Some West Vancouver residents are fearful mass clear-cutting took place in the days leading up to a new interim bylaw taking effect last night, banning the cutting down of large trees.
Today, the sound of chainsaws is still prevalent in the air.
An arborist tells CKNW he was hired to cut down 25 trees in 3 days at a home off Marine Drive.
He says his crew finished just hours before an interim bylaw took effect banning the cutting down of trees with a diameter of 75 centimetres or more on private property.
Neighbour Liesa Norman is shocked and says it’s not the only property where this is happening.
“All of a sudden this week in the neighbourhood oh gosh there must have been at least 60 trees that went down. These are big trees at least 100 or 150 years old and they are all gone.”
The new bylaw would impose a $1000 fine, which some say isn’t enough of a deterrent.
READ MORE: North Vancouver tree protest put on hold
Mayor denies mass cutting
The Mayor of West Vancouver, Michael Smith, says he hasn’t seen any hard evidence that mass tree-cutting occurred in his district.
“I have heard rumblings but staff have not contacted me to say there is huge tree-clearing going on in West Vancouver. I would really doubt that that is happening because the bylaw is only covering trees of 75 centimetres or larger in diameter, and that’s a large tree.”
Smith says staff will consult with the community and return in a couple of months with recommendations for a permanent bylaw.
It’s not the first time tree cutting on the North Shore has ruffled feathers.
in 2012, two men sparked an outcry after hiring an arborist to cut down 35 trees in Capilano Park to allegedly improve their view of the West Vancouver waterfront.
They were sued by Metro Vancouver and eventually reached an $80,000 settlement in 2014.