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 July 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 July with an engagement summary report to help inform potential revisions to the draft Tree Protection Bylaw.

Please subscribe for project updates to stay informed.

  • Phase 1 Overview

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    Phase 1 Background Review and Key Directions

    The District initiated the review of the Tree Bylaw in the fall of 2020. Phase 1 focused on assessing the current community context, reviewing the state of best practices in aboriculture and urban forestry, comparing the Tree Protection Bylaw with the bylaw of similar municipalities and engaging the public to understand their priorities and shared values in protection trees on private land. The Phase 1 Background Review and Key Directions report summarizes this work.

    Phase 1 Engagement Summary

    The goal for engagement during the first project phase was to involve the community in identifying concerns and aspirations related to the management of private trees in the District.

    Community engagement was conducted online due to COVID-19 restrictions and included:

    • Four online community workshops
    • Connect North Saanich online engagement using the following tools:
      • Survey
      • Questions and answers; and
      • Ideas
    • One staff workshop
    • Three District Commission presentations (Community Agricultural Commission, Community Planning Commission, Community Stewardship Commission)

    More details on each of these activities including engagement stats and key themes are outlined within The Phase 1 Engagement Summary.

    Next Steps: Phase 2 Draft Bylaw Update

    At the Special Committee of the Whole Meeting on March 18, 2021 Council received the Phase 1 Engagement Summary, endorsed the Background Review and Key Directions report and endorsed the revised Project Charter and revised Engagement Plan. As per Council's direction we are now in Phase 2 where we will prepare a full draft Tree Protection Bylaw for public review.

    Further Background

    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.

Page last updated: 23 Jun 2022, 11:16 AM