Local residents are objecting to the cutting of trees to create extra parking at the Lynn Canyon Park.
DNV is looking at paving and expanding an existing gravel lot, a plan that has been on the to-do list for the parks for several years. The project will add an extra 33 parking spots with new painted lines and stalls, bringing the total number of parking spots to 143.
But the expansion comes at the cost of trees.
As many as 74 trees would need to be removed, and 80 per cent of them are in moderate or poor condition. That is not true, says Corrie, a resident who lives on Robinson Road, which backs off to the park. Corrie appeared before the council with her husband and said the trees were very healthy and had large, far-reaching roots, according to a private arborist hired by them.
“There is no reason for these trees to come down for a mere 33 parking lot. These are healthy trees and they provide a buffer between the current parking and the neighbouring properties. We haven’t been informed of this and we strongly oppose this,” she said.
She said a real estate advisor has also told them their home values will depreciate anywhere from $100,000 and $150,000. “We are talking about a three quarter of a million dollars of a potential lawsuit in exchange for 33 parking lots.”
She said the district should study how the parking is being used and at what times. She suggested the old Lillooet Road parking area be opened up and another area close by could be used for extra parking spots. “The district should study how to provide better parking without the removal of these large, old and healthy trees,” she said.
Another resident, Kim Hughes, also spoke against the proposal for the parking lot expansion. “The trees provide sound buffer for habitat, wildlife and are important for the owls and the falcons that visit,” she said.
She reminded the council of the climate emergency motion and said the district needs to be environmentally responsible while urged district to look at other options near the park.
“None of these areas were ever considered in these 15 years and residents of Robinson Road were never give any other opportunity for input except one meeting in which our ideas for other locations were completely disregarded.”