Grange Road residents organize to save their trees

Residents of a tree-lined Saanich road are calling on Saanich Council to help them in their fight to protect mature trees, forming a canopy over the neighbourhood.

Part of the CRD's sewage conveyance line was slated to go under the middle of the roadbed on Grange Road -- and local resident and former MLA David Cubberly says residents have no problem with that.

But now they are learning the plan has changed and the line is to go under the exisiting sidewalk -- requiring the removal of valued trees -- including mature Garry Oaks as early as January:

"We as residents had heard that they wanted to bury the conveyance line under the sidewalk, the existing asphalt sidewalk.  And in order to do that they would have to cut down 30 trees right away, 30 mature trees that form part of the canopy.  And that they would endanger another 20 by doing what they were proposing to do."

Cubberly says many of the trees predate the establishment of the subdivision back in 1913, and have grown to create a canopy over the road which residents value.

The CRD argues moving the pipe under the side of the road will result in upgraded sidewalks and curbs to benefit the neighbourhood. But Cubberly says he suspects it's a cheaper more convenient route for the pipe.

He also says removing the trees would be a violation of the local area plan:

"The local area plan, which is a contract between the residents and the municipality of  Saanich, says protect the rural environment or the rural feeling of Grange Rd., protect the trees, and do not change the street scape. And that's the exact language and direction given to Saanich staff. "

Cubberly says Saanich council will be reminded of their committment to protect Grange Road.

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