A tree faller work to fell a Douglas fir in the 15200-block of Victoria Avenue Friday.

‘Eagle-tree’ controversy nudges White Rock

The loss of the mature Douglas firs from the Victoria Avenue hillside has spurred a city commitment to make changes.

White Rock officials may not have been able to save four city trees, but the loss of the mature Douglas firs from the Victoria Avenue hillside last week has spurred a commitment to make changes going forward.

City manager Dan Bottrill said Tuesday that while he doesn’t believe there was anything that could have been done differently to change the outcome, the issue has drawn attention to the need for a tree-management plan for the city.

“I think there’s probably a deeper appreciation for the trees that we have in White Rock, and probably an understanding that we need to take a look at a tree-management plan… in terms of what trees do we have, how can we enhance that and look after our current inventory of trees,” Bottrill told Peace Arch News.

Friday, four Douglas firs on city land in the 15200-block of Victoria Avenue were toppled after the owner of an adjacent lot advised he would be cutting significant roots that extended into his lot.  The damage would have made the trees a safety hazard, city officials explained prior to the cuts.

While the trees were known to be used by eagles that frequent others along Marine Drive, provincial legislation could not protect them unless they had a nest.

Bottrill said a citywide tree bylaw – which is to be discussed at Monday’s council meeting, following a May 13 motion by Coun. Helen Fathers – would also not have saved the firs.

Fathers said she wonders if council, with more time, could have authorized purchasing the adjacent lot for city use, as a previous council did with land adjacent to Dr. R.J. Allan Hogg Rotary Park.

Bottrill said the option was likely not available in this case.

“It does beg the question, should the city be taking a look at other properties when they become available, adjacent to linear walkways, for example?” he said.

A review of such walkways, along with a concept plan regarding their management, is part of city plans for 2013, Bottrill noted. It will include having conversations with hillside property owners who have encroached on such city lands – some significantly.

Sandy McNamee – whose May 13 appeal to council to save the Victoria Avenue trees spurred the eleventh-hour efforts – said she is hopeful steps will be taken to “try to replenish what was lost.”

She does believe the situation increased the community’s awareness of the importance of such trees, and that city officials did everything they could.

She is hopeful it will lead to a significant-tree registry or similar policy.

“I think… people kind of sat up and took notice,” she said. “I think there’s still conversations that will happen.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GoFundMe started for former White Rock man who suffered hemorrhage in Dubai

Family friend suspects hospital bill to be in the hundreds of thousands

Despite evacuation, coronavirus-quarantined White Rock couple still two weeks from home

Government chartered plane to help cruising Canadians return from Japan

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on B.C. streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read

l -->