Cedar Cottage: ‘Greenest City’ dreams contradicted by East 18th Avenue rezoning proposal

East 18th Avenue Cedar Cottage
Perhaps life is full of trade-offs. How is the City of Vancouver doing in this case? It is considering a rezoning application at 1659 East 18th Avenue in Cedar Cottage. How does this rezoning plan fit the “Greenest City” policy? It’s worth noting that the proposal would take down many of the mature Cedar trees currently on the property (as well as Hemlocks, Pines, Cypresses, Maples and Douglas Firs). Further information on the rezoning can be found on the Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours website. The City is an enabler in this rezoning by throwing in some city-owned land for a land assembly. Local residents have challenged the city with specific suggestions that would save more of the greenery. We’ve documented the current state of the heavily forested lot in the slideshow below:

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4 thoughts on “Cedar Cottage: ‘Greenest City’ dreams contradicted by East 18th Avenue rezoning proposal

  1. It is my understanding that those large evergreen trees are cypress. I’m not sure there is any “cedar” on the property. Somewhere I think there is a tree inventory. I’ll do a quick check to see if I have it in email somewhere. No further news means I don’t have the inventory, or can’t find it.

    Joe

    On Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 10:49 AM, CityHallWatch: Tools to engage

    • Botanical names vs. common names can be confusing. The common name for Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is “Port Orford Cedar”, hence the reference to this species as a Cedar in the post. Chamaecyparis lawsoniana is known by a second common name, the “Lawson Falsecypress”; this species belongs to the Cupressaceae family. Another species in the Cupressaceae family is Thuja plicata, which is better known as the Western Red Cedar (or the Giant Western Arborvitae). Arborvitae is Latin for the “tree of life.”

      It’s worth noting that the Arborist’s report is incomplete. They’ve missed several trees on the site. For example, there’s a wonderful Bigleaf Maple (a native species) that isn’t mentioned anywhere. The developer-commissioned report suggests that a vast majority of the trees on the wooded site are in poor condition or are dead / dying. One does not have to be a botanist to visit the site and to see that most of the trees actually appear to be in good condition (or to simply look at the photographs).

      [Source: Manual of Woody Landscape Plants – Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses, Michael. A. Dirr, 1990, ISBN 0-87563-344-7]
      Cupressaceae is also called the “cypress family.”

  2. Sadly far too many aborists in Vancouver be they COV/VPB or private contractors are all too willing to return the pre-determined results necessary to meet the requisite conclusion for a clear-cut.
    On our Inner-City street a 3 story house was torn down that had a mature front yard complete with annual/seasonal plantings and fruit bearing trees that the Elderly owners allowed children to climb so they could harvest the fruit. After they owners died and to no surprise the new owner’s private aborist report, hired by the contractor, determined the trees were beyond their prime or rotting from within, the finding was not challenged by anyone at the COV/VPB including elected Green Party members.
    Shortly after, everything was torn down in less than a day, a 100 year old house along with the trees, shrubs, hundreds of bulbs and every inch of grass and wood fencing all trucked off to the landfill.
    The new home since built maximized on concrete and asphalt, the children have no trees to climb and the wildlife that fed or sought shelter have disappeared.

    The 18th and Commercial proposed development is classic Vancouver City Hall tactics, chip away at the peripheries and work your way inwards or in this case, north-south. Once the new standard has been set, here or Venables and Commercial it’s easier for the developers and Vision City Hall to continue nbhd destruction on the Eastside. You can bet the low-rise industrial/commercial use just around the corner from 18th and Commercial is just too juicy to be ignored.

    Don’t be surprised if the COV along with their complicent VPB have their eyes set on the North-side of Clark Park next to East 14. Ask yourself, how much has the COV and VPB invested for area residents on that stretch over the last few years.
    Chances are they’ll say it’s under-used, after all, the COV and VPB already have decades of history of selling off East-side park/green space to private interests in order to pursue personal agendas.
    Brent Toderian and Brian Jackson have already been shown the door, you can bet the next head planner will receive the same option, follow orders or else.

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