The District of Saanich’s recently strengthened its tree protection bylaw will go into effect on Feb. 5. (Tree Protection Bylaw/District of Saanich)

New Saanich tree protection rules take effect in February

Council committed to being ‘environmental leaders and urban forest stewards,’ says Saanich mayor

Saanich’s strengthened tree protection bylaw is set to go into effect in less than a month.

After 10 months, Saanich council officially adopted amendments to the District’s tree protection bylaw at the first meeting of 2020.

In March 2019, Coun. Rebecca Mersereau proposed that the bylaw – which regulates the cutting down, damaging, removal and replacement of Saanich trees – be upgraded to make it more effective. She noted that the loss of trees in Saanich is “inevitable” due to development but that there are opportunities to lessen the impacts on the urban forest.

After several discussions and readings at council meetings in 2019, the amendments were presented to council for a final reading at the Jan. 6 meeting. Council unanimously approved the strengthened bylaw in a quick vote and the changes go into effect on Feb. 5.

READ ALSO: Saanich strengthens tree protection bylaw, increases required replacement trees

Mersereau is pleased, noting that the bylaw changes will ensure Saanich’s urban forests stay healthy and continue to benefit future generations.

“[Trees] support biodiversity and provide habitat, improve the quality of stormwater and reduce costs for conveying it, provide critical shade and cooling in the summer and they are responsible for so much of the character that makes Saanich’s neighbourhoods and rural areas unique,” Mersereau said.

Mayor Fred Haynes emphasized that tree protection in Saanich is important to council. The amendments include an increase in the number of replacement trees required when one is cut down – the number of replacements depends on the reason for the removal.

READ ALSO: Updated tree protection bylaw could cost Saanich up to $50,000 more annually

Council hopes to lead by example by ensuring that District staff abide by the bylaw and plant three replacements for each tree removed by the municipality. This could cost Saanich up to $50,000 more annually to replace and care for the increased number of trees. The money will come from the parks department’s small tree maintenance budget.

“We made a commitment to our roles as environmental leaders and urban forest stewards,” Haynes said.

Council expects to receive further amendments to the tree protection bylaw in 2020.

Residents can access further information about the amendments to the bylaw on the Saanich website.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read