The municipality of Summerland is exploring the concept of an eco-village development near the community’s solar project. (District of Summerland image)

The municipality of Summerland is exploring the concept of an eco-village development near the community’s solar project. (District of Summerland image)

Summerland still in planning phase of eco-village concept

Details must be worked out before work on proposed project can begin

A proposed eco-village development for the Cartwright Mountain area of Summerland is still in its preliminary stages, according to Summerland’s chief administrative officer.

He said the municipality is in the “strategy planning phase of the concept.” The final decision on the project has not yet been made, and the municipality has not determined how the construction will take place, he added.

“It’s unwise to rush these strategic steps,” he said.

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Statt’s comments come in response to a letter to Summerland council from the Summerland Chamber of Commerce. That letter, sent on behalf of a unanimous decision of the chamber board, urged council to reconsider the level of direct design involvement in the proposed development.

Ron Kubek, president of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, said the municipality should set the parameters for the project, but not act in the role of developers. “Let the private developers do their work,” he said.

The proposed development would be close to the Solar + Battery site on Cartwright Mountain. The proposal calls for 40 to 60 single-family homes in the area, although more units could be built if multi-family buildings are included.

Statt said the houses will be designed as environmentally friendly buildings and will likely have solar panels on their roofs. The houses may also tap into the solar energy project in the area.

The development may also formalize some of the undesignated trails in the area, which may result in a new park designation to protect a large portion of the mountain.

However, there are still many details to address before the project can become a reality. These include providing vehicle access to the neighbourhood, connecting to the municipal sewer system and other issues.

The next steps in the project will 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.

Then, once the details have been addressed, council and staff can look at how the project is to be constructed.

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