4.4 C
Niagara Falls
Saturday, December 2, 2023
Neighbour worries new development will damage 150-year-old tree
Four Mile Creek Road resident Sandra McPherson speaks to some environmental concerns she has with Rainer Hummel's new townhouses along Four Mile Creek. EVAN LOREE

A proposal to build new townhouses on the shores of Four Mile Creek in St. Davids has one neighbour worried about her trees.

Hummel Properties, owned by developer Rainer Hummel, is planning to build nine townhouses backing onto the creek and facing Four Mile Creek Road in St. Davids.

Resident Sandra McPherson raised concerns at a public meeting on Oct. 3 about what could happen to the trees on her property.

McPherson lives next door, just north of the proposed development.

“Are any of the 30-year-old cedar trees within this protected area to remain in place?” McPherson asked. 

She said maintaining them would enhance her privacy from future neighbours. 

An arborist report prepared for the developer by Beacon Environmental Limited lists 17 of 23 trees for removal.

The majority of those identified in the report are spruce and beech trees.

McPherson said there were also trees along her property line that could be harmed by the proposed townhouses.

One of these was a 30-year-old Norway maple that might hang over the property line.

She asked that if its limbs needed to be trimmed back, it be done under the guidance of a qualified arborist, and that the tree roots be protected from construction.

Another tree that McPherson was seeking protection for was a “significant black walnut tree.”

Both trees she referred to are recommended for preserving in the arborist’s report.

The same report said one of the proposed townhouses encroaches on the 150-year-old tree’s protected area.

The Beacon Environmental report says construction near the black walnut tree be “avoided or minimized to the greatest extent possible” and any necessary excavation apply “minimally invasive methods.”

A white cedar hedge between McPherson’s property and the undeveloped land is also suggested for removal.

McPherson raised other environmental concerns, including the development’s impact on floodplains and snapping turtles.

She said a snapping turtle had been laying its eggs in the area for the last 30 years but had “lost her habitat along the creek” and had recently been found nesting near her neighbour’s pool.

Snapping turtles are listed as a species of “special concern” under the Ontario Endangered Species Act.

Subscribe to our mailing list