Letter: Delaying tree protection discussion ‘a poorly thought out plan’

Editor: It was disappointing to see the majority of council support a motion to defer any progress on a tree protection bylaw for Langley Township until 2019.

Definitely expected, definitely predictable, yet most disappointing.

This will no doubt become a focal point in the upcoming civic elections. Shifting the responsibility to any incoming future Mayor and Council is an poorly thought out plan. Delaying tree protection will result in numerous more clear cuts in developed Brookswood and also in other areas of Langley Township.

There have been more than a few examples recently where local developers and land speculators maliciously show a wanton disregard for the existing character of our Township. I don’t think anyone expects mayor and council to zap strap or chain themselves to trees, excavators or property gates. However, you do need at some point to realize and accept the fact that as council for the Township of Langley you carry the obligation to represent all.

The dogged support of Mayor Froese and Couns. Fox, Whitmarsh, Long and Quaale towards the development community, including lack of support for a tree protection bylaw, will hopefully be tempered following this year’s election.

The recent delegations promoting a tree protection bylaw are to be commended for providing insightful, relevant and supportive evidence for such a bylaw.

It’s time to stop putting up roadblocks of being in a “Regulated Community” or of stating that previous councils have “tried and failed.” Where there is a will there is a way.

The position by Mayor Froese that it takes a long time to draft and enact bylaws does not provide support for the deferral faction. To the contrary, this should motivate mayor and council to get to work on this bylaw immediately.

Ah, but there’s still this “where there’s a will there’s a way” issue.

This is the big problem, people. The pro-development faction on council does not appear to have the will or, in fact, any interest in working towards a Township-wide tree protection bylaw.

Once again hopefully this will change post-election. Better yet, reverse this deferral. Start now. You saw fit to reconsider the 2017 Brookswood Fernridge OCP, right? You voted it down initially, right? You flip-flopped and supported it upon reconsideration, right?

Why not do the jobs you were elected to do on behalf of all of Langley Township?

Start with a motion to “begin detailed work on a tree protection bylaw for all areas of Langley Township.”

All areas not in the ALR need to be protected now. Research and find a way to prevent ALR lands from being exploited and clear-cut for uses and plans other than farming. Oh, and by the way, Coun. Fox. Do you honestly think that the electorate of Langley believes that you don’t recall how you voted on an issue as front burner, as contentious, as important as a proposed tree protection bylaw?

Brian Cameron,

Langley

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