City looks to toughen tree rules amid deforestation 'crisis'

By CBC News Ottawa, August 22, 2019

The City of Ottawa is looking at toughening its tree bylaws to halt the worrying trend of urban deforestation, and that could include demanding compensation from developers and homeowners who flout the rules.

There are currently two separate tree bylaws, one dealing with trees on municipal property and another aimed at protecting trees on private property.

In the decade since that second bylaw was enacted, "the steady pace of development and infrastructure projects, together with disease, has resulted in noticeable tree loss in the urban area," according to a discussion paper released by the city.

(...)In an effort to "retain, replace and renew" the urban tree canopy, the discussion paper proposes several ideas including:

  • Lowering the minimum diameter for "distinctive" trees from 50 centimetres.
  • Developing "clear rules around permitting."
  • Requiring a "permit to work around trees."
  • Developing "tree compensation requirements."
(...)Ottawa residents have until Sept. 9 to tell the city how they feel about the proposed changes to the tree bylaws.

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