Williams Lake City Council gave their first three readings for a new tree protection bylaw.
This bylaw will be the first of its kind for the City, and will regulate and manage trees within private lands.
In a report from the City, they said that “regulating tree removal is critical for mitigating negative impacts to land, including excess runoff, erosion, and instability.”
It added that studies had linked an appropriate tree canopy with public health and wellness benefits.
With it being a new bylaw, staff will have to develop a series of processes for reviewing and issuing tree removal permits.
The proposed bylaw included the following basic scope:
- Protected trees, or trees that require a permit to cut, are limited to those on steep slopes, in geotechnical hazard areas, in riparian areas, wildlife/nesting trees, and heritage trees.
- Residential lots under one hectare in size are exempt from the bylaw requirements.
- Cutting a hazardous, dead, or diseased tree requires a permit and proof from an assessor/arborist, but the fees are waived, and no replacement tree is needed.
- If a permit is issued to cut a protected tree, two replacement trees must be planted, and a $300 (per tree) refundable security deposit paid.
The bylaw was discussed at last weeks City Council meeting, where it was approved.
The full report for the bylaw can be found on the City of Williams Lake’s website here.