Langley Township – A bylaw intended to help retain the existing urban tree canopy has been adopted by Township of Langley Council.
On Monday July 8, Council voted to adopt Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478, which will protect trees, regulate cutting, and outline replanting requirements for trees on private property in the Township. Through adoption of Bylaw 5478, Council also approved repeal of the Brookswood Tree Regulation Bylaw 2017 No. 5301
Under the new regulations, which are effective immediately, property owners who want to cut or remove a tree from their property must apply for a permit. Anyone who removes or cuts any tree without a valid permit may be subject to fines and additional tree replacement requirements.
The bylaw does not apply to lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and portions of non-ALR land being used for farming, or to lands under development applications, which are subject to tree removal and replanting requirements outlined in the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw 2011 No. 4861. Golf courses, tree farms, and circumstances where trees will impact the placement of structures, services, or driveways are exempt.
Trees smaller than 30cm (one foot) in diameter at breast height (DBH) are exempt as well. DBH is the standard for measuring trees and is taken at 1.4 metres or 4.5 feet above the ground.
Normal tree trimming and pruning are allowed, as is the removal of standard hedging and shrubbery, providing they are not made up of large conifers or deciduous species. To determine if hedge removal requires a permit, call 604.532.7300.
Those who want to remove trees must submit a Tree Removal/Cutting application form, available at tol.ca/treeprotection, or in person at the Township of Langley’s Engineering Division in the Civic Facility at 20338 – 65 Avenue or the Operations Centre at 4700 – 224 Street.
Property owners are encouraged to make application at least three weeks before the desired tree removal date, to allow for permit review and processing time. The application fee is $100 per tree proposed to be removed/cut, which will be collected prior to permit issuance. However, while a permit still needs to be obtained, a fee is not charged for one tree in a 24-month period, from the date of issuance of a previous permit.
Under the new bylaw, replacement trees must be planted to help sustain the Township’s urban forest. Cash-in-lieu will be accepted if the tree cannot be planted on site.
For a full list of exemptions and accepted replacement trees, FAQ’s, and to read Tree Protection Bylaw 2019 No. 5478 in its entirety, visit tol.ca/treeprotection. For more information on tree protection and the Tree Removal/Cutting application process, call the Township’s Tree Protection Line at 604.533.6111 or email email@example.com.
While properties under an active development application or building permit application are exempt from the Tree Protection Bylaw, those who feel a tree has been cut without a permit can visit tol.ca/bylaws for information on lodging a complaint. Anyone who sees an active tree removal and has permit concerns can call the Bylaw office at 604.532.7551, Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm, or the after-hours line at 604.543.6700.