North Cowichan needs a tree protection bylaw
Dear North Cowichan mayor and council:
I sure applaud a logical tree-protection bylaw, and tree-management strategy for development projects, recently recommended to council by Diamond Head Consulting.
I also hope this taxpayer-funded report — reported in the March 25, 2021 Citizen — is not simply more greenwash for councillors to now resume business as usual in what some residents rightly call “North Cowichop”.
While the City of Duncan adopted a tree-protection bylaw years ago, North Cowichan has stubbornly failed to follow Totem Town’s lead.
That has tragically led to more cutting of the type lamented by resident Jim Cuthbert after “too many” big firs were removed by B.C. Housing or its supportive-housing project on Drinkwater Road.
Even Rob Conway, North Cowichan’s planning director, indicated in the March 25 Citizen that he empathizes with Cuthbert’s cogent concerns but “North Cowichan has no tree-protection bylaw.”
Despite years of some residents demanding such a tree bylaw, with teeth, council still retains a frontier atmosphere to accommodate development at the expense of precious trees vital for street character, property-value retention, eco-habitat and biodiversity.
This, despite council espousing its climate-action plan lacking a tree-protection bylaw that is standard in many municipalities of similar size.
I now urge council to partner its environmental bylaws by adopting a tree-protection and management bylaw that’s long overdue, before more healthy trees are lost.
Peter W. Rusland,