Tree Preservation Bylaw

Arbutus trees are one of 11 protected tree species named in Bylaw 1282-2020. (See ‘Schedule A’ of the bylaw for a complete list of protected tree species.)

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

On September 18, 2020, Tree Preservation Bylaw 1282-2020  was adopted. Subsequently, on October 6, 2020,  1125-10 Bylaw Enforcement – Tree Bylaw (which outlines the penalties associated with non-compliance) was adopted.

The Tree Preservation Bylaw is considered to be the first step in developing an Urban Forest Plan and it has three key objectives:

  1. Identifies tree species that are to be protected within the Town of Gibsons;
  2. 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
  3. Establishes procedures to preserve the Town’s tree canopy by minimizing tree removal within Gibsons, preventing damage or destruction of trees, establishing mandatory conditions for replacement of trees, and optimizing planting provisions and tree health within the Town.
Tree Preservation Bylaw Components

Definitions and Application of Bylaw, Restrictions and Exemptions, Tree Permit Application, Regulations, Replacement Trees, Administration, and Offenses and Penalties

Schedule A Protected Tree Species

Schedule B Protected Tree Seedlings

Schedule C Tree Protection Practices

Schedule D Replacement Tree Stock and Planting Requirements

Schedule E Recommended Replacement Tree Species

Schedule F Invasive Tree Species

Related Staff Reports

You can learn more about the development of the Tree Preservation Bylaw by reading these Staff Reports:

Staff Report 07-20-2020
Staff Report 09-15-2020

Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the Town of Gibsons need a Tree Preservation Bylaw?

Until September 2020, the Town had no bylaw regarding clearing of trees on private land, its ‘Tree Removal Policy on Public Land‘ was out of date, and its ‘Tree Cutting Permit Bylaw No. 623, 1990’ was very limited in scope.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. As a result, at the request of Council, staff drafted ‘Tree Preservation Bylaw No. 1282, 2020’, which was first presented to Council on July 7, 2020 and adopted on September 18, 2020.

Was the public consulted before the adoption of this bylaw?

Yes. Due to COVID-19, a Public Hearing was determined to be the most efficient and safest way for Council to receive input on the proposed bylaw. Therefore, in August 2020, a postcard to inform residents about the bylaw and the Public Hearing was mailed to all Gibsons households (except those that do not accept flyers). The Public Hearing was held on Monday, September 14, 2020 and 33 submissions were received, with 11 opposed to the bylaw as written, 21 in support of the bylaw and 1 neutral.

Public input will continue to be considered over the coming months. Council has instructed staff to provide feedback on the reception of the Tree Preservation Bylaw by the public and contractors in future quarterly reports to Council, and in the 2020 Annual Report. Additionally, a report on the implementation of the Tree Preservation Bylaw, with recommendations for any amendments or additional consultations with the public, is to be presented to Council in April 2021.