Tree bylaw should proceed as proposed

Dear editor,

At the Sept. 19 meeting of Courtenay council, the proposed tree bylaw was put off until Nov. 7. Rumour has it that it was primarily to give the Comox Valley Development and Construction Association time to respond. I contacted the mayor and council members to say that any opinions offered by the association are irrelevant because they’re in a conflict of interest. That is, developers and builders stand to benefit financially from a weaker bylaw because it is easier and cheaper for them to remove all trees on construction projects and not to replace any of them. In my correspondence with Mayor Jangula, he pointed out that developers will be passing on any costs they incur as the result of a new tree bylaw to their consumers. It seems to me that that’s a business decision for them and not a reason to allow them to influence municipal law. In addition, should a developer decide not to build because they don’t want to pay whatever additional costs arise from conserving trees, someone else will no doubt fill that void.

The economic benefits of trees should be enough to remove any resistance developers have to maintaining them. A study of urban forests shows that for each $1 invested in urban forest management, up to $3 in benefits is returned to residents through increased property values, removal of air pollutants, and energy savings through shade.

Trees also mitigate the effects of climate change.  We’ve been experiencing those effects in the Comox Valley over the last number of years: drought in the summer and flooding in the winter that translate into water restrictions, boil water advisories and a black water-filled sausage (aqua dam) in the area around the Rec Centre. Trees reduce atmospheric carbon, reduce flooding risks and retain water to buffer the effects of drought. The benefits are too numerous to mention but residents who support a strong tree bylaw and a healthy urban forest in the Comox Valley should contact the mayor and council before Nov. 7.  Their contact information is on the city’s website.

Terry Robinson

Courtenay

 

Just Posted

School for students on Hornby Island ‘normal as can be’: portables expected in new year

While it’s not an ideal situation, the return to school for students… Continue reading

Christmas comes early for residents of Cumberland Lodge

It’s Christmas in September at Cumberland Lodge. The Rotary Club of Cumberland… Continue reading

Big Beach Cleanup builds awareness of ocean debris impacts

First two cleanup days brought in 40 cubic yards of plastic and styrofoam

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read