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LETTER: Neighbours opposed to Jubilee Road proposal

Residents near proposed Summerland housing development voice concerns

Dear Editor:

While most Summerland residents are pleased with district’s plan to facilitate affordable housing, there are some concerns with the project’s site by neighbouring communities along Jubilee Road East.

As chair of Silver Birch Place Recreation Committee representing the four three-storey strata buildings of 96 units with about 130 residents across the road from the site, residents’ concerns were surveyed and presented to the district’s hearing on the project’s rezoning.

Of the 70 per cent survey response rate only four per cent approved of the project as is with a further 46 per cent conditionally approving subject to review of proposed five-storey building height to two three-storey buildings to better fit into a neighbourhood of single family homes and three-storey buildings and/or expecting sidewalks to be completed within same timeframe of construction proposed of November 2021 to November 2022.

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A further 48 per cent opposed project largely for same reasons of height and lack of sidewalks for a building being promoted for it’s walkability. Overall 81 per cent opposed the building’s height in our neighbourhood with many on Richards and Purves roads after 30 years now facing five-stories in their backyards affecting property values for loss of views, sunlight and privacy as well as some across the road in Linden Gardens and Silver Birch Place.

Overall, 78 per cent are opposing the project for lack of sidewalks asking why Jubilee may get sidewalks in five years while new Wharton Street apartment building, library and RCMP buildings all got beautiful new sidewalks with their projects. Jubilee only has sidewalks down half of one side of road presently and can be dangerous for speeding vehicles, large transport trucks, arena parking lot activities and vehicles backing out of businesses despite a petition about same to district some 10 years ago.

The original plans for the Wharton Street building and now La Vista expansion were altered or denied for height and/or not fitting into existing communities while Jubilee is being told its five storeys or nothing. I am surprised a $20,000,000 taxpayer-supported project did not include consultation and input from affected neighbourhoods they will live with for next 50 years.

In closing, 70 per cent of our residents support affordable housing but do expect same considerations for quality of life, property values and safety as done for other projects during the next development permit and/or variance meetings of the district.

We do also offer our thanks to district council for all their time and work on Summerland activities as it’s not an easy job and we are all fortunate to live in such a wonderful town.

Barry Neary, chair

Silver Birch Place Recreation Committee

Summerland

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