The headline stating that the Bose Farm application was rejected may be overly optimistic. It was referred back to staff.
Council directed staff to “review the site grading plan relative to the Remple Property (adjacent site); retain as many trees as possible; review the road network plan and traffic interchange to increase connectivity; and conduct community consultation with residents and stakeholder groups.”
This does not mean that the forest will be saved. As many trees as possible is a vague request that was interpreted as zero trees in the previous application that passed first and second readings on July 9.
That original vote requires some clarification.
Councilor Martin, in fact, voted in favour of the application. The Community Charter clearly states that the Mayor or Acting Mayor is a member of council and that all members are obligated to vote on every resolution or bylaw.
Neither the mayor nor council members can abstain from voting unless they declare a conflict of interest and excuse themselves from the meeting.
Unless a member indicates a contrary vote, their silence is registered as a vote in favour.
Substantial changes to the Bose Farm application will be needed to address the resolution of council. The community consultation should include neighbours, environmental groups and be referred to the city’s Environmental Advisory Committee. A new and improved plan should trigger another public hearing.
In the meantime, neighbours should keep a close watch over those 332 trees. If a tree falls in Bose Forest, can council hear it?