Developer set to pay Port Coquitlam $14,500 in tree fines, tree fees

image supplied

Port Coquitlam’s new city council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a three-storey, two-building, six-unit townhouse at 1727 Prairie Avenue – despite one qualm about the trees set to be chopped.

The applicant, Admiral Operations Ltd., already chopped eight trees from the site without a permit. The developer subsequently apologized and blamed the removal on a miscommunication with a landscaping company.

The applicant Is now set to pay a fine of approximately $8,000. The removed trees were classified “non significant,” according to a city staff report.

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Of the four remaining trees, city staff recommended chopping three of them – a decision that left Coun. Steve Darling somewhat nonplussed.

“I don’t understand why we’re removing them just because they may be in declining health in the future,” Darling said.

The trees have previously been topped by B.C. Hydro, which can stunt growth and hurt the long-term health of the trees, according to city staff. The substantial root zone of the trees could also impact construction, city staff explained during Tuesday’s meeting.

$500 per tree

The city proposed putting 14 replacement trees on site.

However, unable to fit all the trees on the approximately 13,200 square foot lot, the applicant instead offered to plant one replacement tree and to pay the city $6,500 – $500 for each tree not replaced.

In total, the developer is set to pay the city $14,500 in tree fines and tree replacement fees.

Two views of a tulip tree slated for removal. The tree was judged a “hindrance to the architectural and construction plans,” in the arborist’s report. photos supplied Port Coquitlam

The arborist’s report

Four trees – three of which were listed as being in “fair” condition – were pegged for removal due to hindering construction.

Another two trees were selected for removal due to likely facing worsening health following construction.

The report was completed before eight trees were removed.

If six was five

The development includes five three-bedroom townhouses and one four-bedroom unit.

City zoning allows for five units on the parcel. If the project is approved, Admiral Operations Ltd. will be on the hook for an extra $58,500 – the equivalent of the increased land value for the sixth unit.

Council voted 6-0 to move the project forward.

Coun. Nancy McCurrach did not attend the meeting.

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