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End of Ghent Street tree stand

Sad day for Ghent Street.  With Burlington council approving Branthaven “Origins’ development, Ward 2 is losing one of its largest tree stands.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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  1. re “why didn’t any other council members consider them”, Keep an eye on issues before council and the many delegations and letters and input from neighbouring residents, professionals etc. and see that this is par for the course for this council. Why indeed.

  2. Thanks Marianne. Actually, I am aware of some alternative proposals which you brought to council. I applaud your efforts to work with residents and address their concerns in an attempt to come up with modifications more satisfactory to them. It sounds like every option was explored, which is great. We all want the most attractive developments built in our neighbourhoods, with as much green space and as many trees preserved as we can. My own neighbour, much to my distress, chopped down a beautiful old tree in his yard to build his “monster” addition which now overlooks our back deck. I would have loved if he had built to my wishes, but unfortunately I didn’t have the final say. It’s one thing to listen to residents and come up with desirable alternatives; it’s another thing to be effective when it comes decision making time. If the alternatives presented to council were feasible and the best options available, why didn’t any other council members consider them?

  3. Thanks for the dialogue. @Shannon, having not attended any of the public meetings on this item, or spoken to the residents perhaps you are unaware of the alternative proposals put forward by the residents, which I brought to the developers and city staff, and ultimately to council on behalf of residents and at their request. One of them would have been a semi-circle of semi-detached, and perhaps some townhomes, with a central area (where many of the trees were) preserved as park space, additional setbacks from the road, and boundaries of the property, to add greenspace and perhaps preserve some of those trees also. Wouldn’t have saved every tree; would have saved many. There are always alternatives if there is the will to listen and involve residents.

  4. Mr. Goddard, my comment had nothing to do with any aspect of this development, other than the removal of the trees .I was not commenting on how the development will affect the character of the neighbourhood. I was not at all disagreeing with any concerns that neighbouring residents have shared, or whether the project should have been approved. My comments pertained to this particular article, and the implication that by voting against this project, as it was presented, Councillor Meed Ward was, in effect, also voting to save all of all the trees. I don’t like that trees needed to be removed. No one does. My point was simply that an alternative to this project–one which Councillor Meed Ward stated that she would support, was “a modified project of semi-detached with some standard townhouses.” By the nature of the new development building process, this would have undoubtedly involved the removal of nearly as many trees.

    • Shannon, your little bit of deflection does nothing to convince anyone with any real knowledge of the situation. Whether you are simply ignorant of the facts or have another motive in commenting, your comments achieve nothing more than to reduce the tragedy of the development on Ghent Avenue to an argument about trees.
      Did you really mean to say “Developers cut trees” because you could save a lot of typing.
      No, I don’t think so.
      Meed-Ward used many angles in trying to reduce the impact of the development. A good many of these were direct representations of a good deal of work done in the background by dedicated neighbours who banded together to try and stop a completely inappropriate development that directly impacted them.
      I can’t guess your motives in trying to minimize this, but I can say my mind. You apparently know nothing about the full story here and until you take the time to do some homework, please stop spreading nonsense.

  5. Thank-you Shannon Gillies (Rival candidate for ward 2) for demonstrating your complete lack of understanding and shallower opinions on the Ghent St. tragedy. This is not an issue of tree hugging. This is an issue of character of our neighbourhood, which is now blighted by this immense development that swallowed up 8 detached homes on beautiful treed lots and converted them into an anthill of almost 60 three story condos with no backyards, windows on only one side, three story balcony festered sun blocking monsters, that incidentally dumps it’s waste water directly into a neighbourhood creek by design. Warning to those wishing to buy in Burlington, “established neighbourhood” means nothing in this town. Not since the mayor went back on his mid-term promise “Condos will not be springing up in old neighbourhoods”(paraphrased, but not misinterpreted).
    I read your comment to say” Que sera-sera.””Tut tut, developers will be bad boys sometimes” You would make an excellent pal for the other developer pandering councillors tis sure, but you will not represent the interests of ward 2.

  6. Wouldn’t these trees have still come down if Branthaven had decided to build a “modified project of semi-detached with some standard townhouses” which you said you supported? Even if the scale of the development had been somewhat smaller that doesn’t mean any of these trees would’ve been spared. As sad and awful as it is, it’s what builders do, and without a private tree by-law, it’s their right to do so. They level the land, start from scratch, and plant new trees. To imply that these trees would’ve been saved if only the other tree-hating, council members had voted for a modified project is a little disingenuous.

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