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About Us



Background:


Task Force members regard our community as a jewel in the Okanagan Valley. Many folk move here due to the ambience of a quiet lakeside village located in wonderful natural surroundings and featuring talented, friendly and caring citizens. While it is recognized that development and population increases and density are inevitable, our membership holds that responsible planning is the key to assuring that growth occurs without destroying the positive qualities we enjoy today. In providing infrastructure improvements to meet increased demand, long range planning is required.

Apparently current plans for highway expansion envisage an increase to four lanes in the current location of the route, which hugs the lake and cuts right through Peachland Both provincial and federal governments are funding existing highway improvements being made between Peachland and Summerland: the latter using dollars specially set-aside for infrastructure improvement programs. This is an indication of the extent to which both senior levels of government regard the importance of this corridor's future.

Increased traffic raises concerns for public safety and community livability standards. Noise levels and local traffic patterns will be affected. From an environmental perspective, the addition in size and types of vehicles rushing through our community will impact air quality. Some parkland and other public spaces will disappear and access to the lake and downtown area will be rendered less convenient. Children attending Peachland Elementary will be required to negotiate a major highway. The current route, which should serve as an important artery to our community, will simply be a freeway through our town. Any decrease in the desirability of local living will result in a stall or reduction in property values.

Studies in other areas which have experienced similar issues with regard to highway construction indicate that the community and its businesses benefit over the long term when a bypass is constructed. Most communities see themselves as destinations as opposed to stops on a highway, and preserving the factors that make Peachland special will better serve the local economy. While most of the studies which have been completed on this topic are from the United States, our fellow British Columbians in towns such as Parksville and Qualicum Beach represent communities which have benefited from bypass construction. Imagine what those communities would be like if the larger Island Highway had been forged through on its original route.

Given the traffic, population, density, safety, economic, environmental, sociaL cultural and aesthetic variables resulting from this needed improvement in Highway 97, the Hwy 97 Task Force will be encouraging our fellow citizens and decision makers to consider altering the path of the highway by forging a bypass around our town.

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