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Councillor Steven Pettigrew, who chairs the committee, previously told the Now-Leader that the bylaw is “a bit out of date.”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

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

Just Posted

Plans for apartments on Strawberry Hill shopping site coming to Surrey council

It would be near the library, and include 123 rental units

Man killed in fall from Civic Hotel balcony in Surrey

Heavy emergency services presence in plaza at the skyscraper, at 13475 Central Ave.

Ride-hailing arrives in North Delta

Uber’s picking up passengers in North Delta, Ladner, but Tsawwassen is still waiting for the service

VIDEO: Report of gun draws big RCMP response to Langley mall

At least one man was taken into custody and replica handgun was located

Uber says it’s been serving North Surrey since 8 a.m. Friday

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum has voiced vehement opposition to ride hailing in this city

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

5 things you need to know to start using ridesharing in Metro Vancouver

From how to get started to where drivers can take you, heres all you need to know

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Most Read