Protesters march to city hall.

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

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

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

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read