Association of Citizens for Summerland

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Summerland Hills and the MOA - Answers to Common Questions

Is the Memorandum of Understanding binding on the District of Summerland?
"This Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") is not a contract and is not binding on the District of Summerland (the "District") or 3093467 Nova Scotia ULC ("Brandenburg/Agur"), but reflects the desire and wishes of both parties to study,explore, discuss, negotiate the development of a master planned destination golf resort community in the District of Summerland"

"Brandenburg/Agur and the District, by entering into the MOU, do not intend to exclude consideration of any matter not herein referred to, and fully intends in good faith to diligently proceed to work towards the realization of the Project so long as each remains satisfied of the desirability of the Project."

will the District Pay for Offsite Utility and Roadway Improvements?
"a commitment by the District to use its best efforts and resources to support the contemplated Project in several ways, including; (i) show its intent to participate in funding arrangements for offsite utility and offsite roadway improvements;"

If the Land is Sold to Brandenburg but the Project Does Not proceed, What Happens?
"such agreement may include a requirement that Brandenburg/Agur grant an option to the District to repurchase the District Land for the same purchase price should Brandenburg/Agur fail to proceed with the Project within 120 months"

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Full House at All Candidates Meeting

The all candidates meeting was open to all, a great success, and enlightening for the capacity crowd. Moderator Peter Schierbeck was superb. Many written questions were submitted by the audience. They have been forwarded to all candidates. When we get answers they will be posted.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ALC to Release Land

Reliable sources say that the ALC has decided to approve Council's application for the removal of over 320 acres in North Prairie Valley (Area 11) from the Agricultural Land Reserve, despite all the solid arguments against this application. The fact that this land is earmarked for development in our Official Community Plan seems to have been the clincher. Apparently the ALC is waiting for a suitable time to release the news.
Even though the land will not be in the ALR, that does not mean it cannot be used for agriculture and agro-tourism and must be used for housing.
The big question now is whether the new Council elected on 19th November will deal solely with Summerland Hills and continue to exclude all other interested parties, or will it invite competitive bids for this land through an open tendering process?
Will the multi-faceted agricultural, winery, visitor centre and agro-tourism proposal for "Area 11" which is now before Council be given an opportunity to compete and bid for this land?
Will cost/benefit/risk analyses be done on the new proposal and on the Summerland Hills subdivision proposal (and any others yet to be received) for this parcel of land, to determine which is best for Summerland?

Friday, October 21, 2005

All Candidates Meeting - Wednesday 26th at 7:00 pm

Be sure to attend the All Candidates Forum. The issues for Summerland this election are huge.
Controlled growth or rapid growth?
Continue to emphasise physical growth, or focus instead on development providing economic growth with less physical growth?
Fiscal responsibility and due diligence? - or build first, calculate the total costs to the community later?
Pay due regard to input from the public or disregard it?
Keep Development Cost Charges low to compete for developers, or raise them to cover the true costs to the community (short and long term) resulting from development?
Sort out the water supply, dump relocation, road widening and other problems and costs first - or start developing North Prairie Valley right away?


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Naramata Citizens Association Message.

The Naramata Citizens Association is having a panel discussion tomorrow evening in the Naramata Community Church hall on the environmental protection measures proposed in the revised Area E (Naramata) official community plan and zoning bylaws. They have a panel of speakers including Monty Horton a planner from the RDOS and Lora Neild from the MOE. All ASC members are invited to attend.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Exciting Proposal for "Area 11"

At the ALC hearing on Wednesday I referred to an offer made to the Municipality some time ago for the 152 hectares of ALR land in N. Prairie Valley. I will provide more information when I have obtained the approval of the investment group to release it, but I can tell you now this is a very innovative proposal from serious investors with a proven track record and strong credentials. At least one of the principals has been involved in agriculture and agribusiness development projects in over 50 countries worldwide. The group offers to pay fair market value and to match or exceed the price offered by Summerland Hills.
The proponents say the development will include a diverse array of crops and livestock opportunities. This is a large, integrated project, apparently making use of all of the land with agricultural potential - and yes, exactly as the professionals (Peter Waterman and Gary Strachan) stated, some of the class 6 and 7 land is suitable for grapes due to the special climatic conditions on that particular property.
The project would include cherry production, a goat meat and dairy operation, a vineyard and winery, cheese manufacturing, a visitors centre and restaurant, and agro-tourism initiatives (more on this later).
This appears to be a very serious offer from a group which blends local and international agricultural experience. It could be a wonderful opportunity for Summerland.
Experts including Peter Waterman months ago provided detailed analysis proving that "Area 11" had considerable agricultural and economic potential. Why did our Agricultural Advisory Committee recommend the removal of these lands from the ALR?
Our Mayor and Council have been very proactive in supporting the Summerland Hills Group, jointly engaging consultants to push through the ALR removal process. This effectively precluded any other parties from proposing alternatives.
Let us hope that Council and staff are not so fixated on having a giant subdivision built on this agricultural land that they ignore this opportunity.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


It appears the Summerland Hills Golf and Residential Development proponants are gathering forces for the upcoming ALC Public Hearing. They will be hosting a "pre-hearing" reception at their Main Street headquarters at 5:00pm the evening of the 12th.

As quoted from their invitation for support~

"Help is Needed.
Please bring a friend with you and join us for plenty of food and refreshments. As well, brief remarks will be made from the Summerland Hills Golf Resort team. Thereafter, we will head over to Center Stage Theater to insure seating for our supporters."

I am sorry to inform those opposing the removal of this ALR land, that the Association of Citizens for Summerland has neither the venue or the funds to host a reception complete with refreshments. However, let me assure you that it is critical that there be a huge show of support for the PRESERVATION of this ALR Land. Contrary to what has been reported regarding this ALR parcel, Paul Christie, contracted agrologist, refuted the remark by the application agent that this land is practically non-aerable or un-usable. He reiterated at the first ALC hearing that nearly 30% of this parcel is considered aerable, meaning Classes 1-4. He reported it may be especially suited to the growing of certain grape varieties, having the benefit of a south facing slope. I know this because I was there.

The ALC has responed to our request for the community to give further input. We absolutely have to show up.

Date and Time details:

7:00 pm (show up early!)
Centre Stage Theatre