A worker with BC Plant Health Care helps remove nine honey locust trees on Johnston Road

A worker with BC Plant Health Care helps remove nine honey locust trees on Johnston Road

Differing views after city trees felled in White Rock

Honey locusts come down after repeated appeals from apartment owners

Nine honey locust trees were removed from city property in White Rock last week, following the recent approval of a contentious application from residents of a Pacific Avenue condo building.

But White Rock Coun. Helen Fathers says that the thumbs-up should prompt the city to take a look at its tree policy, which allows residents of such buildings to apply multiple times, but prevents homeowners from making the same request more than once every two years.

“Now, there seems to be a glitch in the system, because if you live in an apartment building,  you can just keep reapplying. And it shouldn’t really be. So I guess we’re going to have to look at that,” Fathers said Monday. “It should really be one per whole strata unit.”

Proponents, however, say the process, while lengthy, was one they were happy with.

Residents had complained that the trees, located west of the 15210 Pacific Ave. Ocean Ridge Development, obstructed views and posed a tripping hazard as roots began invading gardens.

Multiple requests to remove the trees – starting in 2009 – were rejected by both city staff and council under the city’s tree policy, which requires 65 per cent of those living within 30 metres of the trees to support their removal in order for work to be approved.

As of November 2012, the residents had 61 per cent support. A subsequent application made last summer by another resident of the 60-unit building garnered the support of 79 per cent of residents. As a result, the application was approved by the city’s operations department.

“Basically, they had come to council and asked us to appeal the decision, which of course, we didn’t. What they did was, another person in that building applied under the same policy – and this is where the policy in my opinion fails – went back and they had another crack at it and they got 79 per cent of the people saying yes,” Fathers said.

Pacific Avenue resident Anne Torno, however, said the application approval was a result of better organization.

“We came together a lot better, we talked to people and we set up a committee, so everyone would understand the implications of what we were doing. Everybody seemed quite willing to come on board,” she said, noting the residents footed the bill for the removal.

“In the end, it worked out pretty well. There are a couple of people who obviously are never going to be satisfied 100 per cent, but most of us are elated.

“The difference of having those trees down has been enormous to us. Not only do we have our views back, but we have so much more natural light coming into our suites now. And we also feel, from the street view, that the building looks considerably better without all the clutter from those trees, which weren’t very attractive.”

The boulevard where the trees stood is to be rehabilitated with soil and grass.



Just Posted

United Truckers Association members outside Labour Minister/Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains’ office on Monday, June 21. (submitted photo: UTA)
Protesting truckers park outside Labour Minister’s Surrey office; daily rallies promised

The truckers take issue with unlicensed trucks taking work away from legitimate owner operators, and more

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
UPDATED: Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

White Rock beach was buzzing with activity on Father’s Day, which saw the temperatures in the area hit a record high. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock breaks 83-year-old weather record on Father’s Day

Temperature in city hit 28.7, beating 1938 mark by 1.5 degrees

Police responded to White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 following an assault. (File photo)
Trial underway in February 2020 death of White Rock senior

Ross Banner charged with manslaughter following Five Corners altercation

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

Most Read