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New processes to protect Ottawa's trees

posted Jun 18, 2016, 1:42 AM by Westboro Beach Community Association   [ updated Jun 18, 2016, 1:43 AM ]
Two new requirements aimed at protecting Ottawa's urban trees took effect on Tuesday, May 24. The changes will affect those doing infill development or removing distinctive trees – any tree with a trunk that is 50 cm or greater in diameter at chest height.

The first change is a new process that aims to protect trees on lots undergoing infill development by identifying potential impacts early in the process. When Building Permit applications for infill development within the greenbelt are submitted to the City, the developer must now include specific Tree Disclosure information and identify whether each tree is to be removed or retained.
For trees protected under City by-laws, the applicant must follow the City's tree protection guidelines and work with an arborist to determine mitigation strategies.

For these infill developments, the applicant is required to pay a refundable deposit of $700 per lot – the average cost to plant and maintain one new tree for a two-year period – to help ensure trees are retained or replaced. The applicant can apply for a refund of the deposit upon the successful retention of the City tree(s) or, after planting a tree to City specifications.

The second change relates to the application process for the Urban Tree Conservation By-law. This By-law, in place since 2009, requires any property owner planning to remove a distinctive tree from private property in the urban area to first apply for a Distinctive Tree Permit. Under the new requirements: 
  • The Arborist Report must be submitted with the City's online template in person at one of seven Client Service Centres.
  • A $100 administrative fee will be incurred for all Distinctive Tree Permit applications.
  • An Arborist Report is not required if a Building Permit application will also be made for a site within the greenbelt because it will be included as part of the Tree Disclosure information.
For detailed information on these changes, visit ottawa.ca/urbantree