Victoria city council is considering restrictions on pollinating and fragrant trees near playgrounds and downtown. (Don Denton/VICTORIA NEWS)

Victoria considers limiting trees that cause allergy flareups

City investigating low pollen and fragrance-free trees near playgrounds

The City of Victoria is looking at restrictions on the planting of pollinating trees to alleviate reactions by people with allergies.

On Thursday council asked staff to report back on options and the potential cost of adding fragrance-free and low pollen plants in the city, especially around playgrounds. The discussion was referred from Tuesday when the city’s parks department gave a budget presentation.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton Joe brought a motion forward stemming from conversations at the city’s accessibility working group. The idea, she said, has come up frequently in their meetings.

“I don’t think we’re going to get to the point that it’s going to be throughout the city, but perhaps [we could] highlight a playground area,” she said. “I think we need to start to add that consideration.”

Coun. Ben Isitt said he’d like to see a report on how to balance the concerns of accessibility with having enough pollinating trees.

Thornton Joe first brought up the issue of allergen-friendly trees, in the context of a new downtown plan, at the Oct. 26 committee of the whole meeting. In an interview that day, she said allergies are an accessibility barrier to some members of the public.

“Whether it’s pollen, whether it’s things in cleaning products, it can affect them … [and] trigger … respiratory or nasal issues,” she said, adding it can be difficult for people with allergies to enjoy public spaces.

Placing high-fragrant or high pollen-count trees next to a playground might not be a good idea, she added, if it meant children with allergies could be excluded from playing there.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Sooke Christmas hampers to be handed out Sunday

Over 400 hampers have already been prepared

SD61 dress code still a debate

Trustee encourages parents to speak up at Dec. 18 meeting, represent a progressive voice

Omnibus zoning bylaw sent for revisions to prevent blanket upzoning in downtown Victoria

More than 10 downtown properties identified by Downtown Residents Association

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

Christmas at McTavish Market gets bigger

Visitors of McTavish Market on the corner of McTavish and East Saanich… Continue reading

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

UPDATED: Truck collision injures cyclist in Saanich

Police continue to investigate a collision between a truck and a cyclist… Continue reading

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Most Read