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

WATCH: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

The fire was reported around 2 a.m. Saturday morning

Rockets drop second straight, conclude 6-game road trip Saturday in Moose Jaw

Kelowna fell short against the Regina Pats 4-3 Friday night

Price for one-bedroom rentals in Kelowna jumped 10.8% from October to November

Out of 34 Canadian cities, report said Kelowna had highest monthly rent increase

Province covers medical costs for Kelowna boy with spinal muscular atrophy

Spinal taps for Rumi Green’s spinal muscular atrophy treatment cost $120,000 each

Warriors look to snap 4 game losing streak in Trail

West Kelowna takes on the Smoke Eaters Friday night

‘Where the miracles live’: Shane Koyczan narrates powerful KGH Foundation video

‘There is more to being alive than just our data plans… there’s our plans’

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Conservation officers on the hunt for North Okanagan moose poachers

Officers execute search warrant Friday morning, investigation continues

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopens after vehicle incident near Boston Bar

Initial reports of a jack-knifed semi truck had closed both directions of the highway

Kootnekoff: Accommodating religious celebrations

Employers must be mindful that not everyone celebrates holidays which are days off

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read