Letter: There's no such thing as free in Richmond, including the trees

Dear Editor

Re: “Tree-owners deserve tax credit,” Letters, June 8.

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As much as I found the letter somewhat interesting and somewhat entertaining, I was left trying to understand exactly what the point was.

The bylaws that are referred to have been around for some time, so why complain now.

When someone buys a house, they can see the existing trees and know the consequences. If they already own a house and plant new trees, the same would apply.

The foundation of the letter writer’s argument is built on the idea that we live in a free society, but we don’t — nor would I want to.

I like having speed limits, stop lights and laws in general, and I am not interested in living in a neighbourhood or society where one homeowner can choose to open a mechanics shop on their residential property and operate day and night if they wish, nor someone building a 10,000 square-foot home on an 8,000 square-foot lot, just because they own it.

No one to my knowledge has suggested doing anything outside of the laws already in place; in fact, quite the opposite.

What is being asked is that we follow the laws already in place and that we put on the brakes and ask whether developers should be able to lobby (or dictate, depending on how you look at it) what bylaws they need to follow because it appears, from walking around any neighbourhood in Richmond, that developers just have to ask and they shall receive.

Having developed property myself in the past, I can tell you it makes building so much easier and profitable when you don’t have to deal with those pesky trees.

One final note for Mr. Friesen, and anyone else, the tree that sparked all this debate is on city property, not private, just like so many felled city trees cut to make room for new driveways.

Jesse Arnold

Richmond

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