Response to error in Record article

The Ridge developer concerned with inaccuracies

Dear editor,

I have read your article published in the Thursday, Sept. 29 newspaper titled City considers target numbers for tree protection bylaw, and I am very disturbed by the errors and statements that are just outright wrong and certainly misleading.

We are the owners of the land and the developers of the residential project in South Courtenay that is known as “The Ridge.” We find that parts of your recent article are wrong and perhaps damaging. We would have thought that if you were going to take information from a presentation by a stakeholder group, the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy (CVCS), you would have at least ascertained a sense of its accuracy. That being said it appears you have inserted your own editorial assumption to further dramatize the negative portrayal of our development and events leading up to it.

Firstly, we did not clear the trees from the land in South Courtenay, not in 2015, nor ever. This was done by a previous land owner, an owner twice removed from us, well over a decade ago. It is our understanding that at the time of his cutting the trees, he was within his rights to do so. The property was in the Regional District and there was no regulation to prevent it from being logged out. It is also our understanding that the owner was a logger and that was his business. We purchased the property in 2008, after it was annexed into the City of Courtenay. The trees were harvested long before us, and the City and concerned groups supported and encouraged our residential plan in part because we were going to re-vegetate.

Secondly, we are building a sustainable urban residential community with a modern land drainage system designed to the highest of standards prescribed by the City and Province. There is “no flooding occurring on the road downstream of the pond.” There is a designed control outlet to discharge peak rainfall at a “controlled” rate after being stored (retained) in the pond. Flooding does not and likely will not happen.

As for your comment “Morrison Creek subdivision on the other hand,” I am not sure why you are referencing this in your article. Are you implying that they did it better, or are you simply taking the position put forth by the CVCS that Morrison Creek is outpacing the Ridge in terms of housing starts to 2015?

To imply that 37 per cent tree canopy (in Morrison Creek) is a good thing is misinformed. Morrison Creek’s tree cover is largely on land that could not and cannot be developed into housing because of riparian regulations.

We are part of an industry that is sensitive to the environment and community values and that provides positive impacts by way of housing, jobs, spending and taxes. Please check the facts before you report information that so negatively portrays our industry as bad and uncaring. We all want to do our jobs in an environmentally sensitive way and we welcome regulation that fairly balances the positive impacts of restriction against the negatives of delay and cost increases.

Bruce Clapham

Buckstone Investments, Ltd.

 

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