Let’s Talk Trees Survey

Give Us Your Opinion on the Proposed Changes

Complete this survey before June 30, 2018 to give us your opinion on proposed changes to Port Coquitlam’s tree policies and regulations, based on public consultation in 2017 and best practices.

This guided survey will provide background information before asking for your opinion. Feedback will be considered in the final recommendations to the Sustainability and Environment Committee and Council in summer 2018.

Thank you for taking time to complete this survey. Once you complete the survey you can enter your name to win a $100 Visa gift card. Your responses are anonymous and will be kept confidential.

Enhancing Tree Management

What’s being proposed?

Enhanced policies in the Official Community Plan (OCP) would:

  • Promote retention of trees in new developments by allowing variances to building setbacks, parking and other requirements
  • Recognize and celebrate significant trees
  • Identify and register trees with heritage value
  • Establish a City-wide tree data base
  • Set a tree canopy target
  • Manage wildfire risk
  • Provide for more street trees
  • Ensure diverse tree planting
  • Encourage additional trees as part of development approvals

What do we do now?

The OCP’s current policies do not specify ways for the City to preserve or encourage more trees in development, or outline tree management strategies.

Why is this being proposed?

These stronger policies would help ensure a healthy and growing urban forest, and are in line with public feedback received last year.

Protecting Trees

What’s being proposed?

Trees requiring a permit under the Tree Bylaw would include:

  • Trees with a diameter of 15 cm (6 in) or a height of 5 m (16 ft) or greater.
  • New trees planted to replace ones that are cut.
  • Hazardous trees (post-removal for cases of immediate danger).

What do we do now?

Trees with a diameter smaller than 20 cm (8 inches) and hazardous trees are exempt from the Tree Bylaw.


Why is this being proposed?

  • To maintain a healthy urban forest by ensuring young trees can grow into mature trees.
  • To allow hazardous trees to be removed while ensuring healthy trees are not removed unnecessarily.

Replacing Trees

What’s being proposed?

  • One replacement tree would need to be planted for each tree cut, or two replacement trees if the tree was significant (i.e. very large).
  • If replanting is not feasible, the owner could pay $500 cash-in-lieu, used by the City to plant trees on public lands.

What do we do now?

  • Few replacement trees are planted after cutting. A replacement tree is normally only required if the tree was significant.
  • Cash-in-lieu payment for replacement trees is negotiated on a case-by-case basis, generally for new development.

Why is this being proposed?

Mandatory tree replacement will protect the City’s tree cover, was supported public during public consultation last year, and would be in line with requirements in Lower Mainland communities.

Significant Trees

What’s being proposed?

The definition of significant treeswould include:

  • All trees with a diameter of 60 cm (approx. 2 ft) or greater
  • Trees of locally rare or threatened species
  • Wildlife trees
  • Listed heritage trees

What do we do now?

Significant trees can only be removed for development or if deemed hazardous. They include large native trees with diameters of 70+ cm, select smaller native trees, wildlife trees, heritage trees, and unusual specimen trees.

Why is this being proposed?

The expanded definition of significant trees reflects public feedback received last year, and will help ensure our large, historical and rare trees are around for future generations to enjoy.

Permit Fees

What’s being proposed?

The tree permit fee would be $100 for each tree.

What do we do now?

  • There is no permit fee for the removal of one tree per property per year.
  • For more than one tree, a permit on single-family lots costs $50 plus $20 per tree, and on other properties a permit costs $75 plus $25 per tree.

Why is this being proposed?

The higher fees reflect community feedback received last year, and would offset the cost of processing tree permits, help expand the City’s tree-planting program, and bring fees in line with those in other local municipalities.

Compliance

What’s being proposed?

To increase compliance with the Tree Bylaw, new penalties would include:

  • Fines ranging from $200 for failure to display a tree permit, to $1000 for removing a tree without permit, up to $4,000 for late payment of a fine for removing a significant tree without permit.
  • Three replacement trees would need to be planted for each tree removed without a permit.

What do we do now?

Fines for breaking the Tree Bylaw range from $100 for damaging a City tree, to $500 for cutting a significant tree without a permit.

Why is this being proposed?

The new penalties would better deter contravention, bring them in line with most Metro Vancouver municipalities, and are consistent with feedback received during last year’s consultation.

 

Thank you for your participation in this survey! Please enter your name and email below if you’d like to be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card (one entry per person, Port Coquitlam residents only). Your name will not be associated with your responses.