Have Your Say About New Tree Rules Until June 30
Those interested in Port Coquitlam’s trees can have their say this month about proposed new regulations and policies intended to promote more tree planting and better protect trees on both public and private property.
Continuing last year’s Let’s Talk Trees campaign, the city will host an open house June 14, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Outlet in Leigh Square and an online survey at www.portcoquitlam.ca/talktrees from June 1 to June 30 to collect feedback on planned updates to the Official Community Plan and Tree Bylaw.
Residents who complete the survey will be entered in a draw for a $100 Visa gift certificate.
“A lot of people last year supported the idea of better tree protection, and now we’d like to hear what they have to say about the specific measures to make that happen,” Mayor Greg Moore said. “What’s being proposed reflects what is happening around Metro Vancouver, as cities work to balance growth with environmental and social needs.”
Open house attendees will be able to view information boards and speak to staff starting at 5 p.m., and attend a presentation starting at 6:30 p.m. Those who take the online survey will also be guided through the reasoning for the proposed changes.
Port Coquitlam has a tree canopy (the area covered by trees) of about 23.8 per cent. The city launched an update of its tree policies and regulations last year to ensure that as the community grows, it will continue to enjoy the benefits of trees – such as shade, clean air and water, habitat value, natural beauty and a connection to the environment.
Among the approximately 500 people who joined in last year’s consultation, there was a high level of support for taking steps to better protect trees. The proposed changes reflect this input, as well as policies and regulations in place in other cities in the region.
The enhanced OCP policies would ensure more trees are retained and planted on development sites, provide more protection of significant trees, and help the city better manage its urban forest.
The proposed changes to the Tree Bylaw include:
- Increasing the scope of bylaw regulations to include smaller trees,
- Requiring planting of replacement trees for those cut, or a cash-in-lieu payment for the city to plant a replacement elsewhere,
- Better defining what is considered a significant tree,
- Increasing tree permit fees to better reflect costs,
- Clarifying requirements regarding hazardous trees, and
- Giving stronger penalties for contravening the bylaw.
“The public feedback last year showed us that Port Coquitlam cares about its trees, said Laura Dupont, Chair of the Sustainability and Environment Committee. “Trees play a vital role in a healthy and livable community and we are making sure we do our due diligence to understand what our community wants for the future.”
The feedback collected will be considered in the final recommendations to the Sustainability and Environment Committee and Council this summer.
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For additional information, contact:
Planning Division, Development Services