LETTER: Surrey’s measly tree fee for developers should be doubled

The Editor,

Many Surrey homeowners have experienced the hassle and expense of trying to convince the city to allow them to get rid of a problem tree on their property.

Ironically, developers in this city customarily create so many new lots on the properties they’re subdividing that there’s often no room for existing trees, which are then chainsawed into firewood after the city is paid a modest $300 fee for every tree that isn’t replaced with one or more saplings.

Keep in mind that 20 per cent of Surrey’s mature canopy trees have disappeared since 2001 and many, if not most, of the saplings planted to replace them in urban neighbourhoods won’t survive the decades it takes to reach maturity.

Metro Toronto claims it costs at least $583 to replant and maintain a new tree for two years, which is what they charge developers.

Surrey should at the very least double their current fees to encourage developers to follow sustainable development practises by leaving room for more mature trees in their subdivisions instead of clear-cutting them.

Gary Cameron