Summerland, BC -- In front of a packed Council Chamber, Summerland Mayor and Council made its final vote in favour of the controversial land swap proposal that would remove over 80 hectares of some of the town’s best farming land from the Agricultural Land Reserve Monday night.
The swap is part of the District of Summerland’s proposed new Urban Growth Plan. Under the plan, just over 80 hectares of prime flat, arable farmland would be removed from the ALR to be replaced by just over 90 hectares of much lower quality, hilly land.
Councillor Peter Waterman was the only one to vote against the plan.
By any measure, the Summerland community has shown overwhelming opposition to the land swap. At the public hearing held last Tuesday, 22 April, 38 of 39 speakers spoke against the proposal. To date over 3,000 people, including over 1,500 Summerlanders, have signed a petition against the swap.
The petition was organized by the grassroots group Stop the Swap, formed in December 2013 by Erin Carlson.
“Unfortunately, Council chose not to listen to us” said Carlson. “Thankfully, we have a Land Commission entrusted to make the right decision for agriculture. The facts are on our side. This is a bad deal for farmland and we are confident the Land Commission will make the right decision for agriculture.”
Over sixty members of the public filled the Chamber to standing room only.
Should the ALC rule in favour of the bylaw, it will come before Council one more time for final adoption.