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LETTER: No rebuttal during Summerland public hearing on housing proposal

Nearby neighbours were unaware of development proposal

Dear Editor:

Regarding the public hearing on March 22, I totally agree with the recent letters from Barry Neary and R. Taylor. This meeting was a farce.

The first part of the hearing was monopolized by Turning Points and the council who had all the time in the world to present their agenda.

When we finally had a turn to speak, only a few people managed to join the Zoom meeting, one of whom was abruptly cut off by the mayor who had a stopwatch. There was no rebuttal or discussion.

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Ann Howard of Turning Points said they had given plenty of notice. Actually, no, the surrounding homes were given a flyer in their mailbox by the construction company. My neighbours across the street knew nothing about this project.

On March 10, the district finally sent out letters, again only to the surrounding homes, not the general public or businesses in the area. The Summerland Review was the only news outlet to publish this story.

After the public hearing, the mayor declared they would accept no further correspondence regarding this matter.

On March 26, I wrote an email to Ann Howard of Turning Points asking her to guarantee in writing that this building would never be used as an emergency shelter for the homeless or drug addicts. She has not answered back.

This building will have 60 units and, yes, they will need at least 120 parking spaces, maybe more. The district is setting up confrontations over parking with residents, businesses and the hockey arena and curling rink. I can’t wait until hockey parents drive four hours to see their kids play, only to find a full parking lot.

We are totally supportive of affordable housing, but done right. That means two or three stories and 20 to 30 units. If it is successful, which I am hoping it will be, we can build other projects all over Summerland.

This project should not be proceeding without adequate consultation.

Steve Collins

Summerland

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