Proposed Development Permit Amendments

PROJECT UPDATE – JULY 2022

The City is proposing a number of amendments to the Hazard Conditions (Steep Slope) Development Permit Area in the Official Community Plan to improve human safety and reduce landslide risk. The proposed amendments also include revisions to exemption criteria that apply to maintaining vegetation on steep slopes.

PROJECT NEXT STEPS

AUGUST 2022

  • Council will consider Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 3869 for third reading and adoption on August 15, 2022.

Project History

November 2021: The City held two virtual meetings and an online survey to gather feedback on proposed amendments to two Development Permit Areas in the Official Community Plan (Hazard Conditions for steep slopes, and Great Blue Heron nest trees). An interim public engagement report was produced.

March 2022: An additional virtual engagement session took place.

April 2022: The proposed amendments were provided to First Nations for their consideration.

May 2022: The City’s Environmental Advisory Committee reviewed and endorsed the proposed amendments

June 2022: Council provided first and second reading to the OCP Amendment Bylaw and directed staff to schedule a Public Hearing.

July 2022: View the public hearing that was held on July 6, 2022 at www.campbellriver.ca/webcasts

SUMMARY OF KEY CHANGES

Thank you to those who have contributed and provided feedback during the public engagement process. The final public and stakeholder engagement report can be found here...

 

Development Permit Section 11B Steep Slopes

Rationale for Revision

Original Version followed by Revised Version

Exemptions

3) For Trees

In the title for this section, clarify that this section applies to activities on the steep slope only and to identify the need for an exemption form filled out by a certified arborist

Original version

For trees

 

Revised version

For trees on steep slopes the following are exempt provided an exemption form is filled out by a certified arborist and submitted to the City

Exemptions

3) For Trees

 

For tree removal, to accommodate the desire for greater flexibility in the ability to remove young trees on the slope for viewscapes without unduly increasing landslide risk

Original version

Removal of trees where the tree trunk diameter is less than 5cm (measured 1m from the base);

 

Amended version with new section added:

Removal of coniferous trees on the steep slope (such as firs, hemlocks and spruce) where the tree trunk diameter is less than 5cm (measured 1.3m from the base);

 

Removal of deciduous trees on the steep slope (such as alder and maple) where the tree trunk diameter is less than 20cm (measured 1.3m from the base);

Exemptions

3) For Trees

 

For pruning and limbing, the above distinction between tree types and the minimum diameter thresholds needed to be carried over

A clause was also needed to ensure that certified arborists are using proper pruning practises

Original version

Pruning and limbing where the tree trunk diameter is greater than 5cm (measured 1m from the base) subject to a Certified Arborist written opinion stating that the activity will not kill the tree;

 

Amended version

Pruning and limbing where the tree trunk diameter is greater than 5cm (measured 1.3m from the base) for coniferous trees, and greater than 20cm (measured 1.3m from the base) for deciduous trees subject to a Certified Arborist written opinion stating that the activity will not kill the tree and that ANSI A300 pruning standards are utilized;

 

Exemptions

3) For Trees 

 Topping trees above the minimum size thresholds is still not permitted; however, previously topped trees can continue to be topped  

No original version

New section added

Previously topped trees may be re-topped under the direction of a Certified Arborist;
 

Exemptions

3) For Trees 

 Based on initial feedback from the Environmental Advisory Committee, tree modification to support nesting Bald Eagles was proposed where there is a shortage of replacement nest trees of suitable size. Initially proposed under additional environmental values which have been dropped from the proposed amendments, this section has been retained   

No original version

New section added

Tree modification  to support nesting opportunities for Bald Eagles as recommended by a QEP may be considered in areas where recruitment nesting habitat is unavailable and, even if the modifications are not generally recommended by a certified arborist (for example topping large conifers) subject to a Certified Arborist written opinion stating that the activity will not kill the tree;
 

Exemptions

3) For Trees 

 Homeowners expressed concern about the cost and feasibility of removing cut vegetation from the slope. Through technical review, it was determined that a compromise could be struck provided that the smaller branches left are dispersed in a manner that does not suppress the understorey   

Original version

All cut vegetation arising from maintenance activities conducted under sections c., d. and e. must be removed from the slope at the time of cutting;

 

New version

All cut branches that are 5cm diameter or greater at their base arising from maintenance activities conducted under sections c., d. and e., must be removed from the slope at the time of cutting in a manner that does not create channelized pathways  and the remaining branches must be dispersed on the slope so as not to smother vegetation;
 

Exemptions

4) Domestic yard maintenance, gardening and planting 
 In the title for this section, clarify that this section applies to yard maintenance and gardening activities in the buffer zone   

Original version

Domestic yard maintenance, gardening and planting including,

 

Revised version

Domestic yard maintenance, gardening and planting in the 20 metre buffer area at the crest or the toe of the slope, including:
 

Exemptions

4) Domestic yard maintenance, gardening and planting 

 To specify and broaden yard maintenance activities that meet the exemption criteria, especially around tree removal   

Original version

Removing any live or dead trees with a stem diameter less than 5cm (measured 1m from the base), including the root structure provided that exposed soil is repacked, regraded and replanted; provided that yard waste deposition on the slope does not occur.

 

New version

Removing any ornamental trees or fruit trees, live or dead of any size, including the root structure provided that exposed soil is repacked, regraded and replanted; provided that the cut vegetation is not deposited on the slope; and

 

Removing any live or dead native trees with a stem diameter less than 15cm (measured 1.3m from the base), including the root structure is provided that exposed soil is repacked, regraded and replanted; provided that yard waste deposition on the slope does not occur.

 Guidelines  To include an assessment of how vegetation on slopes contributes to landslide risk  

Original version

None

 

New guideline

Describe native vegetation on the slope and consider the role of natural vegetation and forest cover on slope stability and how changes to that vegetation, including invasive plant cover would affect slope stability

 Guidelines  To include long-term maintenance requirements associated with native vegetation on steep slopes  

Guidelines

Describe long-term maintenance of any development or mitigative works proposed in relation to the slope

 

Revised version

Describe long-term maintenance of any development or mitigative works proposed in relation to the slope including any maintenance that may be required in relation to natural vegetation and forest cover to maintain slope stability

Project Next Steps

FAQs - Updated June 2022

FAQs - Proposed amendments-OCP-Steep-Slopes

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