Maple Ridge’s new tree bylaw needs work, says observer

‘Provides no new protection,' no better than old tree bylaw, says lawyer

Maple Ridge’s temporary tree bylaw is toothless and just serving as a way for the city to tally how many trees are being mowed down, council heard Monday.

Staff at best, are doing a counting exercise, said local lawyer and tree preservationist Allen Lees.

And the proposed new bylaw “provides no new protection.”

Lees, who’s been campaigning for years for a stronger tree bylaw, said that the word “significant” added to one of the sections in the new bylaw automatically prevents the bylaw from applying to the vast majority of trees in Maple Ridge. The city has no trees that are declared “significant” trees and there is no registry for that.

Staff are currently revising the draft law after council reviewed it earlier this month.

He suggested just removing the word so the section applies to all the trees.

“What the word did was remove all the protection requirements from trees other than significant.”

But Maple Ridge has no significant trees, he added. And it doesn’t even have a registry where those trees can be deemed significant and worthy of protection.

A significant tree is considered one in size or shape or species, of historical importance, or a landmark.

The new draft tree management bylaw also requires people in the urban areas to get permits to chop down any trees over 20 centimetres in diameter.

But there’s no limit on the number they cut down in an urban lot, providing they keep at least two on each property.

“Under the new, proposed bylaw, there will be nothing protecting people from cutting whatever they want.

“The protection for urban trees has been removed, in spite of support for protection,” said Lees.

“For urban trees, the new proposal is as bad as the old was.”

His daughter, Jessie Joy, showed council photos of trees recently cut down on a private lot on Shady Lane (124th Avenue) as an example.

Lees also suggested that the new bylaw follow Surrey’s example and simply require replacement of any trees removed on a two-for-one basis.

“Under the new proposed bylaw, there will be nothing preventing people from cutting whatever they want.”

Under Maple Ridge’s old tree bylaw, urban residents could cut down three trees per year that were over 10 centimeters in diameter.

Under the interim bylaw, property owners in urban and rural Maple Ridge have to get permits to remove any tree larger than 10 centimetres in diameter.

So far, about 90 have been given out since it came into effect earlier this year.


Just Posted

UPDATE/VIDEO: Heavy police presence after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

On Cooking: Yes, I eat meat

I recognize the fact that we as people are not all the same.

VIDEO: Firefighters on scene at Mission house blaze

Flames can be seen rising from roof of home on Lightbody Crescent

Sports announced for Maple Ridge 2020 BC Summer Games

18 events will attract almost 3000 young athletes

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants couldn’t find the net: coach

Even with a six-on-three advantage, the Langley-based hockey team couldn’t earn points Sunday.

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read