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

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Scorpion found in B.C. woman’s kitchen finds new home in Victoria

The Victoria Bug Zoo welcomed the scorpion on Saturday

B.C. getting less bang for its buck

B.C.’s CPI topped 2.7 per cent in April 2019, compared to two per cent for all of Canada

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read