Residents in the Sunrise Cove area of Cornwall say small trees being planted near their homes will one day block the water view they have paid top dollar for.
“We paid near a million dollars for the property, I think we should have a say as to what happens to it,” said Geoff Boyle, a resident of Sunrise Cove who currently enjoys a water view.
Boyle gave a presentation to Cornwall town council last Wednesday on potentially removing a cluster of spruce trees from an adjacent property.
Boyle explained when he first bought the property, there were about 10 trees. The following year, about 1,000 more trees were planted.
While the trees are small and young now, he said, they will eventually block the water view from his home and other homes in the neighbourhood.
Boyle estimated that about 15 lots are affected, valued between $500,000 to $1 million.
“Everybody that has lots around (the trees) that paid significant premiums for those lots aren’t going to have a water view anymore.”
He said the consensus around the Sunset Cove community was to “enhance their properties, not take away from them.”
But Karalee McAskill, co-ordinator with the Cornwall Area Watershed Group, says removal of the trees would have long-term ecological effects for wildlife and water in the area.
“The watershed group has no desire to create any opposition to land owners. We are simply advocating for sound judgment,” said McAsksill.
“This natural resource is used by humans and animals alike.”
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McAskill said the small cluster of trees is known as a corridor.
Corridors, McAskill explained, are semi-permanent or permanent vegetation strips, like parks, cemeteries or green spaces that allow animals to move through urban areas and thrive.
The corridor is also classified as a highly sensitive area by the department of environment, said McAskill, and will have implications with the ongoing climate crisis.
“(The corridor) is funnelling all that precipitation and snow melt, whether it is surface or underground,” she said.
“So when we are talking about climate change and the increases of storms and intensity… we have to consider that the removal of the corridor may impact in ways of flooding or erosion.”
She said one of the spruce trees in the Sunrise Cove plots will capture one tonne of carbon in 40 years.
McAskill noted her group was advocating to keep the corridor intact and was not looking to compromise on making changes to the plan.
“People have paid a $1 million for their lots around that area,” said Boyle from the gallery after McAskill finished her presentation.
“We have some rights, I believe, as well.”
The issue is expected to be back in front of council at its next meeting.