Tree Fees and Securities for Land Development
Learn what payments must be made prior to the issuance of your development permit.
Tree Cutting Permit Fee
The tree cutting permit fee is based on calculations depending on the zoning and the number of lots being created. The following tables are taken from the Surrey Tree Protection Bylaw (pages 12-13).
Proposed Subdivisions for Single Family Residential Lots
The following table shall be used to calculate the fee for a tree cutting permit for proposed subdivisions involving single family residential lots:
|Zone and Lot Size||Fees|
|RF-12 and RF-G, RF-9, RF-12C, RF-10, RF-10S and RF-9C Lots smaller than 340 m2||$125 per proposed lot|
|RF, RF-G Lots greater than or equal to 340 m2,
RF-SS, R-F(R), R-F(F), R-F(C)
|$150 per proposed lot|
|RH, RH-G, R-1, R-H(G)||$180 per proposed lot|
|RA, RA-G, RC, R-S, R-A(G)||$570 per proposed lot|
Proposed Multi-Family Residential Lots, Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Lots (other than those described in Part 8, Section 36)
The following table is used to calculate the fee for a tree cutting permit for sites proposed for multi-family residential, commercial, industrial and institutional use:
RM-D, RM-M, RM-10, RM-15, RM-30, RM-45, RM-70, RM-135, RMC-135, RMC-150, RMS-A, RMS-1A, RMS-2, R-F(D), R-F(M), R-T(1), RM-1, RM-2, RM-3, RM-4, P-P, C-4, C-5, C-8, C8A, C-8B, C-15, C-35, CHI, CG-1, CG-2, CTA, CCR, CPR, CPG, CPM, C-L, C-R(1), CR(2), C-R(3), C-S, C-C, C-H, I-S, C-G(1), C-G(2), C-T(1), C-T(2), P-P(1), P-R, P-D, IB, IL, IH, IS, IA, CD, I-1, I-P(2), I-G, I-T, I-W, I-H, I-L(S), I-A, PC, PA-1, PA-2, PI
|$570 per acre|
All fees are subject to applicable taxes.
Trees to be included in the security/fee calculations:
- The City collects a bond for the protection of all on-site/off-site/shared trees ($3,000/tree to a maximum of $10,000 per lot for single family subdivisions, or $100,000/project for multi-family, industrial, commercial, and institutional projects). Tree bonding securities are not collected for boulevard trees, or trees within dedicated park or riparian areas unless directed otherwise by Parks.
- The City collects a bond of $10,000 for all Significant Trees (as defined by the Tree Protection Bylaw), regardless of their location. We may also collect a security of $5,000 for Specimen Quality Trees (as defined by the Tree Protection Bylaw) regardless of their location.
- No trees within dedicated open space (City property) are to be included in the calculations. They do not count as trees being retained, and do not require replacement trees if Parks determines that they have to be removed.
- All trees on the boulevard, regardless of size or species, are to be included. This includes existing boulevard, and dedicated road right-of-way. However, the city does not collect a bond to ensure the protection of the trees being retained on the boulevard unless otherwise directed by Parks.
- Dead trees are excluded from all calculations and summaries. All other trees, including hazardous trees are included.
The landscaping securities are based off of the approved cost estimate and are held to ensure that the landscaping is completed as per the approved plan.
Cash-in-lieu is collected when a project cannot accommodate the number of replacement trees that are required to be planted. Cash-in-lieu is not refundable and is sent to our Green City Fund.
How to Pay Your Fees and Securities
Fees and monies that are not to be returned (ie. permit fees, cash-in-lieu, amendment fees, etc) can be paid by cash, cheque or debit. Refundable securities may be paid by cash, cheque, debit or letter of credit. Letters of credit must follow the City of Surrey’s Letter of Credit guidelines in terms of format and content.
You must ensure that the project number, project address and purpose on the letter of credit are correct. Project numbers need to start with the Planning Department prefix of 79 and continue in the following format 7900-0000-00. The project address is the address of the project while going through the development application process.
Sometimes the address of a site will change when the building permit is applied for. For landscaping purposes, we need the project address and NOT the building address. The Purpose of the letter of credit should use the same wording as what the City provides to you in our correspondence.
If your project is phased through the City, you will need to include the phase in the purpose, i.e., Landscaping Security Phase 2. Each letter of credit must be for one sole purpose. You cannot combine securities on one letter of credit. Similarly, each letter of credit must only have one project number and one address.
The Release of Securities
Your security deposits with the City are released in stages as described below once the project has been completed and the City is satisfied that the work complies with the approved plan and that your retained trees have not been damaged.
The release of your landscaping securities may be done by either booking your first landscaping inspection with the City, or by having your landscape architect submit a Schedule L3 along with a copy of the field review listing any and all outstanding deficiencies.
If you are submitting an L3 the City still reserves the right to conduct our own inspection prior to release. Periodic inspections will be done to ensure that the landscape architects are doing thorough inspections (including soil depths, soil quality, removal of root ball twine, removal of tree stakes for final inspection, etc.).
Should the City discover that a landscape architect is not conducting thorough inspections, or that the landscape architect is approving changes to the landscaping that were not previously approved by the City, the City will no longer accept Schedule L3s from that landscape architect, and the developer will have to request an inspection by the City.
Depending upon the backlog of inspection requests, this could result in longer delays in the release of landscape securities.
If you would prefer to have the City conduct an inspection, you can book your inspection by calling our inspection line at 604-591-4675.
Approving Your Landscaping Process
Upon substantial approval of your landscaping, the first 90% of your deposit will be released less double the cost estimate value of any significant deficiencies.
The final 10% is held for one year to ensure that the plant matter survives the crucial first year after planting, and to ensure that all outstanding deficiencies have been cleared up.
One year after your landscaping has been approved (either by inspection or L3), you may request your second inspection or have your landscape architect submit a final letter of assurance that the landscaping is still in compliance with the approved plans, and in good condition. The remaining 10% will then be released.
If your inspection fails, you will need to repair the deficiencies and then request another inspection. Re-inspection fees may apply.
Returning Tree Bonds
Tree bonds for existing trees are returned to the owners of subdivision when:
- All the lots have been built on, provided that there has been no damage to any of the trees, and the barriers have been maintained.
- Two years after the completion of the last home, if retained trees have been compromised or the barriers have not been maintained.
- When the builder comes in with the building permit application for the individual lot, and a $3,000 per tree bond is collected as part of the building permit application.
- The City will then release the developer’s tree bond provided that the a tree bonding inspection is completed and approved, that the trees on that lot have not been compromised and that the barriers have been maintained during the clearing, grading and servicing of the lot.
For multi-family, industrial, commercial and institutional buildings, the City will release the $3,000 per tree bond once:
- final building approval has been granted by the Building Inspector;
- a tree bonding inspection has been completed and approved;
- the trees have not been compromised; and
- the barriers have been maintained.
The security will be retained for two years after final building approval if the trees have been compromised, but survive, or if barriers have not been maintained.
If retained trees die, or have declined to the point that they will never fully recover, the $3,000 per tree bond is forfeited and deposited into the Green City Fund. If possible, a replacement tree has to be planted back into the same location as the dead/dying tree was growing.