It's the second time in little over a month that healthy trees have been illegally cut down in Vancouver's Dunbar neighbourhood. 

The city says three healthy Douglas fir trees on the lot of a home under construction on West 38th Avenue were illegally cut down this weekend. 

Cutting down mature trees, even on private property, outside of a home's footprint is illegal without a permit in Vancouver.

The developer would not talk to the CBC, but the city says the developer didn't have a permit and could now face a court-ordered fine worth thousands of dollars.

Fines aren't a deterrent

The fines, however, do little to deter people who are already spending millions on a property, says real estate agent Andrew Hasman. He says some homes with trees are selling for less, so developers are getting rid of them.

"Those trees may provide a lot of shade, may dump a lot of needles," he says. "If they can remove that tree, they can add tremendous value."

Hassman says he's seen some properties go for 10 per cent less than what they're worth because of the trees on the lot. 

But the city and enraged Dunbar residents say that's not a good enough reason to cut trees.

"This is the wildlife around here," says one neighbour, Nola Frost. "We're in a city, and it's so beautiful and it's being destroyed." 

Last week, the city said it is considering how to increase penalties for those who cut down trees on their property illegally. This comes in reaction to a "chainsaw massacre" of six trees — five of which were old growth — on a Dunbar property at the corner of West 37th Avenue and Collingwood Street. 

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