Update: After ignoring the Rollo Report on the EDPA, Saanich Council plans to spend several hundred thousand dollars on more reviews while imposing “interim” severe restrictions on private property and development. Here is our letter to council. 

Claims by some Saanich councillors that Saanich lacks tree and environment protection without the EDPA are simply without merit. Saanich has a strong tree protection bylaw including Garry Oaks, protection of bird nests, streamside development restrictions, requirements to report on rare or endangered species & habitats reviewed by planning & decided by council.  Visit https://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/community/natural-environment/trees/trees-development.html

The EDPA was an obstructive, expensive and unfair bylaw that discouraged renovations and new homes in the urban containment area intended for housing. Read https://www.vrba.ca/protect-housing-in-urban-containment-areas/

The following Plan Submission Details are required for all development applications

  • All site and boulevard trees (within area to be developed); with numbers referencing numbered metal tree tags affixed to trees; show protected root zone or critical root zone
  • Conceptual colour landscape plan showing location, size, species of proposed plantings and trees, and existing vegetation and trees to be retained; installation as per BCLNA/BCSLA standards noted on plans Major topographical features (e.g. water course, rock outcrops)
  • Surface storm water management features (rain gardens, swales, permeable paving)
  • Rare or endangered species or habitats
  • Existing and proposed covenant areas
  • Using the guide attached to the application package, write a sustainability statement for the project. This will be forwarded to Council. Please provide details of your commitment to energy efficient construction. A minimum of BuiltGreen™ Gold or equivalent is recommended.
  • For boulevard trees and those on-site (within the developable area), provide tree inventory done by ISA-certified arborist indicating: size (cm, at height of 1.50m), species, condition, tag #, PRZ or CRZ, status (to be retained or removed) cross-referenced with Site Plan Tree Preservation Plan
  • Where there are retained trees (boulevard & on-site) that will be “affected” (by underground servicing, excavation, construction access routes or other development activity) provide Plan by ISA-certified arborist on tree protection and mitigation measures

Additional information may be requested including an Arborist report for protected trees on adjacent parcels that may be affected by development.

The Tree Protection Bylaw regulates any alterations to “Protected Trees” within Saanich. A tree cutting permit is required before altering, cutting, damaging or removing a “Protected Tree” or any tree located on land designated as a steep slope area on Schedule “A” of the bylaw. 

 If a tree meets any of the following criteria, then it is considered a “Protected Tree”.

 • The following tree species if they are taller than 2 m in height or are 4 cm or more in diameter, measured 15 cm above natural grade: Arbutus, Garry Oak, Pacific Dogwood, and Pacific Yew.

• The following tree species if they have a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 30 cm or larger: Douglas-fir, Grand Fir, Big Leaf Maple, and Western Red Cedar.

• Any tree species having a DBH of 60 cm or larger.

 • Any tree that has been planted as a “Replacement Tree” or was required to be “Retained” under an approved development application (i.e. Subdivision, Rezoning, Development Permit, Blasting Permit, Building Permit, Fill Permit, or Plumbing Permit).

• “Significant Trees” listed in Schedule “B” of the Tree Protection Bylaw.

• Trees with evidence of a nest or use by raptor (eagles, falcons, hawks, vultures, or owls), heron or osprey. 

According to the CRD, the regional park system has grown from just over 8400 hectares in 2000 to over 13,000 hectares in 2017. The CRD says “This growing park system helps protect the environment and biodiversity in the region, and provides residents with opportunities to connect with nature through outdoor recreation. Visitation to regional parks and trails has also grown, from 5.2 million in 2010 to 7.3 million in 2017, an increase of 40%.” https://www.crd.bc.ca/project/regional-parks-funding-priorities