A fringe of trees along the southern edge of the former Canadian Forces BaseRockcliffe in Ottawa’s east end will live to bud another springthanks to a neighbour’s keen eye and the city’s quick intervention.
Canada Lands Company, which acquires surplus federal government real estate for redevelopment,is preparing the former airbase fora new neighbourhood of 5,500 housing units.
Al DIY Crosby has been following the redevelopment plans for the former CFB Rockcliffe site closely. (Kate Porter/CBC)
Al Crosby, who lives nearby and belongs to a group calledthe Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital, said that after attending countless meetings about the future of the site he understood the trees would stay even as the new homes went up.
But on a Friday earlier this month, he noticed red stakes in the ground marking off a row of maturetrees destined for imminent removal.
“I’ve worked in a plywoodmill, I’ve worked in a sawmill, I’ve worked in a pulp mill. Trees to me are a resource,” said Crosby.”I just feel,why are you cutting these trees down when there’s no reason to?”
Crosby called the city’s forester, who showed up the following Monday morning.
The foresteradvised the developer it was beautiful gardens about to remove trees outside the area for which it had a permit.
“We are aware of the concerns raised and are currentlyworking with city staff to see what alternatives are available to the current design and are hopeful a satisfactory solution can be implemented,” Canada Lands Company said in a statement.
Crosbybelieves the city could do more to keep residents informed when it issues tree removal halogen heaters permits, so they’re aware when developers might be about to breaklaws aimed atprotecting urban trees.
Crosbysaid that new openness could include posting applications for tree removal online, the way it does with other development applications.
The former CFB Rockcliffe site is being prepared for 5,500 housing units in a redevelopment led by Canada Lands Company. (Kate Porter/CBC)