Following is an open letter to the Mayor and Council of the Township of Langley:
It is with regret that I am resigning forthwith from the Brookswood Neighbourhood Planning Team.
My resignation is in protest against the wanton destruction of the large conifer trees at the corner of 28th Avenue and 204th Street, supposedly to accommodate a future roundabout.
I was led to believe that these trees, surrounded for the last year by protective fencing, would indeed be protected.
In fact, the developer assured the local residents that 23 of the 31 of these offsite trees could be protected.
I knew that Council had already approved clear-cutting the entire 15-acre property.
To its credit, the Township did redesign 204th Street, in large measure to protect some of the offsite trees.
However, today the protective fencing was removed and eight of these very large trees were cut down. Most of them are well beyond the area of any future roundabout.
It pains me to see the result.
If this very first residential development in Brookswood is any indication of how seriously the Township is going to take the protection of trees, then I have little confidence that Brookswood won’t look just like Willoughby.
It feels as though we may just be giving lip service to the protection of trees.
I realize that many existing trees, perhaps most, need to be removed to accommodate development. To say that I am disappointed with the failure to protect these heritage street trees is an understatement.
I don’t wish to be a silent observer to the destruction of our tree canopy. I am therefore resigning from the Planning Team. Hopefully, I can still contribute to the planning process in other ways.
It is my hope that Council will instruct staff to take more seriously the commitment made to the residents of Brookswood that the protection of large conifers will be a priority consideration.
Peter Minten, Brookswood