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Langford councillor calls for tree protection in development permit process

Coun. Lillian Szpak called for a separate permit process for the removal of mature trees
Langford Coun. Lillian Szpak wants to see greater protections for trees during the development permit process. (Black Press Media file photo)

Langford Coun. Lillian Szpak is continuing her campaign to add protection for trees in the city.

Szpak put a motion forward ahead of the June 20 council meeting, calling on the city to prioritize setting a process and policy for the retention of trees and natural spaces for all rezoning as a condition of development and that a separate permit be created for removal of mature trees on all developments.

Currently, Langford is the only municipality in the Capital Region District that doesn’t have some form of tree protection bylaw, apart from Sooke (theirs has been put on hold).

Szpak had previously pitched a tree protection bylaw in January, but the motion was struck down. During the Jan. 10 council meeting, Langford Mayor Stew Young said the bylaw wouldn’t protect any trees that weren’t already protected and would create barriers for people looking to manage trees on their own property.

“We’re creating red tape and bureaucracy where we don’t need it,” Young said during the January meeting. “When we work with developers, there’s not a tree problem,” he added.

Szpak made a notice of the motion at council’s June 20 meeting, and it will be discussed at a future council meeting.

ALSO READ: Sooke tree bylaw likely delayed until after fall election

ALSO READ: Langford tree protection bylaw felled


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