July 11, 2008
For Immediate Release
Bowen Island Municipality has taken action against a property owner who illegally cut trees on the municipal highway that resulted in the view from the property to be enhanced. The property owner, who acted in contravention of local bylaws, has agreed to pay $10,000 for general and punitive damages, including restoration costs, plus $1,500 for legal costs.
The trees were cut in December of last year. The property owner failed to obtain the appropriate permit even though the Municipality had warned the not to proceed without having permits in place.
The Municipality's solicitor negotiated the $11,500 cash settlement and a court-ordered injunction prohibiting the property owner from further tree-cutting on Bowen Island Municipality property. The successful negotiation avoided the expense of having to try the case before the B.C. Supreme Court.
"We had no choice but to apply the bylaw and take action against the offender," said Chief Administrative Officer, Bryan Kirk. "The municipality is committed to ensuring our bylaws are upheld and addressing deliberate infringements."
According to the Bowen Island Municipality Street and Traffic Bylaw 133, 2005, except as authorized, no person shall "dig up, alter, cut, prune, trim, remove, destroy or in any manner cause damage to any tree, timber, flower, foliage, flowering plants, shrubs, plants, bushes and hedges, fences or other things erected or maintained on any highway or boulevard." As explained by Chris Buchanan, Bylaw Services Officer, the Municipality does not issue permits for cutting trees for the purpose of creating or improving views. Permits will be granted if the tree removal or trimming is necessary for construction of a driveway or utility access to a property. As well, if trees are a hazard or a potential risk, as verified by a licensed arborist, a permit may be issued.
For more information on the Bowen Island Municipality Street and Traffic Bylaw, contact BIM at (604) 947-4255, or visit the website at www.bimbc.ca/bylaws.
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