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Trio fined $20,000 for removing tree protection

Three men who took down 26 trees at this property in East Richmond, have paid a $20,000 fine after pleading guilty to 26 counts under the city
Three men who took down 26 trees at this property in East Richmond, have paid a $20,000 fine after pleading guilty to 26 counts under the city's tree protection bylaw.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

Three men paid a total of $20,000 in fines for removing protective fencing around 26 trees at a residential construction project in the East Richmond community of Hamilton.

Amandeep Kaur Dhillon, Karpal Singh and Paramjit Singh Pandher pled guilty in Richmond provincial court to 26 counts of "failing to place or maintain prescribed protection barriers around trees to be retained and protected for the duration of all construction or demolition."

The charges stem from the damage to 26 trees located at a property at 22391 Westminster Hwy., which is currently under a rezoning review.

City of Richmond spokesperson Ted Townsend said some of the 26 trees were damaged, but the city did not proceed with those charges.

Once the rezoning is complete, the 26 trees will be removed and replaced with a minimum of 52 trees.

Tree protection barriers had been put in place to protect the trees, but those barriers were removed at some point. All three men were linked to the B.C. numbered company, 0740769 BC Ltd.).

According to city staff, an average of 25 per cent more trees are required to be planted that are approved for removal.

In 2011, 3,536 replacement trees were required to be planted as either a condition of development and/or tree removal permit approval. In 2010, that number was 3,580.

Richmond's tree protection bylaw was introduced in 2006 to protect Richmond's urban forest by restricting tree removal from private lands and ensuring replacement trees are provided when trees are required to be removed.

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