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May 27, 2015 Special Council Meeting & Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw Highlights

May 27, 2015

At a Special Meeting of Council on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 1 pm in the Council Chamber at Delta Municipal Hall, Council finally considered and adopted the following bylaws: Delta Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw No. 7415, 2015; Delta Bylaw Notice Enforcement Bylaw No. 7009, 2011 Amendment Bylaw No. 7416, 2015; and Municipal Ticketing Information Bylaw No. 6639, 2007 Amendment Bylaw No. 7417, 2015.

Bylaw No. 7415 replaces Delta Tree Cutting Regulation Bylaw No. 6336, 2006, improving the protection of trees across the municipality. The bylaw changes, along with the Urban Reforestation Project, will result in a net gain of trees in Delta.

Highlights of Delta Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw No. 7415, 2015 include:

  • A title change to refocus the bylaw on the protection, rather than the cutting, of trees.
  • Removing the maximum of $2,000 for a permit fee to ensure that applications for a large quantity of trees being cut pay their full share of the cost associated with issuing the permit.
  • Clarifying certain definitions.
  • Enhancing the enforcement provisions of the bylaw.
  • Requiring that a tree cutting permit be conspicuously displayed during tree cutting on the property where the tree is being cut.
  • Amending the provisions regarding the cutting of a single tree for any reason: 
    • Only allowing one tree to be cut without an arborist’s report or outside of an emergency every 24 months instead of each calendar year. 
    • Maintaining the free permit for cutting a single tree in a 24 month period, but requiring that the owner contribute $100 to Delta’s tree replacement fund to support the enhancement of Delta’s overall tree canopy cover.
  • Maintaining the requirement of two replacement trees (or cash in lieu of $500 per replacement tree) for every tree cut on a single property after the first tree in a 24 month period.
  • Requiring five replacement trees for every tree cut or damaged without a permit or contrary to a permit.
  • Requiring that all fees and fines owed to Delta be paid before a tree cutting permit is issued.
  • Housekeeping changes throughout the bylaw, including language revisions to add clarity and to respond to issues that have arisen over the last eight years.
  • Providing Council the ability to reject development applications for 24 months for properties where trees have been cut in violation of the bylaw. 

These changes help ensure Delta is in line with other Metro Vancouver municipalities with regards to tree protection. In certain aspects, particularly in the area of penalties for illegally cutting trees, the proposed Delta Tree Protection and Regulation Bylaw No. 7415, 2015 is one of the most stringent in the region. Delta's replacement tree size requirement is a larger size than most municipalities' requirements. 

View the Council report and complete agenda from the May 27, 2015 Special Meeting.