As of this writing, 722 people have signed the change.org petition Miracle for the Elm Tree. The City of Vancouver is going back on its word that a magnificent heritage Elm would be saved as a condition of development.
From the petition:
Although this news saddens us immensely, we are even more aggrieved by the fact that both the City and the developer have made it known that the trees were here to stay, and are now backing down on their word.
- On July 9, 2019, the General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability report recommending the Rezoning: 1535-1557 Grant Street, specified that “No City trees are to be removed” to keep in compliance with the The Urban Forest Strategy (p.14).
- At the September 19th, 2019 public hearing, when we voiced our concern about the feasibility of the project, we were told by the Planning Department and the developer that the heritage trees were in no danger of being removed and that an arborist had signed on the plan to keep it.
- On September 10, 2020, the Director of Planning approved the development of the site under the condition “that the applicant has to maintain or extend existing front boulevard width as required to accommodate the existing street trees” ( 1.19 p.5 of 11).
For further information and to sign the petition, additional details are available here.
The controversial development at 1535-1557 Grant Street broke the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan (GWCP) on a number of counts, including not keeping the minimum front yard setback of 20 feet. Planning staff falsely claimed that the rezoning was compliant with the GWCP. The bait and switch of saving the Elm tree and then later authorizing its removal is yet another example of the lack of integrity and professionalism by planning staff at Vancouver City Hall.