LETTER: No reason for council to block tree protection

A letter writer weighs in on council’s Monday night vote on interim tree protection.

Dear mayor and council,

Despite anticipation that mayor and council had the will, it was with disappointment, albeit expected yet again, that I witnessed another similar majority (Froese, Whitmarsh, Quaale, Sparrow) vote against Councillor Arnason’s motion for an interim Tree Bylaw for Langley Township.

Some of the more puzzling commentary came from Councillors Quaale and Sparrow.

Both spoke to this motion being more about prevention of homeowners removing single or a couple of trees for, pools, sheds, swing sets etc. and would do nothing to prevent clear cuts. It would appear that they are both completely out of touch with the intent of this motion or they just aren’t really interested in tree protection measures.

Another mind numbing comment came from Councillor Whitmarsh who opined that “we made a great decision three weeks ago.”

The decision of three weeks ago you refer to Mr. Whitmarsh was to do nothing… other than defer and delay to some future council.

The last few weeks have offered no less than five delegations from industry professionals and area residents. These presentations contained viable, pertinent indisputable information, evidence and science as to why we need a tree bylaw in Langley.

Since the realization that a permanent bylaw will take many months, the simple task for now was to enact temporary measures that will at least to some degree retain the existing character of different areas of Langley Township.

If “maintain existing character” is foreign to any of you, look no further than page 19 of the Brookswood Fernridge Community Plan document. It’s in Guiding Principle #1. Not six, not 12, not 14 but number one.

But why stop there. Look to Guiding Principle #2 and it’s “Protect Natural Environment.”

Now if memory serves; Mayor Froese and Councillors Whitmarsh, Quaale and Sparrow all supported the passing of this Community Plan.

We are faced with the facts that firstly; the evidence presented via the recent delegations would not and could not convince you. Secondly, the emails from concerned residents would not and could not convince you. Thirdly the numerous letters in the local newspapers would not and could not convince you.

It appears nothing would or could convince you to support the need for any tree bylaw now. You seemed only interested in offering unconvincing roadblocks rather than looking for a solution.

We can now only hope that the winds of this November will bring about much needed change to this stale and one sided majority ruling our civic government.

Brian Cameron

Langley

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