Sumas Mountain developments head to public hearing

More than 300 trees to be felled to make way for homes in Abbotsford

A public hearing will take place into a 16-acre single-family home development on Sumas Mountain.

A public hearing will take place into a 16-acre single-family home development on Sumas Mountain.

A proposed single-family home development on Sumas Mountain will proceed to a public hearing after council on Monday gave first two readings to the 73-unit project.

However, Coun. Patricia Ross is concerned that many trees will be felled to make way for the new houses.

The 16-acre development is located directly southwest of the intersection of Sumas Mountain and Dawson roads and northeast of Auguston subdivision. The area is designated for “new neighbourhoods” in the new Official Community Plan.

The project would see 298 trees cut down, while 160 trees – plus more in undeveloped areas – will be retained. The developer is complying with the city’s tree protection bylaw and the felled trees will be replaced by 758 new ones.

The retained trees are all on the fringes of the development, with the entire building site to be cleared.

Ross said the cutting of so many mature trees demonstrates problems with the city’s tree protection bylaw.

“I’m just a little disappointed,” she said.

The city has said it is planning on revamping the bylaw this fall, and a public consultation process is anticipated.

The plan also would see the creation of a 0.9 acre park and playground in the development, which is located at 4633, 4767 and 4737 Sumas Mountain Road.

While guidelines mean other developments in the area will have to wait for the creation of a neighbourhood plan to proceed, the project before council is exempted as it was already in the works prior to the adoption of the OCP.

Just south of that project, another single-family home development is in the works, and will also go to public hearing. That project, at 4585 Sumas Mountain Rd., would see 20 houses built on a 2.49-acre property. It’s governed largely by the same rules of the larger nearby project.

It would see the removal of 15 trees, to be replaced by 25 new ones. The property is currently home to a single house.