LETTERS: Some trees more equal

Editor:

Re: Policy has more bite than bark, May 20 letters.

Editor:

Re: Policy has more bite than bark, May 20 letters.

Time to take a stand on trees indeed!

I am referring to the absurd story of the McNamaras and their huge, old but pretty cherry tree that they wanted to remove.

With all respect to any and all of us who appreciate the many lovely, huge trees of different varieties the area boasts, the extreme stand by city hall on the removal of some trees owned by private citizens versus the lackadaisical stand towards developers who bring in a lot of money but are destroying all too many neighbourhoods with their clearcutting, has turned the whole save-all-trees stand into a bad joke.

Daily, we can feast our eyes on properties up for sale, soon sold, the old house bulldozed down and the once treed property now devoid of any trees, large or small, old or not.

Developers must pay dearly to be allowed to wipe out hundreds of years of trees destroyed for the privilege of yet another ostentatious palace, frequently occupied for a few months per year by foreign owners, but money is all that seems to count, and city hall couldn’t care less about such unnecessary devastation, obviously.

And yet, to charge the McNamara family $500 for a tree removal permit, then $15,000, even in trust, for five new trees each four meters in height to be planted on a small lot is so absurdly ridiculous and unfair, that it’s time to stand up and call a spade a spade!

It is discrimination, not only of the trees – trees owned by developers may be killed, trees owned by homeowners may not – but of the people who should have the right to remove trees that have grown out of proportion to the size of the yard.

Obviously developers with their cheap and ugly or outrageously nouveau riche housing projects get away with tree-murder while home owners pay through the nose to remove a single tree which is taking away the enjoyment of a small yard.

Raccoons, squirrels and all sorts of other animals wanting to use and live in trees have many opportunities in South Surrey to do so, but small children and pets should have the right to be safe in their own little yard in a neighbourhood of humans as well.

I suggest the city forces all the developers to plant 14-metre high trees on properties with residences higher than seven metres after all the clearcutting, so as to put nature back in balance and invite back the critters who used to live there.

As for the McNamaras, welcome to a city where council has become the enemy of regular homeowners who just want to enjoy and take pride in their properties.

We should love the many trees in this area, but it’s time to be reasonable and fair and stop being so ridiculous!

M. Keij, Surrey

• • •

Does White Rock have one rule for residents and another for contractors?

After the disturbing report of the city’s requirements concerning a resident wanting to remove a cherry tree from her small yard, I was totally shocked elsewhere in the city by the removal of several fir trees along the property line, not interfering with the construction area.

The most upsetting was the removal of a beautiful silver birch at least 60 feet high with a base of 24 inches diameter, again not in the way of construction as it was against the neighbour’s property and at the front of the property.

If this contractor has to plant replacement trees as requested of the homeowner, he would have a mini forest on his site, but I think he will accept the fines as part of doing business in this money-grabbing city.

Stephen McKeever, White Rock

 

 

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