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

PHOTOS: West Shore students rally for 10,000 Tonight food drive

Students, community members gather, sort food donations

Saanich seeks contractors for Shelbourne Street upgrade project

The three-phase project is expected to begin in 2020

Saanich allows retail sale of recreational cannabis for specific zones

Amendments to the 2003 bylaw allows retail sale of recreational cannabis in Saanich

Brotherston sentenced to three years in prison for Sooke home invasion

Home invasion took place on Feb. 9 and left one man with face and head injuries

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

Most Read