The Town recognizes the importance of trees as a natural asset, and that trees provide immense benefits to our community, including:
- Combatting climate change
- Stormwater retention
- Erosion protection
- Cleaning our air
- Reducing heat island effect
- Providing mental and physical health benefits
- Creating an attractive place to live
- Providing nutrients to creek and ocean life
- Providing wildlife habitat
- Increasing property values
Currently, the Town has no bylaw regarding clearing of trees on private land, its ‘Tree Removal Policy on Public Land‘ is out of date, and its ‘Tree Cutting Permit Bylaw No. 623, 1990’ is very limited in scope. Additionally, the Town’s Integrated Stormwater Management Plan (ISMP), which was completed in 2018, recommended the adoption of a Tree Preservation Bylaw.
The bylaw is considered to be the first step in developing an Urban Forest Plan and it has three key objectives:
- Identifies tree species that are to be protected within the Town of Gibsons;
- Recognizes the importance of the tree canopy and the many environmental, economic and social benefits of Urban Forests, whether the trees are on private property, Town road dedications or green spaces; and
- Establishes procedures to preserve the Town’s tree canopy by minimizing tree removal, preventing damage or destruction of trees, establishing mandatory conditions for replacement of trees, and optimizing planting provisions and tree health within the Town.
Before formal adoption, Council is seeking feedback from the community on the proposed bylaw. This will occur via a virtual Public Hearing to be held on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 5:30pm.