Across the Saanich Peninsula there are approximately 14 districts, and 14 different approaches to tree protection (Bylaws). These bylaws are in place primarily to ensure that minimum canopy levels will be retained over time. This is important because of all the services urban trees provide and the on-going pressures to remove them. Therefore, there are a number of tree cutting permit systems in place, that vary in their requirements, depending on where you live. The bottom line with all the tree bylaws is that you need a good reason to remove a protected tree, and you must have a tree cutting permit, even if its on your own property. Here are several good reasons to remove a tree that are common to many district bylaws:
- Hazardous, or unhealthy/damaged tree in decline is beyond recovery
- If an Arborist Report has been submitted with your application, which documents that the protected tree, by virtue of its size and species, is inappropriate for its location and includes the reasons that it is deemed to be inappropriate for its location,
- Designated professionals have determined that the protected tree is impairing, interfering with, or presents a risk or hazard to the operation of sewers, drains, water lines, septic fields, electrical lines, poles or similar equipment and appurtenances and that the impairment, interference or risk cannot be reduced or removed in any other way than the removal of the tree;
- If trees are interfering with foundations,
- To accommodate the construction of a building for which a building permit has been issued;
- For the construction or installation of a driveway, required off-street parking area, septic tank or field, or underground or above ground utility corridor, and where no other locations are available where the driveway, parking area, septic tank or field or utility corridor may be located;
The above requirements are generalizations and are not complete or accurate for all jurisdictions. Property owners should refer to the bylaws specific to their districts prior to cutting trees. The jurisdictions will normally state conditions on the tree cutting permit, such as requiring the services of an ISA Certified Arborist for a Tree Report. It has been our experience that the permitting process can often be expediated by including a Tree Report with the initial permit application.
If you’d like to schedule a viewing of your work or are commissioning private proposals in the Saanich and Victoria area, please give us a call at 250-652-9223 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get right back to you.