Earlier this year, to help protect its tree canopy, the city of Burlington introduced 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 previous press release from the city, 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 was scheduled to 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 a previous press release from the city. “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.
Failure to abide by this bylaw can result in a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum of $100,000.
But despite only currently being enforced within the Roseland community, an important question has been raised.
Should this bylaw be enforced city-wide?
The city is now looking for feedback regarding this question, and whether any changes should be made to the bylaw.
Three citizen action labs are being held later this month (August 24, 26, and 29) where residents will be able to engage, discuss, share, and explore new ideas.
Residents are also encouraged to take a survey about the bylaw.
To take the survey, and for more information about the citizen action labs, click here.
The survey will close at 4 p.m. on August 30.
Do you think this bylaw should be enforced city-wide?
Photo is courtesy of the city of Burlington.