Brookswood tree-cutting bylaw up for Langley Township council vote tonight

Langley Township has a special meeting Tuesday evening (tonight) to give final approval to a Brookswood Fernridge tree cutting bylaw.

Council gave three readings at its Monday, April 28 meeting to the bylaw that allows people to cut up to eight trees or 20 per cent of the trees on their land, whichever is less.

Councillor Bob Long brought the tree bylaw issue back, proposing that the bylaw allow people to cut up to 12 trees or 30 per cent of the trees on their property.

He emphasized that this is not a tree protection bylaw but strikes a balance.

“Landowners can still deal with cutting trees,” he said.

The bylaw will stay in place until the Official Community Plan (OCP) is completed or, as the bylaw says, until council makes changes.

Long also wanted the timeline of the bylaw changed. The tree protection bylaw that was defeated April 14 expired after 75 days “at the end of which something miraculous was supposed to happen.”

The bylaw includes exemptions: diseased trees, dangerous trees, trees in Agricultural Land Reserve or farming areas, trees in highway sight triangles, trees in approved septic field/water well areas, trees in areas approved for building construction, and emergencies.

This bylaw is aimed at preventing clear cutting of properties that fall under the boundaries of the Brookswood/Fernridge OCP.

Long said one reason why council gave three readings Monday night and is going to final approval Tuesday night is to prevent what happened in the neighbourhood when OCP changes were proposed. Several property owners logged their properties.

He’s confident that the bylaw is an acceptable accommodation.

“We received massive amounts of input” during the OCP public hearings and most dealt with tree issues, he noted.

That input has had an impact on this bylaw, he said.

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