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Ladner resident irked by loss of 150-year-old oak tree
A Ladner resident who has long voiced concerns about a new housing development being built across the street from her was saddened this week to watch a large tree in front of the property cut down.
Based on old photographs, B.J. Pumfrey, who lives in the 4300 block of Arthur Drive, estimates the felled tree was a 150-year-old oak.
"This is prime growing season," she said. "It's occupied by a great many birds and squirrels and it's a very old oak tree."
Brian Hart, of Ladner-based Brian G. Hart & Company architecture and planning firm, said it was necessary to cut down the tree for road improvements.
His project, located on the west side of Arthur Drive, includes two single-family lots facing the street with a detached secondary suite, and 10 single-family residential bare land strata lots that will share a common private road.
Delta council gave final approval to rezoning and Official Community Plan amendments in February.
Hart said that after several public presentations of the project, the neighbourhood indicated the "rural road standard" for this stretch of Arthur Drive was a cause of irresponsible and dangerous driving habits.
As such, Hart said the developer agreed to work with the municipality to build better sidewalks, treed boulevards, barrier curbs and a bicycle lane.
"A dedication of land over part of the frontage was required to achieve this new standard. As well the tree impeded the access to the small homes in the western portion of the site," Hart said.
He further noted the tree was located directly under power lines and had been topped by BC Hydro several times. An arborist indicated it was in declining health as a result.
Despite the promise of improved road conditions, Pumfrey is still concerned about the potential impact of the new development on traffic volume and street parking.
"Our street's going to be a nightmare. We're not going to be able to get in and out of our driveway," she said.
Planting new boulevard trees is no replacement for the oak that once stood, she said.
"They can plant all the trees they want and they're never going to be a 150-year-old oak tree in our lifetime."