Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Vecchiato's Voice - April 12, 2006 - DUMP THAT DIRT HERE, SIR!

Langley Township is in need of a fill site to have excessive loads of dirt dumped. Engineering put out a bid for tender to various companies to fill a former gravel pit at approximately 32nd and 203. The circumference of the pit has renaturalized, and the middle holds a seasonal lake. One portion in the southwest corner holds water year-round, thus I am thinking that it is spring fed or the aquifer surfaces at this point, as if does at Latimer Lake further southwest of this area.

The engineer in change is Phil LeMay (604-533-6146), who was helpful in giving information. I informed him that the lake portion of the pit was year round and was home to fish and amphibians. Great blue herons can be seen feeding on the creatures who manage to find the water instead of ending up in a dry-up zone. Although heron habitat is not protected, their nests are protected throughout the year by the Provincial Wildlife Act. Because of the fish and amphibians, DFO should be contacted if any changes are made to this portion of the site.

From my understanding, Firehall Number 5 backs onto this parcel, and having dump trucks pass on a constant basis would pose concern to those whose job is to save lives. Having seen the massive increase in truck traffic, I can understand the concern.

Mr. LeMay and I did discuss residential concerns that have arisen due to fill being dumped on properties. Numerous stories have crept up recently, with township giving approval to filling properties, which then puts neighbors at a lower grade. He expressed his opinion that it’s their property and they should do what they want. I didn’t feel it was appropriate for a civil servant to voice such a strong opinion on property rights, when I have heard horror stories from all quadrants of Langley Township. If Engineering is approving grade changes that affect neighboring properties, they should rethink their approval process.

Any suggestions or comments on the issue are welcome.

Cathleen Vecchiato has been an outspoken environmentalist for the past 5-1/2 years. She is a very well recognized champion of the environment and a community activist in Langley as well as in other adjoining communities. Cathleen formed and leads the Langley Conservation Network. Editor-LFP

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