Avalon Clearcut

The following article is reproduced with kind permission from Eye on Norquay:

Avalon Clearcut

If municipal politicians want build-out to the absolute max, big healthy old trees have to die, even when located at the periphery of a development site. After all, in the Meanest-Greenest City, density of profits and property tax revenues matter the most. Even if a bright new building will have mouldered into rotting junk before the killed-off trees would have died in the course of their natural life.

Eye on Norquay heard a cry of despair from a neighbor of the old Avalon Dairy site, and went out to take a look. East 43rd Avenue and Wales lies just outside the southern boundary of Norquay. (Never forget that Norquay was where planners said density should concentrate to form a “neighbourhood centre.” Reality: density will dump wherever it can.) Here is how the stumps looked on the afternoon of 18 December.

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This is what the report to Council said about trees at the 8 July 2014 public hearing for the rezoning:

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Source: Conditions of Approval of the Form of Development (Appendix B, Page 2 of 10)

The typical weasel words — wherever possible and with arborist consultation — amount to a blank cheque for the developer to execute on-site tree removal.

A glance at the site plan below suggests that a bit of reduction on the north side of Building 2 might have saved those two trees.

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For those who can’t easily get out to wander around the scene of devastation for themselves, here are a few other perspectives from the construction site.

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The large drilling apparatus pictured below, at the very western edge of the construction site, appears to be encroaching on the neighboring property.

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Here’s the gist of what a City of Vancouver building inspector once gave Eye on Norquay to understand:

When the City of Vancouver issues a permit, it assumes no liability for anything a contractor does under that permit. If the owner of an adjoining property experiences a problem, then they would have to lawyer up at their own expense. It’s all a private matter between the two property owners. The City of Vancouver has nothing to do with it.

In Developer City, “protection” from injustice seems to have nothing to do with municipal government, and everything to do with hired-gun lawyers. Welcome to the far-out West.

The picture below is probably the only view of the construction site that the developer would like for you to notice on 18 December 2015:

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