Realtors  

Land Developers & 

Home Owners

As a realtor, developer, city planner, or homeowner it is important to recognize potentially damaging invasive species and understand the complications they can bring to your land. 

In British Columbia, land occupiers are mandated by law to control noxious species that occur on their property.

The BC Weed Control Act designates a list of invasive plants as ‘noxious weeds’ at the regional and provincial level. In British Columbia, land occupiers are mandated by law to control noxious species that occur on their property. 

Municipalities have the authority to regulate the use of pesticides that are used to maintain grass, outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers and other ornamental plants. Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaws vary between jurisdictions and are put in place to prevent the overuse of pesticides for purely cosmetic reasons.  Noxious or invasive plants are generally exempt from these bylaws, but refer to your local municipal bylaws to ensure compliance before treatment.

Soil deposition bylaws vary between jurisdictions. Soil contaminated with invasive plant or animals (seeds, fire ants, or fragments of knotweed) can be considered as contaminated waste and may be subject to soil deposition bylaws which regulate the movement and safe disposal of contaminated waste. The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) has created a presentation regarding invasive species contaminating soil. 

When selling a property, a property disclosure statement is required. There is an ethical duty to be forthcoming about damaging invasive plants infesting property for sale. Be aware that many invasive plants can be invisible during the winter, existing only as roots or seeds in the soil.

 

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Many properties are covered by covenants that regulate various aspects of property management.  Knotweeds and other invasive plants can cause damage that may lead to civil action.

The Invasive Species Property Assessment checklist provides the steps to protect REALTORS® and their clients on invasive-impacted properties. 

If you have concerns or suspect an invasive species-related issues consult local bylaw enforcement for records

or the regional invasive species organization for further information.

Knotweeds have extremely powerful growth habits; their roots and shoots grow at a rate of around 4cm per day in the spring and are able penetrate concrete, brickwork, and asphalt.  Their roots have been known to re-sprout under newly built buildings, working their way up through floor boards, and emerging from electrical sockets.  Because they are so damaging to structures, knotweeds have been cause for refusal of property insurance in the UK, and have been the cause of law suits between landowners.

Invasive Species Toolkit

This Toolkit was developed by the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) to provide a resource for real estate professionals, property owners, developers and local governments (including regional districts and municipalities) and elected officials in British Columbia as a means of providing information on invasive species management tools and options.

Legislative Guidebook

From ISCBC, this document is intended to provide guidance to land managers and stakeholders in British Columbia who are

already engaged in invasive plant management or considering becoming involved.

Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural
Land Development in British Columbia

This document has been prepared for use by local governments, the development community, landowners and environmental organizations as a comprehensive guide to maintaining environmental values during the development of urban and rural lands. 

CSISS Land Developer and Real Estate Guide

A handout from the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society with information for Real Estate and Land Development. 

BMPs for Soil Movement and Distribution

By identifying issues, developing a response, and carefully

executing a plan that utilizes best practices, problems can

be managed up front instead of becoming overwhelming

or surprising.

Publications

Property Owners

  • Control established invasive plants using methods appropriate to site and species, such as hand pulling, digging, cutting, and mowing.

  • Minimize soil disturbance and damage to desirable vegetation.

  • Promptly seed or re-vegetate disturbed areas with non-invasive plants.

  • Since invasive species are extremely persistent, ongoing control and monitoring is often required.

  • Check out the NIPP Program for valuable financial help controlling invasive plants. 

Homeowners can also consider taking the Home Landscape Pesticide Use Training Course. This online course is designed to educate and train the general public to use pesticides responsibly.

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