Tree Protection Bylaw Review

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The North Saanich tree canopy plays an important role in the health and well-being of the North Saanich natural environment and community. This bylaw aims to find a balanced approach to protect the District's tree canopy for current and future residents, while providing some flexibility for residents to manage the trees on their land.

About the Tree Protection Bylaw

The North Saanich Tree Protection Bylaw regulates the cutting, removal or damaging of trees on private property. It was adopted in 1999. Since then, North Saanich’s community 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 it responds to community values. The review will include establishing requirements for replacing protected trees.

We are in Phase 3: Finalize Draft Bylaw

The third round of public engagement has now concluded. We thank you for your participation in the survey, virtual open house and in-person open houses.

Next Steps: We are currently analyzing your feedback and will report back to Council in June with an engagement summary report to help inform potential revisions to the draft Tree Protection Bylaw.

Please subscribe for project updates to stay informed.

The North Saanich tree canopy plays an important role in the health and well-being of the North Saanich natural environment and community. This bylaw aims to find a balanced approach to protect the District's tree canopy for current and future residents, while providing some flexibility for residents to manage the trees on their land.

About the Tree Protection Bylaw

The North Saanich Tree Protection Bylaw regulates the cutting, removal or damaging of trees on private property. It was adopted in 1999. Since then, North Saanich’s community 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 it responds to community values. The review will include establishing requirements for replacing protected trees.

We are in Phase 3: Finalize Draft Bylaw

The third round of public engagement has now concluded. We thank you for your participation in the survey, virtual open house and in-person open houses.

Next Steps: We are currently analyzing your feedback and will report back to Council in June with an engagement summary report to help inform potential revisions to the draft Tree Protection Bylaw.

Please subscribe for project updates to stay informed.

  • Thank you for participating!

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    Thank you to everyone who took part in the Phase 3 engagement activities as part of the Tree Protection Bylaw review project.

    We received 397 survey responses and 86 people joined us at the open houses.

    We are currently working on analyzing and summarizing all the feedback we received. We will report back to Council in June with an engagement summary report and recommendations to help inform potential revisions to the draft Tree Protection Bylaw.

    Please subscribe for project updates to stay informed.

  • Phase 3 Engagement Activities

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    The District of North Saanich is inviting you to participate in the third round of public engagement on the Tree Protection Bylaw review!

    We are asking for your feedback on the alternatives that Council is considering to further refine the draft Tree Protection Bylaw.

    In particular, Council requested more public feedback about:

    • Trees that can be removed under the annual allowance;
    • Requirements to replace trees removed; and
    • Permit fees.

    To provide residents with a range of engagement activities to meet their varying needs, we have designed three different ways to share your feedback:

    You are invited to complete an online survey at connectnorthsaanich.ca/tree-bylaw.

    • Complete by Friday, April 22. If you would prefer a paper copy of the survey, call 250-656-0781 or pick up a copy at Municipal Hall (1620 Mills Rd.).

    We are hosting two (2) in-person open houses at Municipal Hall:

    • Thursday, April 7, 5 pm – 7 pm
    • Saturday, April 9, 11 am – 1 pm

    We are hosting one virtual open house through Zoom:

    You are welcome to attend any or all of these engagement events. If your time is limited, or you are already familiar with the Tree Protection Bylaw review, you may find it more efficient to only participate in the survey.

    If you would appreciate a deeper introduction into the Tree Protection Bylaw review, and more context about how and why the Project Team is drafting a new bylaw, the open houses may be a better fit for you.

    The two in-person open houses at Municipal Hall will be wheelchair-accessible, and no advance registration is required.

    Attendees are encouraged to bring their smart phones, tablets, or iPads so they can fill out the survey while attending the open houses.

    No matter how you choose to participate, we thank you for your interest and for sharing your thoughts. Your feedback will be presented to Council in June in an engagement summary report to help inform potential revisions to the draft Tree Protection Bylaw.

  • Outcomes of December 13 Meeting

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    Council met to discuss the Tree Protection Bylaw Review at a Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, December 13. Responding to Council's direction from November 1, the project team presented findings from additional research and an additional engagement option for Council to consider for Phase 3.

    Council endorsed three staff recommendations:

    1. Receive the additional research on tree protection bylaws that Council requested on November 1, 2021;
    2. Direct staff to proceed with the Phase 3 Engagement Plan in accordance with the engagement plan outlined in Staff Report No. PCS-21-014; and
    3. Approve the revised budget of $29,547 for the additional scope of the Tree Protection Bylaw Review in 2022.

    (You can review the research findings and Staff Report as links on the meeting agenda here: northsaanich.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Id=826.)

    Council affirmed they are proceeding with five key directions (KD) as presented within the draft bylaw: bylaw goals (KD 1), exemptions (KD 2), reasons for removal (KD 5), permit applications (KD 6), and tree protection (KD 7).

    However, Council directed staff to revise the draft bylaw to exclude certain fast-growing trees from the "significant tree definition" (KD 3) and to provide further clarity in a number of sections.

    Additionally, Council directed staff that public engagement in Phase 3 must consider alternatives to the four remaining key directions:

    • Lower the annual cutting and removal allowance and not implement a tree minimum, except with subdivision (KD 4);
    • Limit when replacement requirements apply by either capping them with a tree minimum, by only requiring replacements with development, or by only requiring replacement when trees are removed exceeding the annual cutting and removal allowance (key direction 8);
    • Lower the application fees and require no fees for the removal of invasive species (KD 9); and
    • Differentiate subdivision applications from other types of applications -- applications related to development will require a larger security deposit (KD 10).

    Public engagement is anticipated to launch in late March 2022. Engagement activities will include sending mail to each North Saanich household regarding engagement opportunities; an online open house; two in-person open houses; and a survey. Engagement will also include various presentations and meetings with relevant commissions, stratas, and stewardship groups.

    As this discussion occurred at a Committee of the Whole Meeting, the Council will need to ratify its decisions at the next Council Meeting: January 17, 2022

  • December 13 COW Meeting

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    Council will meet to discuss the Tree Protection Bylaw Review at a Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, December 13 at 7 p.m. The meeting agenda has been published at northsaanich.ca/council-meetings

    The purpose of the December 13 meeting is:

    • For council to discuss engagement options for Phase 3, and consider approving an increased budget to support the completion of the associated deliverables
    • Review the additional research prepared by the project team in response to Council’s request at the November 1, 2021 Council Meeting, including:
      • providing more information about other municipalities implementing a tree minimum approach in their tree bylaws,
      • summarizing tree removal and canopy cover trends in North Saanich, and
      • compiling information about tree retention and planting incentives found within tree bylaws and in other municipal incentive programs

    As always, we welcome public participation and input at this meeting by:

    • Submitting written correspondence pertaining to items on the agenda to corporateservices@northsaanich.ca by noon on Monday, December 13. This correspondence will be considered by Council as a “late item” for inclusion on the agenda.
    • Attending in-person to speak or watch by pre-registering, by noon on Monday, December 13 via email to corporateservices@northsaanich.ca. Up to 40 in-person attendees; masks must be worn at all times.
    • Attending virtually to speak by pre-registering, by noon on Monday, December 13 via email to corporateservices@northsaanich.ca. Each person has 3 minutes to present their perspective.
    • Attending virtually to watch through the livestream at northsaanich.ca/council-meetings.
  • New date for Council to discuss Phase 3

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    On November 1, after a staff report and presentation, Council deferred further discussion regarding engagement options for Phase 3 of the Tree Protection Bylaw Review until November 29, 2021. In addition, Council directed the project team to undertake additional research relating to components of the draft bylaw.

    However, the Project Team requires more time to prepare the research that Council had requested.

    Council has now indicated December 13, at 7:00 p.m., as the new time for this discussion, at a Regular Committee of the Whole meeting.

    We will continue to keep you posted with more details on the meeting agenda for December 13 and the various ways you can participate.

  • November 1 Council Meeting Outcomes

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    At the Monday, Nov. 1 Meeting of Council, Council was presented with a staff report on the Tree Protection Bylaw Review - Phase 3 Engagement Plan Options.

    This meeting followed from the August 16 Meeting of Council, where Council directed staff to bring back an engagement plan, revised work plan, and budget for Council’s review and consideration prior to moving forward to Phase 3 of the Tree Protection Bylaw Review.

    The staff report presented on Nov. 1 outlined two engagement options for Council:

    1. to further consult on the draft bylaw as last presented to the public and Council during Phase 2; or
    2. to engage the community on alternatives for the bylaw update or on a revised draft bylaw based on Council direction.

    Diamond Head Consulting (DHC) provided a complementary presentation that included a refresher on the key directions and alternatives for consideration (in response to Phase 2 engagement results). The presentation also included options for the work plan in Phase 3, including two options for further public engagement.

    After the presentation and discussion, Council directed staff to proceed with additional bylaw research with DHC, approve the $8,970 expenditure, and report back independently of deliberations related to further engagement.

    The research work includes further work on:

    • interviewing other local governments on the use of tree minimums
    • Statistics on number of trees removed per address, area, and per hectare
    • Researching the use of incentives in other tree bylaws

    DHC indicated that they would be able to report back to Council by Nov. 29 with a summary memo.

    Council also noted that this particular bylaw review is technically complicated and suggested that staff explore ways to clearly communicate what the current tree protection bylaw (adopted in 2002) regulates, and what changes are recommended through the draft Tree Protection Bylaw.

    Ultimately, Council deferred further discussion regarding engagement options for the Tree Protection Bylaw Review to Nov. 29, at a Special Meeting of Council dedicated to the topic.

    Further, Council moved they increase the expenditure to $10,000 for the additional tree protection bylaw research, to include consultant attendance at the November 29 meeting, and further directed staff to report back with funding source options.

    You can view a recording of the presentation and discussion about the Tree Protection Bylaw Review by clicking on the "VIDEO" tab (starting at ~1:32:39).

  • Phase 3 Engagement Plan Options

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    This Monday, November 1, Council will receive a staff report that highlights Phase 3 engagement plan options for the Tree Protection Bylaw review.

    This follows from the August 16 Meeting of Council, where Council received the Phase 2 Report: Engagement on Key Directions and draft Tree Protection Bylaw, and directed staff to bring back an engagement plan, revised work plan, and budget for Council’s review and consideration.

    The staff report outlines two engagement options for Council:

    1. to further consult on the draft bylaw as last presented to the public and Council during Phase 2; or
    2. to engage the community on alternatives for the bylaw update or on a revised draft bylaw based on Council direction.

    You can review the Council agenda, including all relevant information about the Phase 3 engagement plan options for the Tree Protection Bylaw review, for November 1, 2021, at https://northsaanich.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Id=679

  • Phase 2 Summary Report

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    Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the draft Tree Protection Bylaw. We have summarized what we heard in the Phase 2 Report: Engagement on Key Directions. On Monday, August 16 Council reviewed the Phase 2 report and considered alternatives to the Key Directions in response to what we've heard from you.

    Council requested the Project Team bring back options for engagement through Phase 3, and a revised work plan and budget later this fall.

  • Deep Cove Elementary Presentation

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    At the June 7, 2021 Council Meeting a video presentation was shared by Grade 3 - 5 Deep Cove Elementary students. It was prepared for North Saanich Mayor and Council with regards to the review of the Tree Protection Bylaw. As mentioned in their video the students understand that community voices, including theirs is important.

    View the video.

    Thanks again to the Deep Cove students for their interest in this project and the future of North Saanich.

  • Phase 2 Overview

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    The Project Team has prepared the draft Tree Protection Bylaw for your review. The draft Tree Protection Bylaw reflects the findings from the Key Directions in Phase 1 and works to address the challenges raised by Council, community members, stakeholders and District staff.

    As part of Phase 2 there are two ways to get involved by:

    • attending a virtual presentation and Q&A session on May 11 at 7 p.m.
    • completing the Phase 2 Survey on the draft Tree Protection Bylaw by May 31.
      • the short form survey takes approximately 5 minutes to complete, whereas the long form survey take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

    The Phase 2 Survey enables respondents to observe the effects of the draft bylaw on specific tree protection contexts as compared to the current bylaw and rate the satisfaction of results. Open ended questions provide for unscripted responses. This allows participants with a clearer sense of trade-offs and impacts of the draft bylaw changes before the bylaw proceeds to Council.

    This feedback will help further shape the draft Tree Protection Bylaw. At the conclusion of Phase 2 the Project Team will present to Council a:

    • final report
    • draft Tree Protection Bylaw
    • draft species list
    • draft District Tree Policy for Municipal Lands; and the
    • Phase 2 engagement summary.
Page last updated: 29 Apr 2022, 09:32 AM