The municipality of Summerland is exploring the concept of an eco-village development near the community’s solar project. (District of Summerland image)

The municipality of Summerland is exploring the concept of an eco-village development near the community’s solar project. (District of Summerland image)

Chamber wants private developers to build Summerland eco-village project

Ron Kubek recommends private sector should plan, design, build and market proposed homes

The Summerland Chamber of Commerce is asking municipal council to leave the construction of the proposed eco-village development to private developers.

The development, proposed for the Cartwright Mountain area, would be close to the Solar + Battery site. The preliminary plan calls for 40 to 60 single-family homes in the area, although more homes could be built if multi-family buildings are constructed.

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Graham Statt, Summerland’s chief administrative officer, said the houses will be designed as environmentally friendly buildings and will likely have solar panels on their roofs. The houses may also tap into the solar energy project in the area.

However, in a letter to Summerland council, Ron Kubek, president of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, said council should reconsider the level of direct design involvement in this development. The letter was sent on behalf of a unanimous decision of the chamber board.

Kubek said the work should be done by the private sector rather than by municipal staff.

“While the chamber supports well-planned and well-constructed housing throughout the district, we believe that all development should be financed, designed and built and marketed by the private sector, not by local government,” the Oct. 19 letter states.

Kubek said the municipality should set the parameters for the project, but not act in the role of developers. “Let the private developers do their work,” he said.

The eco-village plan has been considered since at least the summer of 2020. In August 2021, Summerland council unanimously voted to add the project to the municipality’s priorities.

“Summerland is moving forward in a sustainable direction,” Coun. Tim Lezard of the Penticton Indian Band said in August. “The concept for the eco-village aligns with the need to protect, preserve and enhance human interaction with nature.”

An oversight committee to guide the work of this development was formed in spring.

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