Monday January 16, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated 10:05 am Jan 17, 2023]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Tonight City of Langford Council engaged in lengthy public participation at their January 16 regular council meeting, much of it around the temporary tree protection bylaw that was first hastily passed at a snowy mid-day special council meeting December 21, but was voted on again this evening to help fulfill their stated goal of transparency.
The pros and cons of urban tree management were raised. Staff gave some technical clarifications, and various councillors provided their input on support of the motion.
At the start of tonight’s meeting, the city’s corporate officer, Braden Hutchins, outlined how — in the haste of December’s Special Council Meeting — he had not advised the relatively new Council to “explicitly waive notice of the language of the resolution when adopting the agenda”.
The tree bylaw was a late item to the December 21 agenda. While notice of the meeting was issued on December 19 in accordance with legislative requirements, it had not included a description of the Tree Protection Bylaw (Bylaw 2115) and associated Ticket Information Authorization Bylaw (Bylaw 2116), as those were being drafted as late items.
Tonight, later in the meeting after public participation, Bylaw 2117 got first, second and third reading, with final adoption set to happen at the next council meeting, it was confirmed by Langford’s corporate officer, Braden Hutchins.
Technically speaking then, the Bylaw 2117 (along with Bylaw 2118 regarding enforcement) is not enforceable until passed at the next meeting (likely in February).
The previous Bylaw 2115 (as passed at the December 21, 2022 meeting) was rescinded. It was intended as a temporary measure intended to prevent the unnecessary cutting and removal of trees until Council can review, consult with the public, and adopt a comprehensive tree management strategy.
With the tree protection bylaw now re-issued, council gave direction for staff to begin the Request for Proposal (RFP) for creating Langford’s urban tree management plan. That will also allow for further public consultation.
The meeting ran three hours long exactly, noted Mayor Scott Goodmanson. That was largely due to the active public engagement.
Many people could not get into the livestream or phone access through Zoom, as the City of Langford January 16, 2023 agenda had a dial-in code that was actually for the February 6 meeting.
This was discovered by Island Social Trends early in the meeting, and the City of Langford was advised by email.
The correct January 16 access code was in fact shown on a separate dial-in instruction PDF as posted on their meetings page.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a local and regional news service in the west shore of south Vancouver Island.
This journalism service has been operating since 2008 in the west shore, under the direction of editor and publisher Mary P Brooke: first as MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, then Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, then West Shore Voice News 2014-2020, then emerging fully online mid-2020 at islandsocialtrends.ca