City of Langford Coun. Matt Sahlstrom is speaking out alongside his neighbours about a nearby development in his neighbourhood.
A development at the corner of Myles Mansell Drive and Walfred Road has caused residents to complain about issues relating to noise and garbage.
Sahlstrom, who has been living in the neighbourhood since 1985, said many of the problems have been ongoing for about 10 years.
“Just having the garbage blowing around our yards and our streets,” Sahlstrom said. “It’s very disrespectful to us and to me. It’s disrespectful to the city of Langford.”
Sheets of plastic, coffee cups, trash and scraps of wood can be seen along the frontage of Walfred Road and on the build site. Loose items are tangled in-between trees and according to residents, making their way into front and backyards when the wind picks them up.
Sahlstrom said he talked to the builders at one point and politely asked them to clean up the garbage but the builders declined to do so, saying it wasn’t theirs.
In the past, residents have also complained about noise from things such as rock blasting and building that made it difficult for them to hold conversations outside their homes. Sahlstrom said builders could be heard outside in the summer and on holidays late into the evening, making it hard to enjoy time outside.
“We couldn’t sit on the patio last summer…my daughter just looked at me and said I’ve never heard a quiet summer, she’s 12,” Sahlstrom said. “That just broke my heart.”
Sahlstrom said he went to the City’s bylaw office in mid-October to complain.
Last week, Heather Reid and her husband Murray Press — residents of Walfred Road — also sent a letter to the Langford bylaw department notifying them about the “increasing accumulation of garbage” that “mars the landscape.”
“The residents in the neighbourhood of Walfred Road have endured a lengthy 10-year period of unpleasant noise from forest and soil clearing, rock drilling, blasting and rock crushing in addition to dust and increased vehicle traffic,” the letter reads.
Lorne Fletcher, manager of community safety and municipal enforcement with the City of Langford, said the bylaw department has already opened a file on the garbage problem and that the unsightly premises bylaw will address the issue.
But Sahlstrom said the city’s bylaws aren’t adequate enough. He said he thinks the builders should be fined for littering as well.
He also noted that seeing garbage littered around the neighbourhood won’t help attract new residents either.
“It’s a pig pen,” Sahlstrom said.
While Sahlstrom said he is not resistant to the neighbourhood growing, he notes that other builders that are from the area such as Verity, Lamona and Gordon’N’Gordon keep their sites clean.
“Their worksites are spotless,” Sahlstrom said. “You won’t even find a coffee lid on their sites.”
Sahlstrom said neighbours and residents of the area have been coming to him for quite some time now to ask when the noise and garbage will stop. He said he has been stopped in public by people who are fed up with the development.
“The people around here don’t deserve to live the way we’ve been treated,” Sahlstrom said. “I know two families that have moved because of this…the people out here are absolutely choked…we’ve had enough.”