Proposed property development next to Burns Bog raises concerns
The president of MK Delta Lands Group says the company is fine-tuning its proposal to develop 1,750 units of condos and townhouses on its property adjacent to the ecologically-sensitive Burns Bog.
Joanne Barnett indicated that the changes will take into account feedback received by the firm during its open house on December 5.
“What we’re proposing is a mixed-used village that provides for many of the types of housing that don’t exist in North Delta right now,” Barnett told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview, “and opportunities for a live-work community with sustainability and ecological sensitivity, and lots of opportunity for people to have gathering places and green spaces to enjoy.”
The Burns Bog Conservation Society is raising serious environmental concerns about the proposed development.
“This is the wrong way to go,” society president Eliza Olson told the Straight by phone. “We are going backwards when we start destroying peat bogs. We have to catch up with the world. They’re beginning to realize that because of things like [hurricanes] Sandy and Katrina [in the U.S.], that both of those were made worse because of the loss of those wetlands.”
Olson also said, “When you’re talking about global warming and climate change, you have to be aware that only three percent of the Earth is covered with peat bogs. But six percent of the greenhouse gases is caused by their destruction. That peat stores carbon 10 times more efficiently than a rainforest or any other terrestrial ecosystem.”
In March 2004, 2,042 hectares of Burns Bog were purchased by the governments of Canada, B.C., Metro Vancouver, and Delta for conservation. The 36-hectare property owned by MK Delta on 72nd Avenue is outside the protected conservation area.
Barnett stressed that only 18 hectares, or half of the property, would be developed. She maintained that the property does not have the characteristics of a bog. “But it does have certain stands of trees and a wetland area that are worthy of protection, and we are proposing to protect those,” Barnett said.