Victoria city council is considering restrictions on pollinating and fragrant trees near playgrounds and downtown. (Don Denton/VICTORIA NEWS)

Victoria considers limiting trees that cause allergy flareups

City investigating low pollen and fragrance-free trees near playgrounds

The City of Victoria is looking at restrictions on the planting of pollinating trees to alleviate reactions by people with allergies.

On Thursday council asked staff to report back on options and the potential cost of adding fragrance-free and low pollen plants in the city, especially around playgrounds. The discussion was referred from Tuesday when the city’s parks department gave a budget presentation.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton Joe brought a motion forward stemming from conversations at the city’s accessibility working group. The idea, she said, has come up frequently in their meetings.

“I don’t think we’re going to get to the point that it’s going to be throughout the city, but perhaps [we could] highlight a playground area,” she said. “I think we need to start to add that consideration.”

Coun. Ben Isitt said he’d like to see a report on how to balance the concerns of accessibility with having enough pollinating trees.

Thornton Joe first brought up the issue of allergen-friendly trees, in the context of a new downtown plan, at the Oct. 26 committee of the whole meeting. In an interview that day, she said allergies are an accessibility barrier to some members of the public.

“Whether it’s pollen, whether it’s things in cleaning products, it can affect them … [and] trigger … respiratory or nasal issues,” she said, adding it can be difficult for people with allergies to enjoy public spaces.

Placing high-fragrant or high pollen-count trees next to a playground might not be a good idea, she added, if it meant children with allergies could be excluded from playing there.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

MISSING: 32-year-old Heather Limer last seen in Victoria

Limer was last seen in the 800-block of Johnson Street on Feb. 18

Bungy jump naked in support of mental health programs

Registration open for annual fundraiser for BC Schizophrenia Society

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read