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Tree By-law Review Project

Project Status: 
Underway

Tree By-law

Consultation

We need your input!

A Discussion Paper slide deck [PDF 607 KB] has been 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 has been prepared to support consultations with residents and stakeholders on the Tree By-law Review project.

Tell us what you think. Do you support the proposed directions? Do you have ideas for other solutions?

Please send your feedback on the proposed directions to martha.copestake@ottawa.ca by Monday, September 9, 2019.

Background

The City of Ottawa has two tree by-laws—the Municipal Trees and Natural Areas Protection By-law, 2006-279, which covers all municipally owned trees, and the Urban Tree Conservation By-law, 2009-200, which applies to a portion of privately owned trees within the urban boundary dependent on property size and tree size.

Following the completion of the Urban Forest Management Plan UFMP, staff are undertaking a review of the City’s tree by-laws. The objective of the project is to review and update both of Ottawa’s tree by-laws, and the associated processes and procedures. These by-law updates are key to urban forest sustainability and resiliency in Ottawa. 

During the consultation process for the Urban Forest Management Plan UFMP, many issues were identified regarding the effectiveness of the Urban Tree Conservation By-law UTCB. Stemming from the feedback received, a key recommendation of the UFMP is to review and update the City’s tree by-laws.

Specifically, the UFMP recommends to improve the effectiveness of the UTCB:

  • Review and implement opportunities to strengthen the Municipal Trees and Natural Areas Protection By-law
  • Investigate the need for a Heritage Tree By-law, program, or registry in Ottawa
  • Develop city-wide tree compensation guidelines, and
  • Identify and formalize incentives for encouraging tree conservation and establishment

The last two recommendations listed are closely related to the implementation of the City’s tree by-laws and the related development review processes and will therefore be undertaken with the review and update of the existing tree by-laws.

Project Scope

The Tree By-law Review project will include the following elements:  

  • Review and update the Urban Tree Conservation By-law and the Municipal Trees and Natural Areas Protection By-law
  • Investigate the need for a heritage tree protection by-law, program, or registry in Ottawa
  • Develop city-wide tree compensation guidelines
  • Identify and formalize incentives for encouraging tree conservation and tree planting
  • Revise City processes and procedures related to tree protection and the implementation of the tree by-laws
  • Consider options for the protection of peri-urban woodlands (i.e., rural woodlands adjacent to the urban boundary) under the Urban Tree Conservation By-law as per direction from Planning Committee on February 27, 2018

Project Deliverables

  • Q2 2018
    • Project website
    • Feedback from internal and external stakeholders
  • Q1 2019
    • Best practices and approaches in other municipalities
    • Consider options for City-wide compensation guidelines and draft implementation guidance
    • Research incentives for urban tree conservation and establishment and develop a suite of incentive options for Ottawa
    • Research heritage tree approaches and draft an approach for Ottawa
  • Q2 2019
    • Consider options for the protection of peri-urban woodlands, i.e., rural woodlands adjacent to the urban boundary under the Urban Tree Conservation By-law
    • Synthesis/Summary of issues
    • Identification of solutions
    • Complete Issue & Position Paper
    • External / Internal Working Group session on Issue & Position Paper
  • Q2 – Q4 2019
    • Incorporation of solutions into draft revised tree by-laws and City processes
    • Issue & Position Paper on project website with survey for feedback
  • Q1 - Q2 2020
    • Final revised by-laws and associated City processes
    • Revised by-laws to Environment and Climate Change Committee and to Planning Committee

Contact person

Martha Copestake
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
tel.613-580-2424, ext. 17922
email: martha.copestake@ottawa.ca