Maple Ridge residents wake up to noisy tree planting operation they say is four years too late
It’s not often that people are upset about more trees in their neighbourhood, but that’s exactly what’s happening in Maple Ridge.
Residents in a recently-completed development on Harris Drive woke up Tuesday morning to find city crews digging up their lawns to plant 25 new trees along the street.
Problem is, the trees have arrived four years after they were set to be planted, when construction finished on the development. The trees are part of the city plan for the area, but homeowners say they’re too late.
“I understand it’s in the city’s plans, but it’s been four years,” resident Brent Ballard said. “People have worked around that and planted their own stuff. I just don’t think it’s right.”
The trees being planted echo the layout in another section of the development right next door, but those trees were planted during construction four years ago as promised.
When trees weren’t planted on these lots, residents say, they assumed they weren’t coming at all, and went ahead doing their own landscaping work instead.
It’s not clear why the trees are being planted now, but the city maintains because the front lawns are city property — and because the trees will bring the neighbourhood up to code — they have the right to dig as they please.
That doesn’t sit well with Karen Williams, who went so far as to block the plot for the new tree with caution tape and a board to try to stop the work. She already has a tree in her yard and says she doesn’t need another one.
“They didn’t even knock on the door,” she said. “I woke up in the morning and found a big hole in the front of the garden for no reason.”
Despite the outcry, the work is expected to go ahead as scheduled, but the residents say they just wish they were given more consultation ahead of time.
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