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If a tree is on private property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure the health and maintenance of the tree. The City’s Tree Bylaw (Bylaw Number 4091, 2010) regulates the conservation, removal and replacement of trees throughout the city. The bylaw also spells out details for obtaining a permit for tree removal.
For new development, where a "forest edge" will be created along a protected stream or watercourse, the owner/developer is responsible for ensuring that the edge "effect" resulting from the tree clearing does not put at risk the trees adjacent to the stream. The developer must also work with qualified professionals to ensure Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) compliance.
Through the City’s review and approval process for a housing development area, measures are taken to ensure the Stream Protection Enhancement Area (SPEA) is identified and protected for the purposes of preserving the health and viability of fish habitat and essential natural features. Windfirm trees (those with reduced blowdown risk) are also identified to ensure the integrity of the SPEA.
Building Permit applications for new development must include any applicable Stream Protection Enhancement Area (SPEA) documentation and those areas on the property that are protected, as well as copies of registered covenants including those that identify windfirm boundaries and protected trees. When a building permit is issued, the drawings will contain all such information on them to provide those working on the property, such as Builders, as well as City staff, the ability to identify and locate protected areas on and adjacent to the property.
Restrictive covenant agreements are signed agreements, usually between a property owner and a government agency, such as the City of Coquitlam. Restrictive covenants are registered on the property’s land title and usually specify restrictions on activities or land-use applied to the subject property.
When an individual is purchasing a property, the realtor has a responsibility to draw attention to the fact there is a Restrictive Covenant on the title, if this is the case; however, there will be no other details or explanation for the Restrictive Covenant. However, a Land Title search for your property will show what encumbrances are registered on your property, including statutory rights-of-way and restrictive covenants. You can obtain a copy of your land title from the Land Title Survey Authority at www.ltsa.ca. You can also contact Land Title and Survey Authority Customer Service Centre for the Greater Vancouver area at 604-630-9630.
Our Urban Forestry section is actively working with residents in identified areas of concern. The Planning and Development department is also involved in addressing issues during both the planning and visioning processes for all future neighbourhoods and through the land development process as noted above. Additional information on neighbourhood planning can be found on Community Plans.