A photo from a Facebook page of residents opposed to removing trees on the historic Bose Farm.

Bose Farm development gets nod from Surrey council

More than 200 trees must be removed to make way for homes, park.

More than 200 trees will be cut down as part of a plan to develop the historic Bose Farm property into a residential development.

The 3.69-hectare (9.1-acre) parcel of property at 16420 64 Avenue has been the subject site for a planned residential development for some time.

In July of last year, the developer came before Surrey council with a plan to remove 339 trees in a forested area on the property.

Opposition from the public was swift and loud.

Council sent the plan back for revisions, particularly with an eye to saving more trees.

On March 11, 2013 the proponent came back with a proposal to develop the property (44 single family lots, 249 townhomes, and a park) that would spare 122 of the trees.

Several people came to the meeting to speak against the plan.

One man said that in July 2012, the public had already spoken and wanted all of the trees preserved.

Most others at the meeting also had concerns about the lack of tree retention.

A representative for the developers said the building plan underwent significant changes since last year, with an eye to keeping as many trees as possible.

In passing the third reading unanimously (Couns. Barbara Steele and Tom Gill were absent), council thanked the developer for coming up with a plan that preserves both the heritage on the property as well as the trees.

Avtar Johl, director with Platinum Enterprises which is developing the property, said last year if he could save any trees, he’d be all for it.

“With the road connections to connect the existing roads, it’s proving very difficult,” Johl told The Leader at the time. “There’s a large amount of cut and fill required on this site.”

He said he’d continue working with the city to find solutions for all parties, including the community.

As part of the heritage component on the site, Johl has agreed to preserve the Henry Bose farmhouse, milk cooling shed, and calf barn on the heritage property.

Ron Sousae, who lives directly beside the Bose Farm, is upset more trees couldn’t be saved.

“I’m right on the edge of that forest, and all of our neighbours are pretty much dead set against this,” Sousae said. “We realize we can’t stop the development entirely,” but saving some of the forest for a buffer would have been preferred.

Sousae knows there’s not much they can do except appeal to the developer, and that’s what he and his neighbours plan to do.

They’ve  started a Facebook page called Save the Bose Forest at https://www.facebook.com/#!/SaveTheBoseForest

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