Alternate routes being considered for sewage pipe to spare Saanich Garry Oak trees

Alternate routes being considered for sewage pipe to spare Saanich Garry Oak trees

A Garry Oak marked for removal

Alternate routes are now being considered for a sewage pipeline in Saanich, after residents discovered their Garry Oak trees were going to be put on the chopping block.

Those living on Grange Road noticed crews marking them for removal last week. They say 29 trees were going to be cut down, and another 20 would have been severely impacted.

Residents spoke out against the move and held a gathering with around 70-attendees Saturday and invited Saanich officals to come out. Mayor Fred Haynes and seven out of nine councilors showed up.

Councillor and CRD Chair Colin Plant says before they attended they had already asked the sewage project team to look at alternate routes — to which they complied.

“The authority for the permitting to go up and down range was with Saanich staff, we had given the thumbs up to the route, not the specifics,” said Plant.

“It is both on the Saanich front and CRD front that we need to take a look at how we did this and make sure in future we do it a little differently.”

He adds that council was not aware that the proposed route would need to be on the sidewalks and required the trees to be removed.

“I am hoping we have a positive outcome,” added plant.

The new route may go through the centre of the road and only impact a few trees.

The municipality itself has not yet issued the permits for the work and an update from the CRD project board is expected this upcoming week.

READ MORE: Saanich residents shocked to find out 50 trees set chopped down for sewage pipeline

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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