White Rock staff have recommended that two efforts to change city rules – for where skateboarders can ride and how trees are dealt with citywide – not be bumped up in priority.
Both issues were raised separately in recent weeks, with Coun. Larry Robinson pushing for changes to White Rock’s Street and Traffic Bylaw that would ease restrictions on skate- and longboarders, and Coun. Helen Fathers asking for an earlier-than-planned look at establishing a citywide tree bylaw.
Monday night – after Peace Arch News’ press deadline – council gave unanimous support to requests from staff asking that both reviews be deferred until next year. The reports cited insufficient capacity to perform thorough reviews at this time.
“It is recommended that the review and amendment to Street and Traffic Bylaw No. 1529 be deferred until 2014 in order to allow staff to give it the appropriate attention it deserves in view of current competing demands for staff resources,” writes Greg St. Louis, the city’s director of engineering.
Robinson asked for the review last month after he was approached by boarders appealing for changes. He suggested the city refine areas where the boards can be used; add definitions to the existing bylaw; implement escalating fines; and enforce the rules.
St. Louis said a “complete review” is needed to address all outdated sections of the bylaw.
In requesting deferral of the citywide tree bylaw review, director of planning and development services Paul Stanton notes the project is already on the books for late 2014, and should remain there “in order to allow staff to give it the appropriate attention it deserves…”
He notes the existing tree-management bylaw, adopted in May 2010, applies to trees on private lands in defined areas of the city. It required increased resources to implement, and a citywide bylaw would “inevitably” require even more, Stanton writes.
While staff agree additional areas could be added to the bylaw, “proper identification… will take time and resources to prepare.”
City manager Dan Bottrill – noting staff time is “consumed” by projects including an official community plan review relating to the Lower Town Centre and large-scale developments – suggests focus may be better placed on a tree-management strategic plan outlining strategies to enhance and protect existing trees, and build on existing inventory specifying preferred locations.