Residents march to White Rock city hall after Royal Avenue trees were cut following a resident's complaint they obstructed views.

Residents march to White Rock city hall after Royal Avenue trees were cut following a resident's complaint they obstructed views.

Staff suggest pruning White Rock’s tree policy

Suggestions for changes to a contentious White Rock policy governing the pruning and removal of trees on public property have been made.

Suggestions for changes to a contentious White Rock policy governing the pruning and removal of trees on public property have been made.

Considered by city council Monday night – after Peace Arch News press deadline – proposed revisions to Policy 611 include replacing a provision that allows residents to apply for the pruning or removal of any tree on city land with one that allows applications to prune or remove a tree that has grown to obscure an established view.

“The revised policy recognizes the inherent qualities and value of a tree on city land to the community, and the city will not consider applications to prune or remove a tree… due to leaf, flower, pith or seed litter, size or shade,” states a report by Rob Thompson, director of municipal operations.

“The city will consider an application to re-establish a view that has been obscured by tree growth, but will not consider a request to prune or remove a tree on city land to establish a new view.”

Policy 611 was first approved by council in June 2010, and was intended to give staff and council guidance in dealing with applications to trim, prune or remove trees on city lands.

It became a source of contention earlier this year, after council granted an appeal that resulted in the removal of two trees in the 15100-block of Royal Avenue. The applicant said the trees were blocking views.

In his report, Thompson also suggests applications regarding city trees only be considered from White Rock property owners who have lived at their property for at least two years; and that such owners be allowed to apply no more than once every two years.

Requests to prune or remove trees in city parks should not be considered, Thompson adds. And, all decisions would be final.

If the policy is approved, applicants would have to meet two key criteria: prove a view has become obscured by growth; and, have support of 80 per cent of respondents living within 30 metres of the tree in question.

Describing the revised policy as a “more proactive approach to the management and enhancement of the city’s urban forest assets,” Thompson notes it may require more resources to implement.

He recommended council direct staff to proceed with public consultation, with results to be presented in September.

If approved, any additional funds required to implement it will be brought for consideration in the city’s 2012 financial plan.


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

Just Posted

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

A Transit Police officer and another driver were injured on Nov. 4 in a traffic crash while the officer was responding to another officers call for help catching a man who escaped custody. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating Surrey crash that injured transit cop, another driver

Crash happened 11 p.m. Nov. 4, at 128th Street and 93rd Avenue in Cedar Hills

Friends and family of murder victim Paul Prestbakmo wore memorial masks outside Surrey Provincial Court Jan. 14, 2021. (From left) Family friend Tyler Whitley, sister Angela Prestbakmo, childhood friend Jimmy Slater, brother Steve Prestbakmo, Semiahmoo First Nation councillor Roxanne Charles and sister Liz Prestbakmo. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Two accused in 2019 South Surrey murder were ‘really angry,’ pacing at party: witness

‘We had this really strong gut feeling that something was really wrong’

Semiahmoo Rock
Record-setting 10 Semiahmoo Rock players selected in B.C. junior lacrosse draft

Kaleb Borg is the highest Rock player selected, going in the second round to the Coquitlam Adanacs

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
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

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read