An email to Oak Bay’s arborist and the Mayor & Council, February 13, 2019:
I don’t know if the Planning Department has forwarded to you the Oak Bay United Church's Landscape and Arborist Report for comment yet, but having read it in detail, I have a few questions:
A copy of the report is attached. This was downloaded from the OBUC web site and is the same as provided by the District of Oak Bay as part of a FOI request.
Many of the Garry Oaks, and other notable trees, will have buildings erected on their PRZ (Protected Root Zone, called ‘root zone’ in the bylaws).
For example see trees 972, 973 & 974 near Granite St drive entrance and 958 & 959 near Mitchell St townhouses (Page 3 – Arborist’s report)
Have OBUC applied for a permit under bylaw 4326 to damage the protected trees?
I note that the definition of “damage” includes the follow:
(a) cut or tear the roots of a tree growing inside the root zone;
(b) place fill or organic waste, building materials, asphalt or a building or structure upon land inside the root zone;
(f) remove soil from land inside the root zone;
(g) blast inside the root zone of a tree or outside the root zone so as to damage roots or disturb soil inside the root zone;
Trees 967 & 968 (amongst others) will have blasting in their root zones to make way for the underground car park
The OBUC are very proud to state in their Rezoning Application that “only two notable trees will be removed” but how many will be ‘damaged’ by this project? Do you, as the District Arborist, expect all the remaining tress to survive the blasting and construction?
2. I note that the OBUC are planning on planting two new Garry Oaks, on Mitchell St, only 1.5 to 2.5 metres (5’ to 8’) from the west wall of the church (See planting description # 9. Page 2 of landscape report). Do you think that it is a good idea to plant Garry Oaks this close to a building?