Proposal for a tree bylaw to committee Sept. 9

Development & Infrastructure Committee, Sept. 9, 6:30pm, City Hall

City View Park path through trees and tiny signAs a result of community concern over potential clear-cutting of properties in advance of a development application, and the need for some protection and replacement of large trees, I will be bringing motions forward for enhanced tree protection at the Sept. 9 D&I meeting.

1. A No-fee permit requirement for cutting five or more private trees at one time.

  1. Notification and consent of adjacent properties for cutting private trees on the boundary of the property (Adjacent properties would be those on either side and backing onto the property in question.) Similar protections exist under the site plan process; this option would extend those same protections to trees in the absence of a formal development application.
  2. No fee city permission required to cut any tree on private property larger than 20cm in designated Tree Protection Areas. Tree Protection Areas are streets and districts where neighbourhoods have opted in to tree protection, via a petition and 2/3 majority survey. A minimum of 10 households required for implementation of a TPA. Items 1 and 2 above would also be part of a TPA.
  3. Requirement to replant on private property or designated city property (to be determined by city staff) any private trees cut, on a one to one basis.
  4. An annual report to council of the number of permits granted and trees cut, as well as TPAs established. A review of the tree protection plan at least once per term.

These options are consistent with existing practices at a number of area municipalities.

Read my full memo to council and accompanying research here.

Your Take: Do you support these proposals for enhanced tree protection? Would you petition your street for a tree protection area? Let me know or leave a comment below.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

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