Township tree bylaw goes too far

The Township of Langley instituted a by-law banning tree cutting in Brookswood/Fernridge, and a hotline to report violators.

Editor:

The Township of Langley instituted a by-law banning tree cutting in Brookswood/Fernridge, and a hotline to report violators. Now council is at it again and is looking at further by-laws to save trees elsewhere in the Township.

It is a sad day when any level of government infringes upon private property rights which should be more sacred than trees. It is even more concerning when the perpetually inept municipal government of the Township of Langley enacts and enforces by-laws that deny people the right to do what they want on property that they own.

These are great days for the self-righteous who purport to be the beholders of all that is natural and good. People of this ideological persuasion are often the same ones that complain about various government laws that they contend are evidence of a draconian, big brother police state. However, with the tree by-law they don’t mind being agents of the state while firing up the hotline and reporting to the Arborist Police Force. Why doesn’t the Township demonstrate how technologically progressive it is by putting out a mobile app that would allow people to submit tree cutting reports from their cell phones?

There are those that settled in Brookswood/Fernridge years ago by happenstance and have been lucky to enjoy the rise in their property values, and then there are others that have the money to buy into the cachet that the area now represents. I suspect that in both instances people are invoking the NIMBY concept through support of the tree by-law in order to keep out undesirable people and development.

It appears that the next step is likely going to be a more expansive by-law banning tree cutting without the appropriate paperwork, approval, and of course the financial stalwarts on council sucking in application fees. Thinking of that, the Township extracted a nearly $38,000 windfall from the Beedie Development Group for cutting trees on property it owns in Gloucester Industrial Estates. I wonder if the council will spend that money planting trees around the Township in memorial to the Beedie Clear Cut. I can almost hear the petitions and lobbying at upcoming council meetings by the beholders of all that is natural and good.

Tim Opper, Langley