If you’re anything like us, you enjoy consistency when it comes to rules and regulations, especially when it come to The City of Vancouver. And like many homeowners in Vancouver, we were a little surprised when the city suddenly started requiring an arborist report to accompany building permit applications involving exterior work…
Back on April 1st 2014, the cities new manager took a different take on the existing tree by-law asking for strict enforcement of the long existing rules. While in the past trees had to be protected with tree protection if in the area of the hoarding or in path of the proposed work (or for new houses, every tree on the site), these changes in interpretation mean that any property with a tree large enough to be protected under the by-law (8″ in diameter at 54″ above grade), must get a certified arborist to prepare a report on the health and resilience of the tree to make it through the proposed work unhindered.
In most cases this is possible and the report is used to support the proposed work. However, in some cases it’s not and in these cases the arborist must also be retained to oversee on-site excavation during the work and make recommendations in the best interest of the tree affected.
Not only does the additional step required take some extra time, it also has upfront, unavoidable costs. For many such cases, the report supports the work proposed and as we see all the time in our practice, can be prepared for fees ranging from between $400 to as much as $900.
In those cases where the report suggests the tree is in a risky position and could be compromised by the work, at least one additional site visit will be required and the fees for this range between $250 and as much as $400 per visit.
If you’re investigating a potential addition, building a garage/laneway home or even just a deck, make sure to take a good look at the trees on your property. Verify that any tree in the vicinity of the work falls under the provisions of the Vancouver Tree By-law and if so, plan for an arborist report as part of your budget and planning.
Of course, we’re here to assist you in the process from beginning to end so if we can help, start by setting up a free consultation today.