There’s no appetite from District of Summerland council to explore having the community pursue city status.
The idea was put forward by the Summerland Chamber of Commerce in a letter to council, which accepted the note for information only and without discussion at its meeting Monday.
“City classification is seen as an asset in attracting businesses and developing partnerships with groups and individuals who aren’t familiar with British Columbia’s municipal classifications and regional districts,” wrote David Hull, the chamber’s executive director.
“This will support attracting and retaining business and industrial investment and development, and improve the external perception of the municipality.
“Reclassification, combined with a strategic brand development and implementation process, provides an excellent opportunity to support and enhance efforts across municipal operations, tourism, economic development, and engagement across the community.”
Hull claims Summerland doesn’t meet the Local Government Act definition of a city because its population is spread out and therefore not dense enough, but suggested an argument could be presented to the B.C. government to go ahead anyway.
“The argument would be that the urban core of Summerland is quite compact and, as such, ‘city-like,’” Hull wrote.
He also calculated Summerland’s population density at 157 people per hectare, higher than Rossland (63), Salmon Arm (114) and Kimberley (122), all of which are classified as cities.
Mayor Toni Boot said in an email Wednesday council has not provided any direction to staff to pursue the matter further, and doing so would require “budgetary approvals and significant engagement with the community.
“Further, while municipal reclassification is not part of our strategic priorities at this time, the district is looking forward to working with the community and the chamber on various initiatives over the coming years,” Boot added.