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

Chilliwack on the map for Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Canadian music legends confirmed for 28th annual music festival

Volunteer spends hundreds of hours restoring piece of railway history

Revelstoke Railway Museum now home to an authentic Kalamazzo No. 2 Section Handcar

Awesome lineup of music this weekend in Revelstoke

See bands and DJs Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Revelstoke RCMP hand out 59 tickets during driving enforcement campaign

Between Jan. 16 and 19 they handed out 21 speeding relative to conditions tickets

Avalanche closure scheduled, more snow on the way

Roads and weather for Revelstoke Jan. 20

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

North Okanagan woman pleas for return of stolen scooter

‘It’s been another kick in the teeth… how do you get ahead and keep your head above water?’

Police search for owner of another icy sailboat on Okanagan Lake

The frozen vessel was spotted near the 800 block of Manhattan Drive in Kelowna

Future of Penticton francophone school secured following funding announcement

$11.5M in funding means École Entre-lacs now independently owned and operated

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

City of Vernon to redirect reclaimed water into Okanagan Lake

MacKay Reservoir nears capacity; city to reflow water into lake near Kin Beach

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Most Read