The tree located at the intersection of Wharf, Humboldt and Government streets was removed to accommodate the new bike lane and pedestrian scramble. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

City of Victoria looks at amending tree preservation bylaw by redefining ‘tree’

Misunderstandings between what is considered a ‘tree’ has been causing problems

The City of Victoria is going back to the basics as it considers amending its Tree Preservation Bylaw.

In a staff recommendation coming to the committee of the whole on Thursday, Thomas Soulliere, director of parks, recreation and facilities suggested that within the bylaw, the definition of ‘tree’ be expanded.

Presently, the definition of tree in the bylaw only applies to living trees; Soulliere suggests it also apply to dead trees.

“[Presently] dead protected trees can be cut down without a permit,” the report reads. “Replacement trees are not required with the removal of protected trees that are dead.”

An adjustment to include dead trees within the bylaw would mean that all protected trees require a permit for removal and that two replacement trees are required once a protected tree is removed.

ALSO READ: Tree activists call for better transparency after Humboldt Street tree removal

“This change in definition will ensure that all protected trees will have the same review process and replacement requirements,” the report reads.

The report also hopes to clarify the definition of building envelope lines; currently, a building envelop is defined in relation to the primary building and accessory buildings on a property, which allows for a protected tree to be removed anywhere that an accessory building is placed on the lot.

City staff have noticed issues with this definition when people apply for permits to build a garage with intentions to later turn it into a garden suite in an effort to circumnavigate permit requirements. Garden suite requirements hold higher considerations for trees and “mature landscape features.”

ALSO READ: ‘Harry Potter tree’ near Victoria waterfront to be removed

A proposed definition change would say that the “building envelope and building envelope line are defined in relation only to the primary building,” making sure that accessory buildings are placed in locations that limit the removal of trees.

Lastly, the proposed bylaw changes also ask that specific qualifications be required for those conducting assessments for tree removal, with recommendations that the International Society of Arboriculture Tree Risk Assessor Qualification be the standard.

These changes will come to the committee of the whole on Thursday morning.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

City of VictoriaEnvironment

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

Just Posted

Significant donation boosts Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s most ambitious fundraising campaign

Townline’s $600,000 donation helps purchase new 3 Telsa MRI for Royal Jubilee Hospital

Cherry Bomb Toys, which houses the National Toy Museum of Canada, has had a rough year

The property that’s home to Cherry Bomb Toys is listed at $2.6 million

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

Victoria hotel proposal threatens Old Town conservation, advocates say

Height requests defy historic district’s guidelines

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

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

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they’ll meet with ministers if RCMP get out

Federal minister in charge of Indigenous relations has proposed a meeting to diffuse blockades

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Most Read