Coun. Rebecca Mersereau has asked staff to review the municipality’s tree protection bylaw.

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

Coun. Rebecca Mersereau sees opportunities for short-term improvements

A Saanich councillor wants the municipality to improve Saanich’s tree protection bylaw.

Coun. Rebecca Mersereau has brought forward a notice of motion that asks staff to bring forward “specific, short-term opportunities” to help improve Saanich’s tree protection bylaw.

In recent months, questions have been raised about the effectiveness Saanich’s tree protection bylaw.

RELATED: Garry oaks come down on Finnerty Road

Last month, municipal crews cut down six Garry oak trees on Finnerty Road as part of an infrastructure project, despite protests from residents. Residents on Kings Road have also spoken out against the loss of trees in their neighbourhood as a result of a townhouse project near Royal Jubilee Hospital. 

RELATED: Saanich all but ratifies townhouse complex near hospital

Mersereau said loss in both urban and rural areas of Saanich appears “inevitable.” Citing provincial legislation, Saanich’s tree municipal bylaw can regulate, but must not prevent the removal of trees found in building footprints, she said. Agricultural activities and routine municipal activities also require the removal of trees.

“This is particularly true in Saanich, where narrow road widths and undeveloped boulevards often constrain space available to service, renew or enhance underground or above ground infrastructure without impacting the landscape,” she said.

Mersereau would like to see the municipality “maximize opportunities” that mitigate impacts on trees. She also wants to see staff raise the current tree-replacement ratio of two new trees for every lost one; create more incentives for tree care and replacement; and improve the monitoring of Saanich’s urban forests.

 Mersereau acknowledges that a “substantive update” of Saanich’s tree protection bylaw would be premature and could preempt the process underway to create a biodiversity strategy within a broader environmental program framework.

Even so, opportunities exist to update “very specific [bylaw] provisions” in support of a viable urban forest in Saanich.

“Recent correspondence with Saanich residents has emphasized the value of trees to our communities, and the results of the statistically significant [citizens survey] also indicate that the environment continues to be a high priority for for our residents,” she said. ‘

Council will debate Mersereau’s notice of motion at its next regular meeting March 11.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Saanich woman runs marathons to make dreams come true

Hempler gutted her way through 122 kms with minimal breaks, to support Help Fill a Dream Foundation

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read