Business to mitigate damage done to trees

A local business that’s found success internationally is expanding, but the expansion comes with some conditions from the city

A local business that’s found success internationally is expanding, but the expansion comes with some conditions from the city.

York Machine Shop, which produces portable machine tools and has established shops in Campbellton, intends to build a new facility on the corner of Meredith Road and Vigar Road in north Campbell River.

The site – roughly one hectare in size – used to house a residential home, which was out of compliance with the zoning on the property.

The home was demolished in the spring but in the process, mature trees that were supposed to be a part of York’s landscape plan were destroyed.

Chris Osborne, senior planner for the city, said the work unlawfully extended on to the city’s boulevard, damaging other significant trees.

“Sadly, the long-term retention of these trees has been compromised somewhat by the site clearance/grading operations that were recently carried out,” Osborne said. “The applicant has submitted an arborist’s report which sets out measures that can be carried out that will help ameliorate potential damage. Given the nature of root damage to trees, it may be several years before any evidence of decline may be observed.”

As security, the city is asking for 125 per cent of the estimated landscaping cost to cover long-term replacement of any trees that begin to decline within the next three years.

In lieu of paying a penalty, the applicant has also agreed to replace any of the mature trees along the city boulevard that were damaged. Osborne said a three-stem maple tree on the boulevard “is relatively unscathed” but an arborist report reveals that heavy damage was done to a number of Douglas firs and some other smaller trees were removed altogether.

Council, at its July 6 meeting, approved the development permit for York Machine Shop, with the mitigation conditions attached. Mayor Andy Adams said the company is an asset to Campbell River and praised the owner for York’s success in attracting business.

“I want to express our appreciation for the success of your machine shop and that you chose Campbell River to set up your business,” Adams said. “You’ve been tremendously successful internationally and I commend you for that.”

Dennis Cambrey, owner of York Machine Shop, said the new shop will allow the company to reach an even greater potential.

“Right now we’re turning away work, I just can’t get it out as fast as customers ask for it,” said Cambrey  who noted his company ship parts to countries all over the world. He even gets inquiries from countries that the Canadian government won’t allow him to deal with.

“We’ve had to turn people away because the Canadian government says we don’t like those people,” said Cambrey.