Proposed property development next to Burns Bog raises concerns

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      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.


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      Dec 19, 2012 at 9:17pm

      Yeah & when the big one hits it will swallow the development & kill lots of people. Dont be greedy. buils a cranberry farm

      It's a bog

      Dec 20, 2012 at 9:19am

      The peat is 20 metres deep on the property. Lie all you want, that's Burns Bog. Just because the developer refused to join the Conservancy Area in 2004 doesn't make it retroactively OK to build on.

      Anita den Dikken

      Dec 20, 2012 at 9:16pm

      This proposal raises some very serious concerns. Peat bog does not end abruptly at some man-made border; there is no natural nor man-made barrier between the "official" Burns Bog and the surrounding peat land. In other words, whatever pollution occurs on the adjacent land will seep through to the bog and damage it.


      Dec 20, 2012 at 10:19pm

      We don't need more coffee shops or fat food places. We need more parks and farms. Traffic is a gong show in this area to boot so to add condos and shopping will makes this area a parking lot.

      T. Leveller

      Dec 21, 2012 at 11:55am

      Thanks for this information. The GS is performing the role of free press vacated by the chains. The MK proposal butts other issues. Many reasonable concerns question this proposal and balance away from approval. Why didn't MK sell to the conservation zone ? Are they aiming for a bigger pay-off ? Certainly 1750 units at market value will multiply their investment if they can secure financing in the market dearth. If public resistance extends to city council, will the developers sue for compensation for grand schemes ? That next step exposes market ideology that would reimburse not for actual costs but the potential for profit into the future. That grab exposes its illogic to judicial process. Intelligent review will consider costs so far, but free trade acts bankrupt public funds to reward foreign guesstimates of reserves and possible profits. This issue refers to the ideology binding some legislators and defying fair, open review of its premises. Once the sham falls, we need to restore democratic functioning to our governments.

      Michele Baillie

      Jan 2, 2013 at 6:46pm

      I remember when Coastland; a mill on Annacis Island; managed to get protected forested land cut in 2004- that was protected....... for a parking lot.
      How? Delta calculated the area of the proposed site and (on paper) "transferred" that protected area to Burns Bog; just a paper game nothing more. Ugh!

      Gee, I wonder how this development is going to fare?