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Aug 02, 2017 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Taking Steps to Reduce Tree Hazards

by Robbin Whachell |

COQUITLAM, BC, August 2, 2017 – Coquitlam is taking steps to reduce the risk of wind-toppled trees caused by severe storms on hilly Burke Mountain.

This fall, the City will consider new Official Community Plan (OCP) policies designed to reduce falling trees and improve the overall health and stability of the forest in the protected zones along streams on Burke Mountain and across Coquitlam.

The changes are based on recommendations from an independent consultant contracted by the City in response to the growing number of trees being felled by heavy winds in Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas (SPEAs) on Burke Mountain.

Specific recommendations include: 

  • Having developers complete risk assessments on forest stands in advance and be responsible for monitoring and maintaining tree stability for up to five years post-development;
  • Ensuring that the Qualified Environmental Professionals that developers retain include a registered professional forester and are certified by the International Society of Arbiculture; and
  • Requiring the removal or mitigation of hazard trees, and implementation of a comprehensive restoration plan developed by a registered professional forester.   

Overall, the recommended approach would be more proactive about removing potentially hazardous trees, give developers more responsibility for ensuring remaining trees can withstand high winds, and give more consideration to the overall long-term forest health rather than just that of individual trees. 

Importantly, the new approach would also respect the provincial Riparian Areas Regulation methodology for establishing watercourse protection areas, and ultimately help to minimize public risk and the City’s liability while recognizing the ecological needs of watercourses.

The City will consult with the development industry and other stakeholders over the coming months as it develops the OCP amendments, to be presented to Council in the fall.


Media contact:
Jim McIntyre
General Manager Development Services
City of Coquitlam


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