Richmond tree bylaw infractions net $20,000 fine

Three men were fined a total of $20,000 after pleading guilty to 26 counts of contravening the City of Richmonds Tree Protection Bylaw.

Amandeep Kaur Dhillon, Karpal Singh and Paramjit Singh Pandher admitted in court last week to 26 counts of failing to place or maintain prescribed protection barriers around trees to be retained and protected for the duration of all construction or demolition.

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The charges related to 26 trees at a site on 22391 Westminster Hwy. The site is currently under rezoning review.

A minimum of 52 replacement trees will be required as a condition of rezoning.

The city introduced its Tree Protection Bylaw in 2006 to protect Richmonds urban forest by restricting tree removal from private lands and ensuring replacement trees are provided when trees are required to be removed.

The bylaw is focused on preserving healthy trees where possible (based on their long-term viability), permitting the removal of those trees that are either in poor condition or in conflict with new development and requiring the replanting of new trees.

For the years 2009-2010, Richmonds Tree Protection Bylaw enforcement action has resulted in fines totaling $97,575.

In 2010, 3,580 replacement trees were required to be planted as either a condition of development and/or tree removal permit approvals.

In 2011, 3,536 replacement trees were required to be planted as either a condition of development and/or tree removal permit approvals.

On an annual basis, an average of 25 per cent more trees are required to be planted that are approved for removal.

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