British Columbia

Illegally cutting down 6 Dunbar trees 'a despicable act', says City of Vancouver

The City of Vancouver is considering how to increase penalties for those who cut down trees on their property illegally, as wealthy homeowners are not deterred by fines.

Three cherry trees, two cypress and one dogwood tree were illegally felled

Three cherry trees, two cypress and one dogwood tree were illegally cut down at a private property in Dunbar. (CBC)

The City of Vancouver is considering how to increase penalties for those who cut down trees on their property illegally, as wealthy homeowners are not deterred by fines.

Neighbours are crying foul over the illegal cutting of six trees — five of which were old growth — on a Dunbar property at the corner of West 37th Avenue and Collingwood Street, sometime between May 20 and 22.  

"It was a chainsaw massacre," said Cynthia Stout, one of the upset neighbours. 

Three cherry trees, two cypress and one dogwood tree were illegally cut down and the city says the felled trees appeared to be healthy with the exception of the large dogwood that had extensive decay in the stump. 

"This is a despicable act," said the city's director of planning Brian Jackson. "We will be prosecuting to the full extent of the law we can." 

CBC was unable to make contact with the homeowners and get their opinion on the tree felling. 

Jackson says lately the courts have fined homeowners anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000 for cutting down trees without permission.

But when owners are dishing out several million for homes, the fine is a relatively small price to pay.

"It's a lot easier to just pay the fine and build what you want and proceed from there," said Stout. 

With files from Farrah Merali

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