Burlington Mayor blogs about Urban Forest Management & Tree by-laws

Mayor Rick Goldring wants to hear from his constituents about Burlingtons UFMP (Urban Forest Management Plan) before the Nov. 14th Community Services Committee Meeting.

Update: Urban Forest Management Plan and Tree By-law Discussion

November 8, 2012

Over the past year I have heard from many residents with concerns about the loss of trees across the City.  You may recall interest in this issue from across the community and in local media this summer and as a result of recent development proposals. As we are faced with challenges of intensification and becoming more urbanized, mature trees are at risk.

I have heard from many residents on both sides of this issue – those concerned about the loss of trees in their neighbourhoods and those concerned about potential impacts to private property rights.

This November 14, staff will present an update the Urban Forest Management Plan which will include a recommendation to the Community Services Committee to consider a private tree by-law for the City of Burlington. The recommendation will include a review of practices in other municipalities and opportunities for public consultation on various alternatives for a potential tree by-law.

The report is available online and paper copies are available at City Hall.

Other communities in Ontario have enacted private tree by-laws including Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Vaughan and Kingston to name a few. There is a wide variety of tree by-laws in place in different municipalities. Some are more onerous than others.

As you know, trees help to improve water and air quality, help lower energy costs and increase property values. Considering the many benefits of trees, does it make sense for the City of Burlington to have a tree by-law to protect and preserve our trees?

  • What are your thoughts on this issue?
  • Would you support a by-law to protect trees in the City of Burlington?
  • Would you support a tax increase to pay for the costs of staffing and administration of a private tree by-law?

Please share your feedback on this issue with your comments below. As always, you are welcome to call me, send me an email, or to delegate at the Community Services Committee on Nov. 14. For more information on delegating to Council, or to register online, see Register as a Delegation

I look forward to your feedback on this issue.