Valley Ridge owners concerned over Calgary ring road tree removal

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WATCH ABOVE: Valley Ridge homeowners are concerned about a stretch of trees that will be chopped down to make way for Calgary’s ring road. Michael King reports – Sep 3, 2019

A stretch of trees is on the chopping block as construction on the west leg of Calgary’s ring road continues.

People from the community of Valley Ridge have called for the provincial government to look at other options before leveling trees.

Dan Denette has been living in the community for nearly 20 years and his house backs directly onto the row of 40-foot tall poplar trees.

He said the trees were the main reason why he bought the house in 2000.

“These trees reflect about 90% of the noise that [we hear] from the highway,” Denette said. “They also provide shade and cooling in our backyards.”
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On Monday, Denette and a group of neighbours gathered to discuss what the newest phase of the ring road means for the trees lining their community.

Denette told the dozens who attended the meeting that homeowners only received notice of the tree removal four days before work is expected to begin.

“Sending out notice on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend, it lacks integrity,” Denette said. “That is not the way you do open and honest business.”

READ MORE: Calgarians cry foul after birdhouses removed near ring road

The construction notice to residents came from Alberta Transportation and outlines why the trees need to be removed.

“Due to infrastructure requirements and limited available space in the Transportation Utility Corridor, many of the existing poplar trees begin the residences along Valley Meadow Close and Valley Brook Circle Northwest will be impacted by excavation for new utilities,” the notice reads.

“The tree removals are needed to provide space for safe excavations, installation of lines and to protect the safety of workers and the public from trees that may become compromised. Any trees that can be avoided will be left undisturbed.”

Grant Knowles, the Director of Community Planning and Development with the Valley Ridge Community Association, said community members feel like they’ve been left out of the loop when it comes to parts of the project that directly affect their properties.

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“Anytime somebody builds a pipeline… any adjoining land owner must be consulted, told and advised what’s going to happen and when,” Knowles said. “None of that was done here.”

The Valley Ridge Community Association has asked the province to delay the tree removal until more public consultation is done.

Work on the removal is expected to begin the week of September 3.

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