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

CRDDistrict of SaanichWastewater treatment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

Victoria tattoo shops respond to sex assault allegations against male artists

Carne Tattoo and Painted Lotus Studios respond to allegations

Victoria seeks court order to enforce sheltering rules in Beacon Hill Park

People being asked to move out of environmentally sensitive areas of park

Mayor not in favour of low barrier housing at Oak Bay Lodge

Process is already in place to determine future of Oak Bay Lodge

Police watchdog reviewing Victoria police-involved crash

VicPD officer collided with another car in downtown intersection

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read