Year in Review: Tree bylaw sprouts in Langley Township

After literally years of debate, a tree protection bylaw was passed

After years of debate, Langley Township finally passed a tree protection bylaw in 2019 that covers residental lots throughout the community’s suburban neighbourhoods.

In June, the council unanimously passed a bylaw, but only after debate and some changes to the overall rules.

A public hearing earlier in June saw a division between those opposed to the bylaw – and those who felt it didn’t go far enough.

The rules came into effect later in the summer.

The new regulations mean property owners who want to cut or remove a tree from their property must apply for a permit, with a few exceptions for smaller diameter trees.

However, the bylaw does not affect tree removal for farmland, and trees can also be removed for construction activities, whether for building a new driveway or for a major multi-family development.

Trees that are hazardous can also be removed.

Most neighbouring communities, including Surrey and Abbotsford, have had tree bylaws for years, but local opponents have long argued that it would be too onerous for Langley residents to comply with a bylaw.

Residents in Brookswood got a preview of having a tree bylaw, as tree cutting was limited there under a new official community plan finalized two years ago.

The fee is $100 per tree to be cut down, but homeowners can remove one tree from their land for any reason in each 24-month period.

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