Trees and Soils Management

Are you considering removing trees or moving soil?  If you are, you may be required to obtain a permit.  

 


Tree Management


Local governments are authorized by the Community Charter to enact bylaws to preserve and protect trees, to regulate and prohibit their cutting and removal, and to require their replacement.  Trees provide a variety of individual and community wide benefits such as wildlife habitat, stormwater management, carbon absorption, air quality, heating and cooling benefits, aesthetic, quality of life and health benefits.

Encouraging the preservation and healthy management of forested areas and tree stands is an important objective in the District of Squamish Official Community Plan, along with protecting and maintaining the integrity of our green infrastructure, natural assets and sensitive ecosystems.  Trees and forested areas contribute to Squamish’s character and quality of life. A Tree Bylaw is in place to regulate the removal of trees on all lands within the District.

The Tree Management Bylaw No. 2640, 2018 regulates the removal of trees on land within Squamish.  The following information is provided to help you determine whether the bylaw applies to your property.

 

Do I Need A Tree Permit?

If you are unsure whether you require a permit, please contact us at Engineering & Environment Services engineering@squamish.ca or 604-815-5012.

(click infographic to view full size)

 Tree infographic

Application Form and Fees

Application costs include a flat fee plus a fee per each tree that is proposed for removal.  For details, please refer to the Fees & Charges Bylaw, section 13.12, “Tree Management”. 

The application form is available on the: Applications Guides and Forms page.

Tree Density Target

The bylaw seeks to maintain a minimum Tree Density Target on each property of 50 trees per Net Developable Hectare.

Net Developable Hectare means the land area available for development but does not include public roads, utilities or the allocation of land for public parks, Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Riparian Assessment Areas.

The Tree Density Target may be achieved by:

  • Retaining native trees
  • Replacing trees onsite
    • at a ratio of 2:1 for each Tree (20cm diameter) removed, or
    • at a ratio of 6:1 for each Significant Tree (80cm diameter) removed
  • Paying $250 into the District’s Environmental Reserve Fund for each Replacement Tree that will not be planted

(For more detailed information on Tree Density Targets, please refer to the Tree Management Bylaw section 7.)

 In order to assist in calculating the minimum number of trees required for retention onsite, the number of Replacement Trees that would be needed, and the Environmental Reserve Fund contribution in lieu of planting Replacement Trees, use our online calculator:

Net Developable Hectares:

Current number of trees (greater than 20 centimetres diameter):

Current number of significant trees (greater than 80 centimetres diameter):

Number of trees to be cut:

Number of significant trees to be cut:






Replacement trees required or cash in lieu and permit fee:

Minimum trees required
Trees Remaining
Final number of replacement trees needed
Cash in lieu
Permit fee

 


Soil Management


Under the Community Charter, local governments have authority to regulate the deposit and removal of soil within a municipality. The District of Squamish considers it in the public interest to regulate soil movement.

Managing soil movement helps protect and maintain the integrity of green infrastructure and sensitive ecosystems, maintain water quality and drainage while controlling soil erosion and sedimentation, and prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species - all of which are important objectives included within the District of Squamish Official Community Plan.

The Soils Management Bylaw No. 2641, 2018 regulates the deposit and removal of soil on land within Squamish. 

Do I Need A Soil Permit?

If you are unsure whether you require a permit, please contact us at Engineering & Environment Services engineering@squamish.ca or 604-815-5012.

This bylaw applies to the deposit or removal of 30 m3 of soil (about 3 truckloads) or more, on one parcel during a 12 month period.

If the volume of soil being relocated is less than 30m3, a permit is not required unless any of the following apply:

  • Deposit or removal of soil is proposed on land having a slope greater than 30%
  • Deposit or removal of soil is proposed within 30m of the crest or toe of land having a slope greater than 30%
  • Proposed location of soil deposit is in a designated floodway
  • Soil contains Invasive Species
  • Proposed location of soil deposit or removal is within an Environmentally Sensitive Area or Riparian Assessment Area

 

Application Form and Fees

Application costs include a flat fee plus a fee per each cubic meter of soil to be deposited or removed.  For details, please refer to the Fees & Charges Bylaw, section 13.6 “Soil Management”.

 The application form is available on the: Applications Guides and Forms page.