Tree Protection Bylaw Review

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We want to hear from you! Explore the information on the page, fill out the survey and add your ideas (closes December 14)!

The North Saanich Tree Protection Bylaw, which regulates the cutting, removal or damaging of trees on private property, was adopted in 2002. Since then, North Saanich’s urban forest and the challenges it faces have evolved. The District is reviewing its Tree Protection Bylaw to align with current best practices and conditions, while ensuring its responds to our community values. The review will include establishing requirements for replacing protected trees.

Why regulate trees in North Saanich?

Trees improve

We want to hear from you! Explore the information on the page, fill out the survey and add your ideas (closes December 14)!

The North Saanich Tree Protection Bylaw, which regulates the cutting, removal or damaging of trees on private property, was adopted in 2002. Since then, North Saanich’s urban forest and the challenges it faces have evolved. The District is reviewing its Tree Protection Bylaw to align with current best practices and conditions, while ensuring its responds to our community values. The review will include establishing requirements for replacing protected trees.

Why regulate trees in North Saanich?

Trees improve quality of life in North Saanich by capturing rainwater and returning it to the soil, cleaning the air, shading and cooling streets and buildings, stabilizing steep slopes, and providing people with opportunities to connect with and relax in nature. Trees also provide habitat for birds, wildlife and other living things while being part of broader ecological connectivity, ecosystem function and overall ecosystem integrity. The ecosystem services that trees provide also improve our community’s resilience to climate hazards such as extreme heat and rainfall events.

However, trees also need to be removed sometimes, for example, when they are in poor health, are unsafe or for development when it is consistent with our Official Community Plan and permitted zoning. Tree Bylaws are used by many communities in BC to regulate the protection and replacement of trees.

How are trees regulated in North Saanich?

The District manages trees on public land and administers a Tree Protection Bylaw that regulates the cutting, removal or damaging of trees on private property. As part of this review, recommendations will be made to update the Tree Protection Bylaw to respond to today’s challenges and reflect the values of the community. A District Tree Policy will also be developed to guide the protection and replacement of trees on District-owned lands.

  • The District of North Saanich is currently reviewing the Tree Protection Bylaw. This survey seeks to understand your concerns and aspirations for tree protection and replacement in North Saanich. Your feedback will help shape the recommendations to update the Tree Protection Bylaw.

    The survey takes approximately 12 minutes to complete.

     Tree bylaws are a common tool that local governments use to regulate trees. They usually regulate:

    • Which trees are protected and require a permit for removal.
    • The acceptable reasons to issue a permit for the removal of protected trees.
    • How trees that are being retained are protected during site disturbance work.
    • How trees are to be replaced or compensated for when they are removed.

    You can learn more about how the current North Saanich Tree Protection Bylaw regulates trees here.

    The Tree Protection Bylaw is only one of the bylaws in North Saanich that influences tree protection and replacement. North Saanich is also reviewing its Official Community Plan (OCP), which will guide future land use and other policies that impact where and how trees, forests, native species, and biodiversity are protected in the District. You can help shape the  OCP and the District’s vision for the next 20 years at connectnorthsaanich.ca/ocp.

    Take Survey
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