Amendments to Kelowna’s tree protection bylaw are aimed at maintaining and expanding the tree canopy in the city.
“The core intent of the bylaw remains unchanged,” Environmental Coordinator Jennifer Miles told council at its Sept. 26 meeting. “It defines trees protected under this bylaw as trees within Riparian Management Areas (next to water bodies) and steep slope areas.”
Some of the amendments include prohibiting damage to protected trees, exempting invasive species from removal permit requirements, and exempting wildfire mitigation pruning from permit requirements to encourage land owners to maintain and protect their property from wildfires.
Miles explained that under the current bylaw, permits may be waived for diseased or hazardous trees.
“It is recommended that this exemption be amended to require a permit, although a retroactive permit would be given for emergency removals, to ensure trees are replaced,” she said.
Ensuring replacement trees was a key council directive from a June 13 resolution, in recognition of the 2040 Official Community Plan urban tree canopy expansion goals.