Summerland Chamber asks for city name

Change in designation seen as advantage in attracting investment

While residents of Summerland sometimes describe the community as having small-town charm, the Summerland Chamber of Commerce is asking for city designation.

At present, Summerland is classified as a district municipality, but at a recent chamber of commerce meeting, the board of directors voted unanimously to petition municipal council to change the classification.

David Hull, executive director of the Summerland Chamber, said the change in classification would be a strong economic development tool for the community, especially in attracting international investment.

“A city designation would sound a little more progressive,” he said. “You’re playing in the bigger leagues when you’re a city.”

He added that the term “district” as a community designation is used in British Columbia but nowhere else in North America. Elsewhere, a district is part of a larger community.

READ ALSO: Summerland chamber director objects to ‘Smokanagan’ moniker

READ ALSO: Summerland Chamber letter raises concerns about proportional representation referendum

British Columbia has four classifications used when incorporating a municipality. A village has a population of up to 2,500 people. A town has between 2,500 and 5,000 people. A city has a population of more than 5,000.

A district municipality is based on a population density of fewer than 500 people per square kilometre.

In the 2016 census, Summerland had a population of 11,615 and a population density of 156.8 people per square kilometre.

While Summerland’s population density is far lower than the threshold, Hull said there are plenty of B.C. cities which have lower densities than 500 per square kilometre.

Abbotsford’s population density is 377 per square kilometre. Chilliwack has 321 people per square kilometre. Revelstoke has a density of 183 people per square kilometre. Salmon Arm has 114 people per square kilometre. Kimberley’s population density is 122 people per square kilometre and Rossland’s population density is 63 people per square kilometre.

Summerland has a mix of urban areas and farms within its municipal boundaries. However, the urban areas are quite compact and densely populated, Hull said.

“The urban core of Summerland is quite compact and as such, ‘city like’,” he said in a report to the chamber board.

He said changing the community’s designation would not alter the quality of life.

In order to reclassify Summerland as a city, public support would be required, either through a referendum or the alternate approval process.

The estimated cost of a referendum is between $65,000 and $75,000, while the alternate approval process would cost an estimated $5,000, he said.

Once public support has been received, a council resolution would be required.

Following this resolution, municipal staff would work with the province to change Summerland’s designation.

He estimates the process would take two years to complete.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Festival of all things spicy kicks off Friday

Organizers say Sizzle keeps getting bigger and bigger

RDOS board remuneration, expenses come to $500,000

Costs presented in Statement of Financial Information

LocoLanding flowers brighten seniors’ day in Penticton

The many flowers that bloom in LocoLanding during the summer brighten the day for seniors

Affordable housing project in Okanagan Falls ready for tenants

South Skaha Place now accepting applications for affordable housing units

‘It’s almost surreal’: Penticton fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Swedish rock band Ghost bringing full-scale performance to South Okanagan

The Swedish rock band’s Ultimate Tour Named Death arrives Sept. 21

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Most Read