Large trees and vibrant foliage line Cormorant Point, one of Saanich’s many lookouts. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Large trees and vibrant foliage line Cormorant Point, one of Saanich’s many lookouts. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Updated tree protection bylaw could cost Saanich up to $50,000 more annually

Council decided the strengthened bylaw will apply to the District too

Saanich’s newly strengthened tree protection bylaw could cost the District up to $50,000 more per year as it won’t just apply to residents and developers.

Amendments to the bylaw – including security deposits and increased replacement tree requirements – were given three readings at a council meeting on Dec. 16.

The District will align itself with the replacement tree requirements listed in the amended bylaw and this will have financial implications for the municipality.

READ ALSO: Saanich strengthens tree protection bylaw, increases required replacement trees

Technically, because of the way the bylaw was written, the District doesn’t need to comply with the bylaw, noted Coun. Rebecca Mersereau, who pushed for the amendments in February as her first initiative on council.

However, council agreed that municipal staff should follow the same rules as residents to set an example, she explained. The District also set itself a goal of planting 10,000 trees by 2025 in response to the climate emergency so Saanich was already planning to add more trees, she emphasized.

The District won’t, however, need to pay the replacement tree security deposits in the same way as residents, explained Eva Riccius, senior manager of parks. The municipality will be using the highest replacement tree standard of three trees replanted for each one cut down for municipal projects, Riccius noted. In spots where there isn’t room to plant three replacement trees – such as areas where road work has been done – a security deposit will be held until the trees can be planted in parks or during other projects.

Based on a five-year average – typically the longest staff will care for trees – of costs to replace and care for trees and the increased replacement requirements, municipal staff expect to spend between $40,000 and $50,000 more annually. The money will come from the parks department’s small tree maintenance budget, Riccius noted.

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

The expense increase is largely due to the price of maintenance for the replacement trees – the extra staff time, the irrigation and care for the new trees will add up, Riccius explained.

According to a staff report, the bylaw amendments will increase tree permit fee revenue by about $1,000. The report also noted that the parks department will request that council grant an increase in resources during the 2020 budget cycle. The request includes adding a Bylaw Enforcement Lead position, a Tree Bylaw Clerk position and an Arboriculture Inspector position.

The amended bylaw has a final reading at a council meeting in January and staff will then update the website so residents can get informed, Riccius said.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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

Just Posted

Victoria police arrested a man in a Yates Street grocery store Nov. 27 after he refused to wear a mask. (Black Press Media File photo)
Belligerent man arrested in Victoria grocery store after refusing to wear mask

Officers fined the man $230 under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act

The Town of Sidney will receive $2.75 million in direct grant support from the provincial government to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A report before council Monday recommends a “cautious and measured approach” in using the funds. (Black Press Media File)
Staff suggest Sidney be cautious spending $2.75 million from province

Staff also warn of financial ‘uncertainty’ and raise prospect of tax increase

North Saanich will encourage but not force residents to burn outdoor waste on days with good venting index. (Black Press Media File)
North Saanich fires up comprehensive strategy report on outdoor burning, green waste disposal

North Saanich to encourage but not require residents to burn only on days with good venting index

A 43-year-old woman is facing charges for impaired driving and leaving the scene of a crash after attempting to flee from police by driving down the beach in front of the Oak Bay Marina on Nov. 23. (Oak Bay Police/Twitter)
Victoria woman drives over seawall onto beach near Oak Bay Marina

Driver faces charges for fleeing crash, refusing breathalyzer test

Friends with Dorothy opens in Victoria.
LGBT2Q+ lounge Friends with Dorothy opens second location in Victoria

The Kelowna-based lounge plans to open in Victoria mid-December

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read