The Capital Regional District plans to cut down up to 50 trees on the eastern side of Saanich’s Grange Road running from the 3800 to 4000 blocks as part of the regional wastewater treatment project. (Google Maps)

Saanich residents want to bring down CRD plans to cut down trees

Grange Road could lose up to 50 trees because of the wastewater treatment plant

A Saanich neighbourhood is rallying against plans by the Capital Regional District to cut down up to 50 trees as part of efforts to improve regional sewage treatment.

Simon McVaugh-Smock, who speaks for a group of some 30 Saanich residents living in the Marigold area, says installation of a pipeline connecting the future wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt with the Hartland Landfill in Saanich will lead to the loss of 30 trees along the eastern side of Grange Road, with 20 more trees in danger. The residual solids conveyance line runs for 19.3 kilometres and carries biosolids for treatment into Class A biosolids.

RELATED: Sewer work will bring disruption to Interurban Rail Trail

McVaugh-Smock said he received confirmation of these plans during a CRD-organized neighbourhood forum last month.

“It’s going to very much change the whole character of neighbourhood,” he said, adding it will also hurt local flora and fauna.

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.

The neighbourhood is currently mobilizing public opposition against the project by reaching out to media and officials including Coun. Ned Taylor. It is not clear when work on the pipeline will begin, he said, adding CRD officials have spoken of a start date between January and March 2019.

RELATED:$765 million McLoughlin plant the final suggestion for sewage treatment

McVaugh-Smock also accused the CRD of trying to keep the information about the project to a minimum.

“There has been no official notice of the plan to neighborhood residents as far as we can tell,” he said. “We suspect that the CRD may have wanted to keep the project low profile in order to stifle opposition until the project was about to begin.”

While McVaugh-Smock said he is not sure on whose land the trees stand, he believes they fall under Saanich’s jurisdiction.

The Saanich News reached out to the municipality for comment and will add it to this story as it becomes available.

The CRD said in a response that it has chosen to run the pipe underneath Grange Road for a number of reasons including minimizing construction impacts such as blasting, the location of existing municipal utilities, and the work’s duration.

“We heard from residents about the work along Grange Road and are reviewing our plans for this section of work to determine if there are any feasible options to minimize the impacts to trees,” it reads.

The CRD statement also says that the project has a commitment to replace every tree cut down with two others in a location to be determined by the municipality.

The CRD added the construction along Grange Road would allow for installation of sidewalk, curb and gutter improvements.

“Replacement of the trees two for one sounds good, but the trees that will be removed are large and mature Garry Oak and Douglas fir, many of which predated the development of our neighborhood,” said McVaugh-Smock. “The replacements will be much smaller and the impact will be tremendous for generations, both for city residents and local wildlife systems. They cannot say that the work will not devastate our neighborhood and its character.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

VicPD catches impaired driver near elementary school

Citizens alerted police to driver near James Bay Community School

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre hosts its first ‘relaxed performance’ for a diverse audience

Performance of Every Brilliant Thing is first to pilot the option

Car crash at Quadra and Finalyson Streets affects Saturday traffic

VicPD and the Victoria Fire Department responded

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Most Read