A decision on a proposed development in the Gloucester Estates industrial park has been delayed by Township Council after the builder admitted 82 trees were cut down without proper permission.
A spokesman for the developer, Beedie Development Group, said the clear-cutting of the property near 55 Avenue and 272 Street was the result of a “miscommunication.”
Under the terms of a restrictive covenant with the Township, the trees were not supposed to be touched until council had a chance to review the proposal to construct two buildings totaling 8,000 square metres.
While it is likely most of the trees would be coming down, the elimination of them all left council with nothing to decide.
“Everything is gone,” neighbour Lynda Lightfoot told council’s Oct. 27 evening meeting.
“It’s a sandbox.”
Lightfoot was asking for a delay to allow site drainage issues to be addressed.
There will be a delay, but it’s to allow Township staff and the developer to discuss some form of compensation for the tree-cutting.
Councillor Kim Richter said the developer ought to be required to replace the trees and not be permitted to build anything until the new timber was the same height as the old.
“I just don’t think it’s OK to break the rules,” Richter said.
Councillor Bev Dornan said the trees would have gone anyway, and it made no sense to hold up a “good, job-producing” project.
“We should move forward and not get hung up,” Dornan said.
When it came to a vote, a majority of council opted to hold off a decision on the development permit to give staff time to discuss some kind of make-good with the developer.