Q8: 20 Questions for Langley Township Council candidates

Jack Froese (for MAYOR) – No. 75% of the township is in the ALR and the Right to Farm Act would not allow for such a bylaw.

Rick Green (for MAYOR) – We have to be very careful when we impose a by-law of this nature. Does this include agricultural land? Would it negatively affect a private property owners ability to use his land for an agricultural use. I believe a public process should be established to hear from residents, urban and rural. Community, ALL communities should be represented for input into this issue. 

 

Petrina Arnason – YES. I believe that a robust and comprehensive “Tree Protection Bylaw” should be applied to entire Township and that any pre-development activities that would allow clear-cutting or other excessive and deleterious tree removal prior to receiving a development permit should be included in the Bylaw.

David Davis – No. However, I do on an interim basis where there is no OCP protection, such as in Brookswood and Fernridge.

Charlie Fox – No, we have a Tree Protection Bylaw and that has worked well for years. With 75% of the Township in the ALR we have no control of that. With a Tree Cutting Bylaw in Brookswood we have taken care of another percentage of the Township so I feel we have the issue under control.

Clint Lee – Yes, it doesn’t make sense that we do not have a tree bylaw when other municipalities have protected these community assets.

Bob Long – No – the make up of the Township with the majority of the lands within the ALR makes is far to complicated to apply Township wide.

Jackie Mandzak – Yes. In keeping with current environmental protection and preservation protocols, the Township should create a bylaw that protects the natural assets that we have.  This bylaw should be created with input for both environmental partners and Township residents to ensure that it meets the needs of both tree protection and has a reasonable threshold for property owners.  At this time we are one of the only communities in the Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley that does not have such a bylaw. I support a tree bylaw in order to do our due diligence for future generations.

Kevin Mitchell – NO. Trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.  If the owner chooses to remove any or all of the trees for  safety or other reasons, they will still be responsible if their actions affect the integrity of the underlying soil. If a landslide or similar event occurred, the landowner would be charged by the affected parties and likely be found responsible for any damages.

Scott Nichols – Yes. But it must be consistent and adequately enforced.  I am most concerned with clear cutting. The beauty, uniqueness and charm of the township must be balanced with development.  In addition, regulations and policies should be considered that allow private landowners to do what they want with respect to any tree they plant and retain on the property while they own it.  Individual rights and freedoms must be balanced with the collective good of township residents. 

Kim Richter – YES. We have significant stands of trees throughout the Township that need to be protected. We cannot protect trees on ALR lands because of the provincial Right-to-Farm legislation. ALR lands represent 78% of the total land mass in the Township. So if we don’t protect trees on the 22% of the land mass where we can protect them, then (worst case scenario) we may have a future Langley with no trees other than the spindly street trees in new developments.

Michelle Sparrow – Yes. I think trees as well as the environment should be addressed in all OCP’s across our community. The specifics of such would have to be determined but I do feel it should be represented in our community plans.

Grant Ward – No. Our land owners have managed their property very well in all parts of the Township, including Brookswood/Fernridge, and they will continue to do so.  In those areas of development, the Township requires many more additional trees to be planted than the number cut down ensuring a positive growth rate of trees in the long term.

Blair Whitmarsh – Yes – but only if there must be a tree bylaw. 

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