The City of Vernon insists a new residential development is not putting herons at risk.
The Morning Star has been contacted by some concerned residents about trees being removed on a property next to Walmart, and the potential impact on herons which nest in the area.
“The owner has a tree removal permit to remove the trees from the northwest corner of the property as part of the development,” said Dale Rintoul, the city’s current planning manager.
“The trees are not heron host trees and would be a hazard to the new homes in that portion of the property.”
The nine-acre property is not part of a nearby lot that has a covenant to protect the heron rookery.
“The trees had to come down, some were dying and dangerous,” said Len Sloan, with the development company.
“There are no birds there nesting.”
The property is zoned mobile home residential and the city has issued a development permit and subdivision plan approvals for a 77-pad manufactured home park and one single-family residence.
“The manufactured home park requires extensive landscaping, which includes an abundance of new trees,” said Rintoul.
Construction is expected to begin this month and Sloan believes the development will address a need for housing locally.
“We have no set age group but we’re targeting 45-plus,” he said.
“We’re trying to make it semi-affordable.”
The development will lead to the widening of 20th Street, including a new sidewalk, street lights and landscaped boulevard.
There will also be an extension of 21st Street north and 55th Avenue.