B.C Hydro will be cutting down about 116 trees at 54 locations throughout Delta.
A memo from the city’s engineering department notes B.C. Hydro notified staff of the Crown corporation’s spring tree maintenance program which removes trees that are in conflict with the utility.
The majority of the trees are located on city property but some are on private property.
Under the Hydro and Power Authority Act, B.C. Hydro has the authority to enter any land without the consent of the owner and can cut down any trees that in Hydro’s opinion may endanger their plant, the memo explains.
As such B.C. Hydro is not subject to the Community Charter or Delta's bylaws.
However, as a best practice, B.C. Hydro does try to act within the spirit of bylaws and permitting requirements, short of completing an actual permit application.
B.C. Hydro also notifies residents in advance of tree removals.
In the case of city trees, Delta staff will correspond with residents for street tree replacements under Delta's Urban Reforestation Program and seek to provide at least a two-for-one replacement subject to available boulevard frontage, the engineering department adds.
For trees removed on private property, B.C. Hydro offers residents tree replacement vouchers if requested.
Mayor Harvie will send a letter to B.C. Hydro highlighting the importance of tree retention and requesting a further review of opportunities for tree trimming instead of removal.
B.C. Hydro will also be asked to provide more than one voucher per tree removed.