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Street names debate has Summerside council re-evaluating policy

George Dalton, centre, speaks before Summerside’s Tech Services Committee and other city councillors about the process of naming streets. Dalton would like to see city street names reflect the city’s history and honour distinguished or influential citizens.
George Dalton, centre, speaks before Summerside’s Tech Services Committee and other city councillors about the process of naming streets. Dalton would like to see city street names reflect the city’s history and honour distinguished or influential citizens. - Millicent McKay

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - The naming of city streets sparked a 45-minute debate at a recent Summerside city council meeting, as councillors were confronted with the old process by a resident.

At a recent technical services committee session, councillors were asked to review street name applications by two developers in the area.

One, Putters Street - a new public street off of MacKenzie Drive - and a second private street that was formerly Heritage Trailer park would be turned into Dory View Street if councillors approved the name recommendations.

But Summerside resident George Dalton took offence with the names and said that the process has “gone off the rails.”

The matter should be reviewed so street names honour distinguished or influential people in Summerside’s history, Dalton said.

“For example, Lowell Huestis, because there’s no man who has done so much for this community.”

Dalton, along with several others, was part of a street naming committee the city called upon for recommendations. He said the last time he was contacted about a street name was four years ago.

As per part of the street naming policy, a residential developer can choose a name from an approved list or submit other options for council’s consideration.

In the case of Putters and Dory View streets, both developers declined to use a name provided and chose their own option.

While councillors agreed it would be nice to have street names reflect the city’s history, Coun. Justin Doiron pointed out the city’s subdivision and site development bylaw states: “The names shall be derived based on themes relevant to Summerside’s history or other relevant themes as council may determine.”

In addition, street names are reviewed by emergency response departments to ensure there is no duplication of similarities to others to avoid confusion.

After learning the naming of one street was urgent after city staff had received multiple calls from emergency services, Coun. Barb Ramsay offered a resolution – the approval of the names be moved to the next city council meeting and the policy reviewed at a later time.

Ramsay also pointed out that the street names had some background – Putters because it will be connecting to the golf course in Summerside, and Dory View because a number of dories can be seen in the nearby waters from the location.

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