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Here’s Why Some Burlington Residents Could be Fined $100,000



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Here’s Why Some Burlington Residents Could be Fined $100,000

The City of Burlington is working hard to protect its tree canopy.

One thing the city is doing in order to preserve its trees is introducing a new bylaw pilot project.

This project is known as the Roseland Private Tree Bylaw Pilot project and is expected to launch on March 1 of this year.

According to a recent press release from the city, the goal of this project is to protect private trees in Burlington with diameters larger than 30 cm, as well as historic and rare tree species from damage or destruction.

“As I mentioned in my inaugural address, protecting Burlington’s tree canopy is one my goals,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said in the press release.

“Burlington residents feel passionately about this issue. These trees are a big part of what makes our city beautiful, and they are also important contributors to our clean air, an important part of mitigating flood risk in our neighborhoods, and they provide shelter and sustenance for countless creatures in our natural surroundings. They’re a valuable resource we need to protect.”

The pilot will last two years, concluding in March of 2021. Following the conclusion of the pilot, a report with recommendations will be presented to City Council.

The pilot project will only be in effect in the Roseland community. After the pilot, the bylaw could be enforced throughout the entire city.

The Private Tree Bylaw, according to the press release, states, “No person can injure, destroy, cause or permit the injury or destruction of a tree with a diameter of 30 cm or greater or of a tree of significance (historic or rare).”

A few examples of exemptions to this bylaw include, trees with a diameter of less than 30 cm, emergency work, if the tree has a high or extreme likelihood of failure and impact as verified or confirmed by an Arborist or the Manager, or if the tree is dead (as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry).

If residents do not follow this bylaw, the minimum fine is $500 and the maximum is $100,000.

The full bylaw, along with information on permits, exemptions, and fines, can be seen here.

A drop-in information session about this pilot project is being held for Roseland residents and businesses at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre (2285 New St.) from 7 to 9 p.m.

This session will allow residents and businesses to learn about the bylaw and how it will impact their homes, businesses, and neighbourhood. 

Members of the Forestry Department will be at this session. 

A second information session, according to the press release, will be held for those living and working outside of the Roseland community at a later date.

Photo is courtesy of the City of Burlington.

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