Trees fall in Gloucester


An industrial lot had all its trees cut down in violation of a restrictive covenant, Langley Township council learned Monday night.

At the last council meeting before the Nov. 15 election, the council was asked to approve a development permit for a lot on 272nd Street in the Gloucester industrial district.

The proposal for an 8,000 square foot complex of two buildings has been delayed after council asked staff to sort through the issue of the missing trees.

Linda and Ted Lightfoot, who live across the street from the site, said they had some concerns about general development in the area, as well as about water management.

Linda mentioned that the site had been levelled and every tree cut down, despite a restrictive covenant banning any tree cutting until council had approved a development permit.

Dave Gormley, vice president of land development for Beedie Industrial, admitted that there had been a miscommunication in Beedie’s office.

He had been aware of the covenant, but construction crews on the ground were not, he said.

“I learned of it after the fact, unfortunately,” Gormley said.

The council debated what, if anything, should be done about the breach of the covenant.

“I’m really disappointed that this happened,” said Councillor Kim Richter.

She wanted to know if there would be a penalty for violating the covenant.

According to Township manager Mark Bakken, there is a process to follow when a covenant is violated. It can lead to penalties, or it might go to the civil court system.

Going to the courts could use up a lot of time and resources, worried Coun. Charlie Fox.

In favour of not penalizing the developer was Coun. Grant Ward, who said Gormley admitted his mistake and noted that the land was already zoned for industrial use and would be creating jobs if developed.

“I’m hearing here that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission,” said Coun. David Davis.

Also in favour of looking into the matter further was Coun. Michelle Sparrow. She worried if nothing was done, it would set a precedent and others would not take restrictive covenants seriously. Sparrow also noted that the council could have chosen to retain some of the trees – a number of them were along the property line.

After a series of motions, ultimately the council voted five to four to refer the matter back to Township staff to discuss the matter with Beedie. It is possible there could be some compensation or mitigation without going through the court system.

Richter, Davis, Sparrow, and councillors Charlie Fox and Steve Ferguson voted for the referral.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

LETTER: Medical care in Langley and beyond deplorable

The shortage of family doctors shouldn’t exist. Who’s really to blame?

LETTER: Langley has water in its chemical supply

A homeless man in Langley questions what’s being put into the public drinking water.

LETTER: Langley needs to find balance between construction and destruction

One letter writer calls for review of Murrayville development, saying trees need to be preserved.

Langley netminder makes ‘unbelievable’ saves in draw against Seattle

Trinity Western University women’s soccer team battled to a 0-0 draw to Seattle, while boys fell 2-0.

VIDEO: Mustang Roundup in Langley attracts car lovers from all over

A car show dedicated entirely to one model of Ford drew admirers and collectors to George Preston Recreation Centre.

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read