Before removing a tree or vegetation in the City of Langford, please read this vital information regarding the City’s stance toward the issue on private and public property.
The City of Langford controls the cutting of trees and the removal of vegetation in designated environmentally sensitive and hazardous Development Permit areas contained within Langford’s Official Community Plan. These include, for example, areas of steep slopes, sensitive ecosystems, areas around lakes and streams, and areas of high or extreme interface fire hazard. The City of Langford does not have a general tree cutting bylaw.
Prior to removing any tree or natural vegetation, property owners are strongly encouraged to contact the Planning Department to determine whether any portion of their property has been designated as a Development Permit Area. Planning staff is also available for in person, one-on-one consultation at City Hall.
If a property owner wishes to remove a tree or vegetation that is within a designated Development Permit area then he or she must first obtain a Development Permit [PDF – 486 KB] the City of Langford.
The City of Langford does offer some exemptions from this requirement, particularly where a tree is dead, diseased and dying, or a hazard to human safety or property. In most cases the City will require a report from a certified arborist before providing a letter of specific exemption from the requirements of a Development Permit. In addition, the City may require a report prepared by a Registered Professional Biologist before issuing a Development Permit in areas of environmental sensitivity (e.g.: areas around lakes and streams, identified sensitive ecosystems, and areas of potential wildlife habitat and biodiversity).
If there are no designated areas on a property than the property owner is free to remove whatever vegetation they wish.
Residents concerned about trees interfering with utility wires/powerlines should contact BC Hydro for assistance in evaluating potential problems by calling 1-888-769-3766. For more information regarding vegetation and powerlines, consult BC Hydro’s Safety page.
The City of Langford’s Parks Department is responsible for authorizing the removal of any tree on public property. This includes trees in any public space whether it is a park or boulevard. If a property owner wishes to remove a tree fronting his or her property and is unsure whether or not it is within their property line, the owner should contact the Parks Department for consultation.
In addition, if the public has a concern about the condition of trees in public spaces or boulevards, please contact the Parks Department. It is within the Department’s mandate to check on the health and sustainability of City trees.