Former MLA and Saanich councillor David Cubberley addresses a group of Marigold residents as Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes listens Saturday. Residents are opposed to the loss of up to 50 trees on Grange Road because of efforts to improve regional sewage. Submitted.

Grange Road residents optimistic CRD will change pipeline plans

Marigold residents are concerned about the loss of up to 50 trees

Residents of a Saanich neighbourhood concerned about the loss of trees in connection with regional sewage will remain “vigilant” after hearing from local officials, says a spokesperson.

“I’m not going to be satisfied until this project is done and the trees are still here,” said Simon McVaugh-Smock, who speaks for residents in the Marigold area concerned about plans by the Capital Regional District to run sections of pipeline through the area. Plans call for a pipeline almost 20 kilometres long connecting the future wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt with the Hartland Landfill in Saanich to carry residual biosolids.

The group appears especially concerned about the potential loss of some 50 trees including a Douglas Fir said to be 250 years old along a stretch of Grange Road.

According to McVaugh-Smock, 80 per cent of the trees are endangered Garry oaks, with the remaining ones large, old Douglas firs. Local animals including owls also depend on the trees for habitat and survival, he said.

Area residents met Saturday morning with seven out of nine Saanich councillors including Mayor Fred Haynes and Coun. Colin Plant, chair of the CRD, to discuss the project. Also present was former Saanich councillor and MLA David Cubberley.

McVaugh-Smock said officials were open to their concerns and promised to look into alternatives, adding that residents could learn more about these alternatives as early as the middle of this week.

But McVaugh-Smock is not necessarily counting on success yet — he was signing up more residents in the fight against the project after Saturday’s meeting.

CRD officials, who have spoken of a start date between January and March 2019, told the public last week that they are reviewing plans for this section of work to determine the existence of feasible options to minimize the impacts to trees.


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