LETTER: Not too late to protect the character of Brookswood

With election year coming, a letter writer suggests council be held accountable for re-development.

Dear Editor,

RE: Shared letter to Mayor Froese and Councillors Whitmarsh, Quaale, Fox and Long.

Please find attached photos of a recent clear cut in developed Brookswood on 36th Avenue.

This property sold recently.

I routinely walk this area and paid attention as the existing home came down.

Some of the towering conifers (which were made significant mention of in the OCP documents) were initially snow fenced in, presumably for retention.

As fate always seems to fall, however, in these instances and as the attached photos show, nary a single tree was deemed worthy of saving.

Much was said at the open houses and public hearings along the way to the adopted OCP that predicted such events if measures were not put in place to prevent them.

This is an excerpt from my own presentation at public hearing #1;

· In terms of this proposed OCP, it was ethically and fundamentally wrong to divide the area into developed and undeveloped areas.

Scheming is not the way to build a community.

This approach only builds dis-trust.

Gentrification has already begun in developed Brookswood.

It’s curious that guiding principle #1 states “Maintain existing character of the developed areas,” yet the efficient 2,500-sq.-ft. homes of my generation are being torn down and replaced with monster homes that do not fit in with the homes beside them.

These monster homes see prices of $1.8-million – at the low end.

These monster homes dwarf the ones around them. This is not existing character.

By agreeing to divide Brookswood and Fernridge, you the council are absolving any responsibility to be stewards in maintaining the existing character of developed Brookswood.

The division between developed and undeveloped leaves zero protection for developed Brookswood.

Consider the new proposed Tree Protection Bylaw #5301, which has no inclusion for developed Brookswood.

It is unfair to consider any plan that divides our community.

This approach creates the “haves” and “have nots.”

The interim Tree Protection Bylaw 2014-5080 is the only protection of its kind for all of Brookswood including developed areas.

If the Iinterim bylaw is to be repealed within bylaw 5301, then developed Brookswood needs to be included in bylaw 5301. Bylaw 5301 also needs to be reworked to be in place in perpetuity. There will be no tree protection at all if bylaw 5301 disappears once development is complete.

I wonder if the five of you accept any culpability, responsibility, and blame for clear cut situations such as this that will become commonplace in developed Brookswood.

Your consistent and continual support for each and every development proposal that is presented, certainly calls into question the appropriateness of any of you remaining on council.

You were all entrusted to be stewards for the entire community, not just the development community.

Can any of you honestly look in the mirror, stand in front of your church congregations, engage with concerned residents, and say this is all ok?

I don’t think so.

In an interesting and recent letter to the editor, I read that Councillor Kim Richter was not ready for the mayor’s position. Her leadership was called into question. A well-known fact about leadership is that a true leader admits his/her mistake(s) and works to correct them. Perhaps one, some, all of you possess some leadership?

You need to correct your wrongs and put into motion, measures to protect the “existing character” that was so boldly proclaimed in guiding principle #1.

It’s never too late to do the right thing.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Brian Cameron, Langley

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The standing trees are all down, Cameron said. “Not a single tree remains on this lot,” he said. (Special to the Langley Advance)

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