Private Tree Bylaw Improvements Proposed

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ACTION ALERT: Show your support for a Stronger Private Tree Bylaw

Town staff have completed a review of Oakville’s Private Tree Bylaw (2008). Proposed changes to the Bylaw are outlined in a staff report here: Staff-Report-Private-Tree-Protection-By-law-Review.pdf.

Oakvillegreen Conservation Association has long advocated for improvements to the Private Tree Bylaw. A summary of our submission to staff and council in 2015 can be found here. Town data from 2013 revealed that through the Notification Process the equivalent of 1% (329.082 sq.m.) of urban tree canopy had been removed over a 4 year period, most of the trees removed were perfectly healthy, and most trees were removed without any replanting or compensation requirements.

Oakvillegreen supports the recommendations in the staff report (see summary table from page 8 of the staff report):

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In particular, Oakvillegreen strongly supports the staff recommendation to remove the Notification Process and require a permit for every tree 15 dbh (diameter at breast height) and up. A permit process for every regulated tree allows staff to advise landowners about other options for tree care, to permit tree removals when they are justified and to ensure that canopy cover lost due to approved removals is replaced.

We also support the suggested tree planting compensation requirements as permit conditions.

Oakvillegreen has also emphasized that while we support these changes to create a more effective private tree conservation by-law, we also want to see stronger provisions for tree preservation as part of development applications. Tree cover losses from new development in the north and intensification and infill development in older, mature and well-treed neighbourhoods are significant concerns which need to be addressed.

To this end, Oakvillegreen strongly supports updating the Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan to establish more suitable tree cover targets for lands south of Dundas and protection standards and criteria for tree conservation during development.

The staff recommendations and an updated UFORE (iTree) urban forest canopy cover report will be presented to the Community Services Committee meeting on October 11, 2016 beginning at 7pm. The meeting is open to the public and we encourage Oakvillegreen members and supporters to attend to show their support for a stronger Private Tree By-law and investment in our urban forest.

What can you do?
1. Contact your Councillors and the Mayor and let them know that you support a more effective private tree conservation by-law for Oakville. Oakville Town Council contact information and email addresses can be found here.

2. Spread the word within your networks. Show your support for a stronger private tree by-law on social media using the hashtag #OakvilleNeedsItsTrees and tell your family and friends to do the same.