A Discussion Paper slide deck was prepared to summarize the Tree By-law Review project and the challenges that stakeholders have identified with Ottawa’s current tree by-laws. The slide deck also outlines a suite of proposed directions to improve the by-laws and the associated implementation processes. This was prepared to support consultations with residents and stakeholders on the Tree By-law Review project. We asked them: Do you support the proposed directions? Do you have ideas for other solutions? Feedback was accepted between June and September 2019.
As we heard it – Summary of feedback
Thank you for your feedback! Staff received more than 100 public comments over the two-month public consultation period on the Tree By-law Review Project. The vast majority of the submissions express strong support for improvements to the Urban Tree Conservation By-law, and its associated implementation processes, and encourage the City to consider other mechanisms to retain and renew the rapidly decreasing Urban Tree Canopy.
- Strong support for improvements to the by-law is 88 per cent
- Non-support is 6 per cent
- General questions is 6 per cent
Residents expressed that the by-laws should be better implemented and enforced. Compensation should be used to replace and renew the tree canopy in the same neighbourhood that tree removal is taking place. A better monitoring program should be considered.
A significant number of residents suggested that the diameter for Distinctive Tree to be lowered from the current diameter which is 50 cm. A more transparent tree permitting process is preferred. Concerns regarding penalties were also raised, and the consensus is that stiff penalty should apply to unauthorized tree removal.
Issues were identified concerning the loss of urban tree canopy. Infill development is one of the most commonly raised concerns. Lack of consideration of trees in the infill development process, particularly lot design and increasing footprint, is perceived as one of the main causes for rapid decrease of the urban forest canopy in the City’s mature neighbourhood. Concern around construction practices was also raised by the residents. Careless construction practices often pose a threat to trees, especially when the construction activities are been conducted near the critical root zone of the tree. The chart below shows a breakdown of the respondents' main areas of concern and interest.
- Better construction practice - 14 per cent
- Decrease diameter for DTP (Distinctive Tree program) - 15 per cent
- Increase compensation - 15 per cent
- Better implementation and enforcement - 34 per cent
- Better/early consideration for trees in infill development process - 39 per cent
Several residents indicated that they object to the idea of a by-law for trees on private property and that permit fees are too high.
Overall, there is broad support for the proposed directions outlined in the consultation materials. Given this feedback, staff is currently working on revising the City’s tree by-laws and will be presenting a revised tree by-law and revised implementation processes to Council shortly.
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
tel.613-580-2424, ext. 17922