Sharon MacGougan re Ash Street conservation

Update, May 21: The public hearing at Richmond Council Chambers went very well. Sharon MacGougan, Michael Wolfe, Doug Nazareth and I all spoke in support of the concerns of Sharon and her 89-year-old mother, Joyce MacGougan. I sent this  follow-up email message to council.

Longtime Richmond residents are sending the Garden City Conservation Society concerns about City of Richmond insensitivity to the natural features of neighbourhoods, including established trees that seem to be routinely eliminated at developers’ request.

City council’s public hearing of Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 7 p.m. will address one such developer request (RZ 11-586861) that has greatly affected longtime Ash Street resident Sharon MacGougan, who writes in part:

Our area has lots of mature trees. I am disappointed that plans for new housing developments in our area have seemingly not considered this unique aspect of our neighbourhood. We lost 24 trees on the Keefer extension (southeast of Ash). Barely any trees were replanted and none on the boulevard (something about pipes or wires). With this proposed new development 56 trees will be lost. And “Because of site constraints for new planting, no tree of significant size was recommended”, pg.3.

What this really means is there is no room for trees. How is this possible? If the lots were a larger size there would be space for trees, bird habitat could be restored and the area would continue to reflect a respect for the natural world. Instead what we will get is lots of concrete and a few decorative trees that no bird will ever build a nest in. What a loss. [red emphasis added]

In the context of the Walmart mall proposal earlier, Michael Wolfe’s response to the media use a fitting word for the kind of trees that Sharon MacGougan has described: junk trees.

Also, on the matter of fragmented bits of sidewalk, Sharon MacGougan writes:

I believe my mother to be the last remaining “homesteader” still living on Ash Street (between Blundell and Granville). My father built their house in 1948. In 1949 – the year of the Great Flood – my father was one of the men who voluntarily sandbagged Richmond’s dikes (after working a full day). My parents paid taxes in Richmond for 65 years. I think it would be a nice gesture and a real commitment to sense of community to provide my mother with a safe place to walk.

At public hearings, citizens can normally address council for ten minutes per delegation. (A delegation is usually one person but can be a couple or several people.)

Again, the relevant hearing is at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 21, 2013.  It will be in the council chambers at Richmond City Hall, which is on the west side of No. 3 Road just north of No. 3 Road. Even if the main door is closed, one can normally enter by the door that is roughly in the middle of the long north side of the building.

Here is the letter to the city, Sharon MacGougan re Ash Street, Richmond, BC.

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