Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Council Approves Motion to Explore Tree Protection During Redevelopment

A tree

Last fall, I asked residents of Langley City if they supported a tree protection bylaw and other measures to protect trees during the redevelopment process. The overwhelming majority of residents who completed the survey would support these measures, except in the Alice Brown neighbourhood.

Surrey, White Rock and the Township of Langley already have tree protection policies making Langley City the outlier in the South of Fraser today. In Langley City, there is an opportunity to retain mature and significant trees during the redevelopment process.

Our tree canopy helps mitigate the “Urban Heat Island” and allows us to adapt to climate change. The tree canopy creates shade during the summer, captures, infiltrates and stores rainfall, cleans stormwater run-off, sequesters carbon, prevents erosion, buffers noise, and improves wildlife habitat. Grown the tree canopy maximizes these benefits.

During redevelopment in Langley City today, the current practice is to clear-cut all trees from a lot. While new trees are planted during redevelopment, it takes several decades before these trees reach maximum diameter, providing the full benefits of their canopy. It is better to retain existing mature trees when possible.

I made the following motion at last night’s Langley City Council meeting. I am proud to say that Council unanimously approved the motion.

THAT Staff consider utilizing the Metro Vancouver Tree Regulations Toolkit when developing the Urban Forest Management Plan
THAT Staff include, as part of the Urban Forest Management Plan, policy recommendations that support retaining as much of the existing tree canopy as practically possible on private property during redevelopment with a focus on the Urban Residential and Suburban Residential land-use areas of Langley City
THAT Staff include, as part of the Urban Forest Management Plan, policy recommendations that support growing the tree canopy on private property in the Industrial, Service Commercial, and Mixed-Employment land-use areas of Langley City.

This year Council approved $110,000 to complete an Urban Forest Management Plan. This motion helps give City staff clear direction on some of the matters Council would like to see addressed in the plan.

No comments: