Some Burlington residents can now be fined up to $100,000 if they don’t abide by the rules of a new bylaw pilot project that recently went into effect.
In order to help protect its tree canopy, the city of Burlington has introduced a new bylaw pilot project – known as the Roseland Private Tree Bylaw Pilot Project.
The goal of the project, which officially went into effect on March 1, 2019, is to protect private trees in the city – as well as historic and rare tree species.
As a result of the bylaw, according to a recent press release, residents in the Roseland community are not able to injure, destroy, cause or permit the injury or destruction of a tree with a diameter of 30cm or greater or of a tree of significance (historic or rare).
The pilot will be in effect, only within the Roseland community (which, as noted by the City of Burlington website, is bordered by Guelph Line to the west, New Street to the north, Roseland Creek to the east, and Lake Ontario to the south), for two years concluding in March of 2021.
“During this time, consultation will be facilitated by the Roads, Parks and Forestry Department to investigate the feasibility of rolling out the bylaw city-wide,” reads the release. “At the end of the two-year pilot, a decision will be made by council to make the bylaw city-wide as-is, make changes to the bylaw or cancel it.”
However, like many rules, there are exemptions to this bylaw initiative. Some exemptions include trees with a diameter of less than 30cm, emergency work, if the tree is dead (and confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry), and/or if the tree is an ash tree (due to the Emerald Ash Borer) and also confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry.
In addition to protecting this city’s tree canopy, this bylaw project will also help the health and well-being of the city of Burlington as a whole.
“Healthy and mature trees benefit more than just the property owner, they benefit everyone in the community,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said in the release. “From their flood mitigation and wind reduction properties, ability to provide habitat to birds and other creatures, and significant contribution to our clean air, they’re an asset that grows in value with each passing year. For the health and well-being of our city, they deserve our protection.”
Failure to abide by this bylaw could result in a minimum fine of $500 or a maximum fine of $100,000.
Anyone who wants to remove a tree with a diameter larger than 30 cm or of significance can apply for a permit online by visiting Burlington.ca/privatetree.
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Photo is courtesy of the City of Burlington.