LETTER: Beware of using trees as political footballs in Langley

Writer balks at idea of a tree registry, and other efforts to create unsustainable bureaucracy.

Dear Editor,

Re: Brian Cameron’s letter [No reason for council to block tree protection, April 10 online letter, Langley Advance]

Cameron’s letter appears like bitter political campaign rhetoric, since he twice names and bashes the councillors who his side disagrees with.

Sounds like the strategy in the Kim Richter, [Petrina] Arnason, [David] Davis clique is to garner green votes, ride the environmental platform while pretending to be fiscally responsible in holding the line on spending.

In Charlie Fox’s council meeting absence, Councillor Arnason tried to recycle an old repealed temporary tree bylaw specifically tailored for Brookswood-Fernridge on the entire Township, without any public consultation or input.

But, it didn’t work.

MEETING COVERAGE: No to temporary tree protection in Langley Township

In spite of this election year (silly season) there were still enough reasonable people on council to muster a tie vote, which defeated the motion.

Apparently Coun. Bob Long thinks it’s a good game to hug the trees, too, as he suggested to basically copy and paste an adjacent municipality’s tree bylaw on the Township.

Just because another municipality has a bad punitive bylaw, doesn’t mean we have to copy it.

Does Coun. Davis figure he’s safe to impose tree bylaws on others? (It won’t affect him, as he is exempt in the ALR zone).

Cost-benefit-analysis for aTownship of Langley wide tree bylaw… Here is the other side of the story from a taxpayer cost-benefit-analysis angle.

Most people who want punishing tree bylaws for others are those who don’t have private property trees to take care of and the heavy expense associated.

Ask yourself…’Where is the need for more oppressive government control now?

It appears this hyped creation of massive tree removal is emanating mostly from Willoughby development, which is in high-density transition.

In new developments, there has been as many new planted trees as space will accommodate.

In the 45 years we have lived in Langley Township, I don’t see a concerning loss of trees.

A few isolated incidents do not a crisis make.

I don’t see a problem in Aldergrove, Fort Langley, Walnut Grove, Murrayville, Brookswood, and places in between. (ALR farmland is exempt).

The big conifers in Brookswood have some serious spreading root disease problems, enough of a worry without adding extra costs to homeowners.

Traditionally in Langley’s history, most people like their trees, plant new ones and remove old ones for valid reasons.

With tree bylaws, those same trees will likely be removed but only at greater hassle, frustration, and expense. Or they will go unattended because of costs and become dangerous subject to blow-down.

We live in a rain forest where trees grow two feet per year and the foliage canopy is growing so fast we have to hire more municipal tree maintenance workers.

More government bylaws equals higher taxes – a tree bylaw creation with public consultation costs alone will jack up our taxes.

Then apart from the homeowners costs for permits, hiring arbourists, surveyors, and tree service contractors, there are more municipal taxpayer costs associated.

Policing is labour intensive: Bylaw administration staff, hiring bylaw enforcement officers, union wages/benefits/pension, supervision, uniforms, office space, telephones, inspection vehicles, tools, lawyers, etc.

Arnason wants to create a tree inventory registry to record and track every tree in the Township.

This is complete micro-managed la-la land make-work tax dollar sinkhole. Keep count of every tree planted and removed? Bureaucracy gone control-fanatic wild!

It’s bad enough that we are taking huge unending tax hits piling on from other levels of governments, gas, fuel taxes, etc. Overtaxed homeownership is in peril.

Is nobody campaigning on ‘affordability?’

Does nobody care about our young people?

And you wonder why the homeless is expanding.

I suggest you try convincing us that you can manage our tax dollars more prudently between now and voting day.

Roland Seguin, Fernridge

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