New tree bylaw proposes stiffer fees, penalties

By Kimberley Molina, CBC News Ottawa, January 29, 2020

Ottawa's proposed tree protection bylaw strengthens rules protecting urban trees and halting deforestation by imposing harsh penalties for breaking them.

The new bylaw — which will go before the environment committee for approval next Tuesday, Dec. 17 — would blend two bylaws that currently deal with trees on municipal land and private property.

"This can't come soon enough. We've already lost so many trees in Ottawa, particularly in the urban areas," said Coun. Shawn Menard, vice-chair of the committee.

(...)The executive director of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders' Association said the bylaw prioritizes older trees — even as city staff point out some may be nearing the end of their lives and that it may impede the ability to build bigger, multi-unit buildings.

He believes the city should be prioritizing the overall urban forest, with younger trees planted nearby or in other areas of the city that can provide more of a canopy in the future.

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