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LETTER: Don’t sacrifice trees to development

I completely agree and support Coun. Scott Garnett in his genuine concern for trees in our community.

We have been told for years now that if there are trees growing in the footprint of the new build then they can be taken down. But now the developer wants town boulevard and private property trees to be removed as well. So what happened to officially change this? We in Sidney already have the lowest tree canopy coverage of 15 per cent compared to most other municipalities.

If you have noticed the two trees that developers are required to plant for each one removed, you will see deciduous trees, looking like sticks, here and there in the town, or if there is some green space left after construction they are planted on the property. They can also pay the town instead. These trees do not replace the healthy, mature trees that still survive in our town.

Everyone knows that trees absorb pollution, mitigate temperature, absorb run-off and provide homes for birds and other wildlife, not to mention their beauty. Demands by residents who fear that a healthy tree may fall on their home merely don’t want the tree in their yard. So it is deemed dangerous or if the developer, in this case, hires an arborist, it can be deemed dangerous or diseased and should come down. This is not right.

If staff and council really want our town to be a cement city they will support developers who request the cutting down of any tree in the vicinity of their construction site, with permission from the town. A shameful situation.

The draft OCP states “a tree retention plan” should be submitted. The root system is part of the tree in case it isn”t known.

Lynda Comber

Sidney