The City of Victoria has voted to further restrict protected trees to include those with a trunk circumference of 30 cm. (Black Press File Photo)

City of Victoria limits protected tree circumference to 30 cm or more

The change was originally anticipated to go from 80 cm down to 60 cm

The City of Victoria plans to further restrict protected trees to include those with a trunk circumference of 30 cm or more at a height of 1.4 m.

In meeting on Thursday, council originally intended on passing the third reading of an amended Tree Preservation Bylaw, that among other points brought down the requirement from 80 cm to 60 cm. This reading was part of Phase One of the Tree Preservation initiative, to be followed by more changes in Phase Two.

Two members of the public spoke up about the change, saying that more restrictions were needed for tree protection due to the climate crisis. Speakers further pointed out that the Township of Esquimalt has a 30 cm policy, while the City of Vancouver has a limit to 20 cm or above.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria looks at amending tree preservation bylaw by redefining ‘tree’

Council agreed and voted to rescind the third reading, and re-conduct the second and third readings.

“I think speakers made it very clear that our bylaw is out of step with emerging best practices,” said Coun. Ben Isitt. “I think at minimum we should look to align our bylaws with Esquimalt’s.”

Coun. Geoff Young expressed concerns that these changes would impose too many restrictions on homeowners, especially those who may have otherwise wished to build a garden suite.

“People will be afraid that trees will be toxic to the value of their property,” Young said. “It’s not so much the tree stumps that we’re going to see that will represent the failure of this bylaw; it’s the trees that never get planted because people will know that not only is the tree bylaw restrictive now, but council has already said it will get more restrictive.”

ALSO READ: Councillor wants to plant improvements in Saanich’s tree protection bylaw

Council asked staff about the repercussions of the change, and were told by director of parks and recreation, Thomas Soulliere, that changes would backlog staff as they reevaluate permit applications.

Soulliere further stated that staff would need two weeks of analysis to report on further affects of the changes.

Council passed the third reading of the amended bylaw seven-to-one. It will be presented along with a staff report on Nov. 14.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

City of Victoria

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

Just Posted

No dogs allowed off-leash at Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford

New sign placed by Metchosin Farmers Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 19

Metchosin aims to enforce dog leash rule after dog attacks on sheep farm

Stillmeadow Farm loses three to five sheep every year due to loose dogs

Council approve temporary storage to extend life of Oak Bay Fire Hall

It’s cute, it’s iconic, but the picturesque Oak Bay Fire Hall is… Continue reading

Work begins on Otter Point Road project in Sooke

The project now has a fall completion date following a long delay

North Saanich’s Deep Cove Market up for sale for almost $1.8 million

Long-time owner Rosemary Scott hopes the public will understand her decision

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read