Tree Bylaw

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The District of Central Saanich is updating the Tree Protection Bylaw.

The impacts of climate change are increasingly apparent and the role of tree preservation is a recognized climate mitigation measure. While trees are key to carbon sequestration, they can also play a significant role in storm water management, reducing the urban heat island effect, providing habitat and enhancing biodiversity, and their inherent aesthetic and cultural value reflect the importance of a healthy urban forest.

Council identified a Tree Protection Review in the 2019 Strategic Plan. Staff initiated a review of the current Tree Bylaw and, with the help of a consultant, drafted a new Tree Management Bylaw. In October, Council endorsed the next step of the project, community engagement. In this phase, the District is asking for input on the draft bylaw.

The District of Central Saanich is updating the Tree Protection Bylaw.

The impacts of climate change are increasingly apparent and the role of tree preservation is a recognized climate mitigation measure. While trees are key to carbon sequestration, they can also play a significant role in storm water management, reducing the urban heat island effect, providing habitat and enhancing biodiversity, and their inherent aesthetic and cultural value reflect the importance of a healthy urban forest.

Council identified a Tree Protection Review in the 2019 Strategic Plan. Staff initiated a review of the current Tree Bylaw and, with the help of a consultant, drafted a new Tree Management Bylaw. In October, Council endorsed the next step of the project, community engagement. In this phase, the District is asking for input on the draft bylaw.

Questions

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    Is there a plan to implement service guidelines with respect to permit issuance. This has been poor in past, even for danger/diseased/dead trees. Is the municipality planning to have someone on staff with more formal arborist experience.

    Matt Barker asked 2 months ago

    We aim to issue a permit within two weeks once a complete application is received. For danger trees and/or emergency removal, the current bylaw (Section 11) as well as the draft new bylaw (Section 5(3)) allow for removal without a permit as long as the Director is notified by the owner no more than 72 hours (current bylaw) after the removal has occurred or has applied for a permit within 24 hours (proposed bylaw) of removal. 

    The bylaw leans on professional arborists hired by property owners to assess and provide recommendations as currently there is no staff with arborist credentials. 

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    Neighbours in Brentwood Bay have Cedar Leylandii that are now full grown (60 feet plus). These trees have many large (20 feet plus) broken branches that are hanging high in the trees. What can be done to mitigate the damage that can be caused by these in high winds as we have recently seen when the owners do not maintain them.

    choose hope asked 3 months ago

    This would be a matter between property owners. The District cannot issue a permit for tree removal or pruning of a tree on a neighbouring property. If the branches overhang the property line they can be pruned as long as it does not (fatally) damage the tree. The owner of the tree would need to give permission. The neighbour can have an arborist assess the tree and provide the neighbour with the assessment to put them ‘on notice’ that the tree (or branches) is hazardous. This may help if something does happen and the insurance companies get involved.

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    What is a Permit Tree?

    water boy asked 3 months ago

    A ‘permit’ tree is a ‘protected’ tree under the current bylaw. This includes municipal trees, any tree over 60 cm DBH, certain species of trees (Arbutus, Garry Oak), trees in the Erosion District and trees required by covenant or development permit.