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Letter: Vital to protect trees from development

I write with worry about potential tree loss of some of the city’s oldest trees

Vital to protect trees from development

Dear Duncan mayor and council:

I write with worry about potential tree loss of some of the city’s oldest trees on Brae Road in the face of a large residential project proposed for the 365 Ypres St. address.

In the near past, council sadly allowed a project to be erected on the former parking lot of the union hall on Brae. That project spelled the tragic, unnecessary loss of what were arguably Duncan oldest trees (cedars) at that time.

I am now urging council to work with the Ypres Street developer to keep all trees on its site and not simply allow their loss for parking — to wit, trees not cars.

I have similar issues with urban-tree loss concerning a project planned for 107 Evans St., plus the imposing 488 Garden St. project that is now underway.

I realize Duncan — seen as Cowichan’s core city — thankfully has a cogent tree bylaw and urge council to insist developers follow tree replanting as stipulated in that document.

Needless to say, developers cannot buy 80-year-old replacement trees at Dinter Nursery.

As per the city’s current official community plan and its draft OCP, I urge council to stipulate green-building character design befitting our pedestrian goals, tree canopies, and aesthetic values as explained in the city’s prescient Plan Of Action 2000.

Finally, I again implore council to have developers install street-level art in these three projects, and future developments, as set out in Duncan’s forward-thinking public arts guidelines.

Yours in smart growth and green design,

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan

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