Fate of 40-year-old Centennial Square sequoia up for debate
Staff will present the latest results of the action plan at Thursday's committee of the whole meeting, including a draft recommendation to 'trim or remove the sequoia tree for better visual connection to Douglas Street.' (CTV Vancouver Island)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019 12:44PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 17, 2019 6:18PM PDT
Victoria city staff are preparing to update council on future plans for Centennial Square, including the possible removal of a giant sequoia tree that has towered over the property for decades.
Planted in the late 1970s at the square's Douglas Street approach, the tree is now seen by some as a hindrance to public access and a barrier to future development, according to the city's ongoing Centennial Square Action Plan.
Staff will present the latest results of the action plan at Thursday's committee of the whole meeting, including a draft recommendation to "trim or remove the sequoia tree for better visual connection to Douglas Street."
City staff are currently monitoring the health of the sequoia tree, which they say was damaged in recent years by the application of decorative lighting.
"The tree has started putting on response growth to compensate for the damage," staff wrote in 2018. "Although there will always be a defect present in the damaged areas, the top of the tree should not die."
Other considerations for the square include adding lantern-style lighting, repairing the fountain and improving seating.
Staff's long-term plan for Centennial Square also includes considerations for a new transit hub at the Douglas Street entrance, a rain canopy and space for bicycle parking.
On Thursday, staff will ask council to endorse the progress of the action plan and provide guidance for any future work, if required.
Committee of the whole meets Thursday at 9 a.m. at Victoria City Hall.