Depending on who you talk to, a property Chilliwack city council will consider for a housing project Tuesday either has a creek on it or it doesn't.
The Dogwood Drive project was first proposed by local developer Larry Les but came up against fierce neighbourhood opposition at a public hearing on July 17.
As a result of that opposition, which was mostly based on concerns about traffic and environmental impact on Luckakuck Creek, Les withdrew his application to rezone for townhouses and submitted a new one to create 31 single-family lots.
Neighbour Eddy Mejlholm-who was so concerned about the initial application that he hired a biologist to study the animal life in Luckakuck Creek-told the Times that while the new application satisfies his and other neighbours' concerns about traffic, it does nothing to deal with environmental issues.
"My concern still remains that they will. .. fill in two permanent ponds, one seasonal pond; impact the groundwater flow with unknown downstream impacts or structural impacts on the new structures; and cut down virtually all the mature trees and replace them with immature ones," he said via email.
Mejlholm presented a petition for the initial proposal with 32 signatures. This time he said city hall has a petition with more than 50 signatures from residents along Luckakuck Creek.
Sheila Muxlow, who is campaign director for the WaterWealth Project, said the project will damage the creek as it will "bury the Luckakuck Creek headwaters and remove some of the senior trees and plant life that supports the frog, salamander, fish, duck and raccoon life in the area."
But Les has pointed to an environmental assessment prepared by a consultant that analyzed the "wetted depression" on the properties and concluded that it is not connected to downstream fish habitat.
Biologist Mike Pearson, hired by Mejlholm, found endangered species in the portion of the stream north of Stevenson Road. And many neighbours insist the so called "ephemeral watercourse" is in fact the headwaters of Luckakuck Creek that was filled in when condominiums were built on Blackwood Lane eight years ago.
One neighbour whose opinion has not been heard is Mayor Sharon Gaetz who lives on Dogwood and has stepped out of council chambers to avoid the perception of conflict of interest.
. A public hearing will be held Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at city hall to discuss the new application.
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