Protesters march to city hall.

White Rock residents to get say on tree majority

A suggestion that White Rock require 80 per cent of neighbours be in favour of trimming or removing a city tree before any such work can occur does not have the support of some city councillors.

A suggestion that White Rock require 80 per cent of neighbours be in favour of trimming or removing a city tree before any such work can occur does not have the support of some city councillors.

In a lengthy discussion of proposed revisions to the city’s tree-management policy Monday, Couns. Al Campbell and Lynne Sinclair agreed the standard should be lower.

“Would two-thirds not be more appropriate?” Campbell said Monday. “I would like to certainly see that 65 (per cent) thrown out there, as part of that process.”

Sinclair said the 80 per cent figure “almost stacks the deck one way.”

“I do agree it should be substantial,” she said. “I guess we’ll hear from the public on that.”

Council gave unanimous support to putting the draft revisions out for public perusal, a process that’s anticipated to get underway late next month.

The original Policy 611 was approved 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 a report to council, the city’s director of engineering and municipal operations writes the suggested revisions recognize the value put on views in White Rock, but limit the role view alone can play in a decision to prune or remove a tree.

“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,” writes Rob Thompson.

In response to a question from Coun. Doug McLean, Thompson confirmed property owners could potentially apply to have a tree pruned or removed to restore a view of 50 years ago, if they had evidence their original view had been lost.

Thompson told council the 80 per cent figure was chosen “to indicate a clear majority of support for removal of the tree.”

But ultimately, it’ll be up to citizens to make the call, he said. “It’s really up to White Rock to generate their own percentage for what indicates clear support.”

Commending the revisions, Coun. Helen Fathers said she would prefer applications have 100 per cent of neighbour support, but suggested all three figures – 65, 80 and 100 per cent – be put to the public.

Coun. Grant Meyer said White Rock needs a policy “that doesn’t cause the sideshow that happened here in winter and spring.”

Other revisions suggested include that applications 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 suggests. And, all decisions would be final.

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

Just Posted

Fraser Health lists COVID-19 exposures at three more Surrey schools

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

White Rock Playhouse, Bell Centre lit up red in support of entertainment workers

Facilities across Canada participated in national Light Up Live movement on Sept. 22

New 10-bed substance use program opens in Surrey

It’s described as a ‘soft landing’ for people who are coming out of detox

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read