Association of Citizens for Summerland

Friday, September 09, 2005

Still Waiting for Answers

I am patiently waiting for these questions to be answered. These questions were posed to Mayor and Council first on August 23rd. I again sent these questions on September 8th, but have not yet received an answer.

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

I am again, respectfully asking my well-thought out questions regarding the process planned for the golf-course and residential project. I truly hope you will take the time to answer. These specific questions have not yet been addressed.

***Who decides how to proceed with a development such as this? Does Council or Staff make the decision to pursue one bylaw for all three issues or a separate OCP amendment bylaw, followed by a zoning/neighbourhood plan bylaw?

***Has this decision been made yet?

***How does the acceptance of the Neighbourhood Plan affect this process?

***Can Council now decide to pursue a separate bylaw on the OCP amendments and zoning amendments, allowing full and open dialogue on the intended use of these lands, prior to the neighbourhood plan bylaw?

***Was every member of Council fully aware of the consequences of accepting the neighbourhood plan, in that legal advice dictates there be no more formal, public, discussion on the Golf Course Proposal until the public hearing?

Mr. Mayor says council encourages citizens to participate and to ask well-thought out questions. I am respectfully asking Mayor and each member of Council to take the time to respond to these questions. The process used to deal with this proposal is of utmost importance.

Thank-you for your time,

~~~I'll keep you posted.

1 Comments:

  • The Summerland Corporate Officer responded to my e-mail this afternoon. I still haven't heard back from Council or Mayor, but here is her answer:

    "Council has yet to discuss the process for the Summerland Hills Neighbourhood Plan and bylaw. If you check back in Council minutes, you will see that Council makes the decision on when individual applications are forwarded to a public hearing when Council receives the initial report on an application from staff. During their discussions at that time they will decide what process each bylaw will follow (i.e. separate bylaws, combined bylaws, whether to forward an item to a public hearing, etc.) Staff will be making a recommendation on process based on the completeness of the materials from the developer at the time; the legal process each of the items must follow, statutory requirements for public hearings, etc. We don’t have enough information to make any recommendations to Council on process at this time."

    "Council has NOT ‘…accepted the neighbourhood plan…’. All Council did was receive an application for the OCP (Neighbourhood Plan) and Zoning amendments. The developers could have just submitted these materials over the counter in the Development Services Department but they chose to present them to Council. The neighbourhood plan will address a number of issues and eventually become an OCP amendment bylaw which will go through the normal public hearing process that all land use bylaws are subject to.

    Your statement that ‘…legal advice dictates there be no more discussion on the Golf Course Proposal until the public hearing’ is incorrect. The legal advice you are referring to is that Council cannot accept delegations at Council meetings on proposed land use bylaws outside of the public hearing process. There is nothing to stop discussions with individual Council members, the developer, staff, etc. at this time."

    I have responded to this answer with more detailed questions about timing of the initiation of the public hearings and such. I think this is most important, because it all impacts the public input stage.

    By Blogger Amie, at 10:48 PM  

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