Lantzville residents upset heritage tree chopped down for storm drain


The cutting of an old-growth tree along Lantzville’s waterfront for a storm drain has upset a number of neighbours and residents.

The 382-year-old Douglas Fir was cut down on the District of Lantzville property without notice to neighbours, last month.

“Appalled. How anybody even thinks this way is beyond me in this day and age. There’s a lot of awareness now of trees and the importance of trees to the environment,” said Joan Jones, a Lantzville resident.

It turns out the tree was on the District of Lantzville property and it was city staff who authorized it to be chopped down for the building of a storm drain.

Joan Jones knows development is happening but she questions the need for culverts that take stormwater directly to the ocean without treatment.

“Not too cool to do these days. Many communities are trying to find some green solutions to managing their stormwater and Lantzville could’ve found some green solutions as well,” said Jones.

City staff say the new storm drain is replacing one at the end of its life, plus adding capacity for new development, and it’s being paid for by a developer, saving taxpayers money.

It turns out the District of Lantzville doesn’t have a tree protection bylaw.

But now one city councillor is proposing an interim measure until there is one to ensure another heritage tree doesn’t meet the same fate.

“That staff do not remove alter or endanger any tree on district property with a trunk diameter of more than 12 inches without direction from council unless the trees are causing a safety hazard,” said Ian Savage, a Lantzville District Councillor at its council meeting last week.

Savage has also proposed a moratorium on installing drainage works to discharge drainage water onto Lantzville’s foreshore at any new foreshore locations unless approved by Council.

Both motions are on the council’s May 18th agenda. You can find both on the final four pages of the May 4th agenda.

The chopping of the old Douglas Fir once again highlights the tension in the community over how it should develop.

The Clark/Medd development was among the controversial developments in recent years.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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