(Photo: Black Press Media file)

(Photo: Black Press Media file)

Open house planned as Surrey updates its tree protection bylaw

Bylaw review launched after a request from city’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee

Residents wanting to weigh in on changes they’d like to see in the City of Surrey’s Tree Protection Bylaw will have their chance at an open house planned later this month. The open house is set for Oct. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Cloverdale rec centre (6188 176th St.).

Comments can also be sent in via email until Nov. 1, to treebylaw@surrey.ca. There is also a survey.

The bylaw – which regulates the cutting, removal and damage of trees in Surrey – is being reviewed after a request from city’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee earlier this year.

Councillor Steven Pettigrew, who chairs the committee, previously told the Now-Leader that the bylaw is “a bit out of date.”

On May 1, the committee directed staff to review the bylaw to see if it could be strengthened.

SEE MORE: Surrey council has approved 50,000 trees ‘for the axes’: Pettigrew

The committee identified key recommendations for amendments, such as increasing the penalties for illegal tree removal; ensuring all fees and penalties collected under the tree protection bylaw are directed to the Green City Fund; provide additional incentives to retain trees through land development and on existing lots; and improve the visibility and display of tree-cutting permit notices.

Another key recommendation, was to “evaluate the potential for a municipal nursery to allow for tree and plant salvage.”

Councillor Steven Pettigrew has long voiced his concern over tree loss in the city, and first became involved in the political landscape in the unsuccesful fight to halt the former civic government from cutting down trees in Hawthorne Park to make way for a road.In May, Pettigrew decried the amount of tree loss the new civic government had already approved since taking office. By his tally, nearly 50,000 trees had since been removed – or approved for removal – to make way for development.

In May, Little Campbell Watershed Society’s David Riley told Black Press Media that the group is trying to interest city council in starting some kind of compensation program to deal with the loss of not only individual trees, “but essentially mature forests,” due to development.

“We’re calling this an ecological services compensation program. It’s going to be a long and difficult discussion, because, one, how do you do this without penalizing owners who have not cut all of their trees down?” Riley said at the time.

Riley said there’s “no point” in fighting individual developments, including ones that involve total clear-cuts. The focus, he said, should be on policy.

“What you want to be talking to your councillors about is, we want to be talking about this in terms of a Surrey-wide policy. As we go along, what kind of ecological services do we want to be getting from trees?”

-With files from Aaron Hinks, Lauren Collins

With files from Aaron Hinks

Just Posted

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

Fleetwood Park Secondary School’s 2021 commencement ceremonies were held over the course of two days, June 10 and 11. Grads went through a small, distanced ceremony in groups of four, with up to four members of the grad’s household. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s 2021 grads find creative ways to celebrate in another year of COVID-19

This year’s Grade 12 students were unable to have any large-scale events

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Hundreds gather at Surrey park in memory of victims in London attack

Vigil organized by Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians

(Photo: metro creative stock)
Canada India Network Society hosts event on chronic disease

2021 event coincides with International Day of Yoga

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read