New Tree Protection By-law
The City of Ottawa’s new Tree Protection By-law comes into effect on January 1, 2021. Application forms have been adjusted to reflect the new Tree Protection By-law requirements.
The implementation of the new Tree Protection By-law will help to better retain and protect trees in urban areas, as the City continues to grow and intensify. It will also bring Ottawa in line with many other municipalities in Ontario, in terms of how trees are valued and protected in urban settings. The new by-law applies to privately owned trees in Ottawa’s urban area and all City-owned trees, city-wide. There are no implications for privately-owned rural trees.
The changes include the introduction of a new Infill Forester in the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department. In collaboration with City’s Forestry Inspectors and City Planners, the Infill Forester will review and comment on Committee of Adjustment applications. They will provide comments and recommendations for pre-consultation requests, coordinate the review of applications through a tree-protection lens, and recommend conditions when necessary.
It is important to pre-consult with the Infill Forester and City Planner before you finalize your submission. To find out more about the City’s Tree Protection By-law, please visit Tree Protection By-law.
If you are considering making an application to the Committee, please familiarize yourself with the Committee of Adjustment Mandate as well as the Role of Committee Staff.
Before filing an application, applicants should speak with a City Development Information Officer (DIO) to discuss the requirements of the Zoning By-law. This can be done by contacting 3-1-1 and asking for the DIO responsible for the geographic area in question. If it is determined that the provisions of the Zoning By-law cannot be met, then the applicant may wish to consider making an application to the Committee of Adjustment for a Minor Variance/ Permission. Prior to filing, applicants should also contact a City Planner to discuss the proposal, since the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department will provide a written comment to the Committee on each application.
Before submitting their application, applicants are encouraged to contact the City's Infill Forester to discuss the impact of the proposal on trees. Trees on private property within the Urban Boundary and any municipally owned trees are subject to the City's Tree Protection Bylaw. For more information, including how the tree by-law applies on private property, please visit Tree Protection By-law. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to speak with their neighbours as well as their local community association.
Filing an Application
Please refer to the front page of the application form for the type of application you wish to file for a complete list of submission requirements and application fees.
As of January 1, 2021, the City requires that all Committee of Adjustment applications within the City’s urban area include a Tree Information Report. For information, please consult the Tree Information Report Guideline.
Once an application has been filed it will be reviewed for completeness. When an application is deemed complete, a Hearing Date will be assigned and a Public Notice will be prepared and mailed out to all assessed property owners within 60 metres of the subject property.
As part of the notification process, the applicant is also required to post a sign on the subject property. The sign will be prepared and provided by Committee staff, along with a statutory declaration form indicating that the sign has been posted on the subject property and has remained posted up to and including the day of the Public Hearing. This declaration form must be completed and filed with the Committee before the application can be heard. A Commissioner of Oaths will be on hand to witness the sworn declaration prior to the commencement of the Public Hearing. Failure to file the statutory declaration may result in delays in the hearing of the application and/or a possible adjournment.
All submission materials on file, including cover letters, application forms and plans, will be made available to the public for viewing at the Committee office, as required under Section 1.0.1 of the Planning Act, R.S.O 1990 C.P.13. Personal information on file with the Committee of Adjustment office is collected under the authority of the Planning Act and will be used to process the application.
Commenting on a Committee of Adjustment Application
If you have received a Notice of Public Hearing and would like to provide your written comment to the Committee of Adjustment, please address your correspondence to the Secretary Treasurer of the Committee at the address shown below. Please note that all written submissions shall be available for inspection by any interested person. Information you choose to disclose in your correspondence, including your personal information, will be used to receive your views on the relevant issues to enable the Committee to make its decision on this matter. The information provided will become part of the public record. Every attempt should be made to file your submission 5 days prior to the Public Hearing date.
Please address your correspondence to:
Committee of Adjustment
101 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7
It is important to note that the Committee of Adjustment is not mandated to deal with:
- Private disputes between neighbours;
- Demolition and construction related activities;
- Property standards issues;
- Forestry and Urban Tree issues, including tree cutting and removal;
- Rights to a view;
- Capacity of municipal services (*);
- Grading and drainage issues (**).
(*) The City’s Infrastructure Service Branch, as a commenting agency, may provide comments on an application if there are applicable servicing issues.
(**) In some circumstances, the Committee may impose a condition for a Grading and Drainage Plan, if considered relevant.
The above listed matters would only be considered by the Committee if they are clearly relevant to the “four tests” for authorizing variances, or to the criteria for the subdivision of land (consent).
Requests for adjournments should be made in writing prior to the Public Hearing and will be considered by the Committee shortly after the commencement of the Hearing. All adjournments and/or re-circulations of public notice will be at the discretion of the Committee. Any re-circulation will be subject to a further fee to be paid by the applicant.
Anyone who files with the Committee a request for adjournment will be required to attend the Public Hearing to speak to the adjournment request, except where an applicant requests that his or her application be adjourned sine die (indefinitely).
If an application is adjourned to a specific Hearing Date there will be no further public notification, unless otherwise specified.
Adjournments Sine Die
If an application is adjourned sine die (indefinitely) and is subsequently rescheduled for a Public Hearing, the notification process will begin anew and a re-recirculation fee to be paid by the applicant will apply.
Appealing a Decision of the Committee
Decisions of the Committee of Adjustment may be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) for a fee. Appeals must be filed within 20 days of the date of the Committee’s written Decision, and must include the reasons for the appeal as well as the applicable fee payable to the Ontario Minister of Finance. It should be noted that only individuals, corporations and public bodies may appeal decisions to the OLT. An unincorporated association or group may not file a Notice of Appeal. However, a notice of appeal may be filed in the name of an individual who is a member of the association or group on its behalf.
For more information on the Ontario Land Tribunal and the appeal process, please visit their website at:
For further information about the Committee of Adjustment, please visit us on the 4th floor of Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, between the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM, or contact us at:
Committee of Adjustment
101 Centrepointe Drive, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7