Surrey’s tree bylaw should leave large tracts of trees intact but give landowners flexibility

Surrey’s tree bylaw should leave large tracts of trees intact but give landowners flexibility

LETTERS: Simple to protect trees, owners

Editor:

Re: Cost of cutting down trees, May 8 column.

Editor:

Re: Cost of cutting down trees, May 8 column.

Columnist Frank Bucholtz provided a good summary of the weaknesses in the Surrey tree bylaw.

He notes that trees are rarely retained in single-family developments because of the large building footprints relative to the size of the lots.

However, there is a simple way around this. Locations where there are significant stands of trees should be developed as larger lots or left intact as public space. This would avoid the ugly cookie-cutter lot development that we now enjoy in Morgan Heights.

Unfortunately, we rarely see effective tree retention in Surrey because council considers the interests of developers above those of the general public.

Furthermore, the city should respect the capabilities of individual property owners to manage their own landscape.

We should be allowed to cut down one tree a year if needed as part of overall garden maintenance.

For example, it is not feasible to grow a successful vegetable garden without adequate hours of sunshine, and large trees can create too much shade.

The tree bylaw would be significantly improved by more effective implementation for new developments and providing flexibility for individual property owners to maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

David Sellars, Surrey