There was no weeping, but certainly concerns expressed for a stand of willow trees on the waterfront that may be impacted by development.
Public hearings were held Monday night in City of Salmon Arm council chambers for zoning and official community plan amendments that will allow for medium density residential development at 131 Harbourfront Drive NE – adjacent to the Prestige Harbourfront Resort and the west access to the foreshore walkway.
Proposed for the properties are three four-plexes.
Apart from brief speeches by the applicant’s representative, the only other person to address council during the hearings was Mike Saul, a Salmon Arm Nature Bay Enhancement Society director, who shared his concern the fate of the willow trees that border the property. He fears the “applicant may consider that he then has the right to take down all the trees without coming to council.”
Saul said the trees are used by migratory birds.
Staff said the city is aware of two arborist reports indicating the trees are hazardous and should come down.
Saul asked if core samples were taken.
“The trees, they said, have reached their maturity,” Saul commented. “But when most of us reach our maturity, we don’t want our legs cut off, and trees live a long time after they’ve reached maturity.”
Coun. Ken Jamieson noted how the trees have dominated discussion about the development. He said while he and council would like to see them preserved, there was agreement that if the trees are found to be unsafe, they should come down. It was also noted plans for the development show new plantings where the willows currently stand.
Council was otherwise supportive of the amendments and the proposed development.