Aug 11, 2021
Summerland Votes Unanimously to Proceed with Further Exploration of Eco-village Development
At the August 9, 2021 Regular Council Meeting, Council voted unanimously to add the eco-village project to their strategic priorities which will see the creation of a detailed development concept, expected to be completed by December of 2021. “On behalf of Council, I am pleased to announce the addition of the eco-village project to our list of strategic priority projects,” said Mayor Toni Boot. “The development of an eco-village in the immediate vicinity of our Solar + Battery site complements our current priorities of Infrastructure Investment, Active Lifestyles, Alternative Energy and further confirms our commitment to sustainable and resilient development practices.”
The concept envisions the creation of an environmentally-sensitive residential development in a small southern portion of Cartwright Mountain, within the existing Urban Growth Boundary. Initial environmental surveys, consideration of fire hazards, recreational uses in the area, and adjacent landowner interests were explored in the preliminary consideration of the location. The sustainability-focused residential development proposes new homes to be built to a high environmental standard using alternative energy sources aiding in both climate resiliency and greenhouse gas mitigation. “Summerland is moving forward in a sustainable direction” said Councillor Tim Lezard of the Penticton Indian Band. “The concept for the Eco-village aligns with the need to protect, preserve and enhance human interaction with nature, this is not a new idea and has been practiced by the Okanagan people for generations. This brings the way of living full circle and will pave the way for future generations.”
Further to the development of residential homes, the project could help support the creation of a sanitary main extension through the District’s land to the adjacent neighbourhoods of Deer Ridge and Sunset Place, alleviating further environmental issues with private septic systems in that area. Formalization of the currently undesignated recreation trail system located in the area is also contemplated, which may result in a new park designation that will protect a large portion of the mountain in perpetuity, should the project ultimately go forward.
“As representatives of the Test of Humanity trail users, we are pleased to support the proposed eco-village project. We feel the protected area will ensure continued trail access for hikers and bikers,” said Nic and Shei Seaton. “The incorporation of a designated parking area will alleviate congestion on Morrow Avenue and create more opportunities for trail users. We are also excited about the potential for building a bike park in the future to help promote cycling for young riders.”
Next steps include the release of a Request for Proposals for the Eco-Village Development concept, engagement with the community, and further environmental and engineering evaluation to refine the design.