YEAR IN REVIEW: Summerland Chamber asks for city status

Change in designation seen as advantage in attracting investment

The glamour of the city beckoned in September when the Summerland Chamber of Commerce suggested changing Summerland’s classification from a district municipality to a city.

Earlier this year, the chamber’s board of directors unanimously voted to petition municipal council to change the classification.

David Hull, executive director of the Summerland Chamber, said the change would be a strong economic development tool, 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. Outside of the province, a district is often considered a 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.

Summerland has a mix of urban areas and farms within its municipal boundaries, but the urban areas are 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.

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.

Then, 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Vees recognized on and off ice success

The awards were given out following their Saturday night win.

Penticton Vees comeback for overtime win to end regular season

The Vees were down 3-0 to start the third before putting together an epic comeback.

PHOTOS: Celebrating diversity in Penticton

Seventh annual OneWorld Festival celebrates the worlds of different cultures in the South Okanagan.

Keremeos adds additional projects to proposed budget for 2020

Projects include replacing the auger at the wastewater treatment plant and accessibility improvements for the river walk.

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read