Krista Stobbe photo.

Krista Stobbe photo.

Mission’s tree-management bylaw axed, sent back to staff for rework

Bylaw aimed at clear-cutting developers, many felt it unfairly punitive to small property owners

A new tree-management bylaw was axed by Mission councillors at their Nov. 16 meeting, after a public consultation brought many smaller property owners out of the woodwork to voice their opposition.

The draft has been sent back to staff for a rework, and will be brought back to the public after a workshop with council in the new year.

“We kind of missed the mark when it comes to the simplicity aspect,” said Coun. Mark Davies. “It needs to have an educational plan … We’re going to have to slow walk that process.

The bylaw aimed to stop developers from clear cutting land prior to submitting a development application, which has been an issue in recent years.

But many rural owners, particularly from the Steelhead and Stave Falls areas, felt that new rules would end up being unfairly punitive to them, as they are surrounded by forests which need to be maintained.

RELATED: New tree-management bylaw aims at developers, but raises concerns for rural Missionites

“It became very clear to me that more work and additional discussion are warranted … Our community is divided with urban and rural perspectives,” said Coun. Ken Herar, who added the bylaw needs to be streamlined.

The consultation brought 830 responses and 2,500 comments made, of which 72 per cent were in disagreement.

The biggest concerns were the costs of permit fees, replacement trees and professional reports; property owners not wanting to lose control over their landscapes or wait on cutting permits; and rural property owners being significantly impacted.

Staff brought back three variations of the draft in an attempt to address some of the public’s concern, but ultimately council decided to take it back to the drawing board.

“It’s important to have a tree bylaw, it’s important to have it and do it right,” said Coun. Daniel Plecas. “Ideally the more stringent it is, the better it is, but at the same time the community is not ready for that.”

Numerous councillors said the bylaw was too confusing and cumbersome in its current state, and many expressed feeling overwhelmed.

“It’s a very complicated subject and I’m feeling overwhelmed myself, I know the public are too. I would really like to entertain a workshop on the his before I made any final decision.”

Coun. Jag Gill said he thinks they “dropped the ball” on the educational aspect, and agreed with reworking the bylaw, but cautioned against waiting too long.

“I think as we are talking about tree bylaws, people are cutting down trees as we speak,” Gill said. “My only concern is if we table it too long, there will be no trees left.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Mission students hold rally, say everyone welcome at school

Ecole Christine Morrison Elementary School hosted an Anti-Racism Day on June 15

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

Quarry Questions: Supreme Court ruling spells concern for Mission bylaws

Judge ruled that provincial permits overrule municipal bylaws relating to mining activity

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read