A group planning to develop property adjacent to Burns Bog is forged ahead with public consultation this week.
MK Delta Lands Group is planning a comprehensive development on a 36-hectare (89 acre) parcel of land on the southeast corner of Highway 91 and 72 Avenue.
The development would include urban uses, natural habitats, public open spaces and greenways.
The exact type of development will be determined after the public consultation process.
The area has been a hotbed of environmental protectionism for some time.
Eliza Olson, president of the Burns Bog Conservation Society, said the planned construction will make the conservation area an orphan.
She also believes the rare domed peat bog west of the highway will be damaged from construction on the east.
“Every time you encroach on the edge of the bog, you impact on water mound (of the bog), which reduces its viability,” Olson said. She believes the planned development will lead to the “eventual demise of Burns Bog.”
In 2004, the city, region, province and Ottawa pitched into buy 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of Burns Bog for preservation. The parcel currently being considered for development was not part of that purchase.
A staff report to Delta council refers to a 2000 study indicating the parcel being considered for development isn’t critical for the long-term viability of the bog.
“The 2000 Burns Bog Ecosystem Review concludes that the subject lands were identified as being outside of the Burns Bog water mound and in the Zone 2 of ecological viability which means the area has several attributes supporting, but not required for the viability of Burns Bog,” the staff report states.
The first public meeting was held Tuesday night at Sunshine Hills Elementary School in North Delta.
If Delta council approves the application, it would then have to go to Metro-Vancouver for an amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy.