Letter: Ypres tree removal sad day for environment

The most disheartening aspect to me…is the “rubber stamped” removal of the trees

Ypres tree removal sad day for environment

I read the recent article regarding the significant development slated for Ypres and Brae roads in Duncan.

As a neighbour, suffice to say, that I was shocked by the lack of feedback requested by Duncan city council from anyone before approving this development. Staff say that given that the developer is meeting the zoning requirements the public did not need to be informed. Really, that is transparency at work.

This is especially a concern given that the first meeting on this development in September, 2022 attracted a significant public response.

The most disheartening aspect to me, other than the obvious reasons that were raised at the last meeting, is the “rubber stamped” removal of the trees. From my information and involvement early on only one report was commissioned on the health of the trees. That was done by the developer. Did the municipality commission their own report before making this decision to allow the tree removal? For that matter was anything tendered, other than the one report.

We have a tree protection bylaw in Duncan and there appears to have been no discussion whatsoever on the potential preservation of these trees. By mere observation many of these trees are decades old. They are not unhealthy (especially the cedars), they have just been left uncared for and need to be revitalized. The developer cites “a variety of reasons” why the trees cannot be kept. What are they? Did council even inquire? Why do we have a bylaw?

I think it would be more realistic if council or the developer tried to keep the trees but could not after effort was made….but to just tick the box and allow them to be cut down is truly reprehensible.

The property next door was developed in the ’70s and is aptly named the Cedars as it boasts two full size trees in its entrance…they were kept. Most of the trees are on the property lines of this proposed development including a large cedar in the front only six to eight feet set back. Why can’t they be preserved?

As members of the public you should drive by and look at what your council is approving and take a last look at the trees, trees that we thought, as citizens of Duncan, at least had a fighting chance with a bylaw to protect them. Another sad day for the environment.

Simon Knott



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