If the city never sees a private tree bylaw it won’t be because the environmentlists stopped trying. One more kick at this can.

September 23, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  They are going to give it the old college try and provide city council with what they believe is an unbiased questionnaire on just what the good people of Burlington wants to do with the trees that are on private property.

Council has voted against this time and again – not because they are necessarily against a private tree by-law but because they don’t sense this is what the property owners want.

More than 100 years old this oak marks one of the boundaries that demarcate the land given to Joseph Brant for his service to the British forces during the American Revolutionary War. Fortunately it is on city property – or it might have been cut down.

This is an issue on which Mayor Goldring and Councillor Marianne Meed Ward have joined forces but all they could come up with was a 5-2 vote.

Meed Ward brought the issue back to Council with a proposal that staff write-up a bylaw that citizens could look at and think about.  She proposed a no fee – just fill in the form – permit to cut down a tree but still her colleagues weren’t buying.

With the issue going to Council this evening for what most Councillors thought was going to be just a quick vote to get rid of the problem is now going to be yet another presentation and perhaps some drawn out debate during what is already going to be a contentious and lengthy council meeting.

The Beachway Park issue is up for a final vote and this council is far from consensus on that file.

The Carriage Gate development is up for final vote with a group of community advocates arguing that the project should go back to square one due to the changes the developer is looking for in the Section 37 agreement that was supposed to give the city a significant number of affordable housing units.

Watching council on Cogeco Cable is no treat – the production qualities are terrible – but this is a meeting during which you will see city council struggle with several of the biggest files they have had to handle this term.

Might be an occasion to catch the show on Cogeco or go on-line to see how the significant seven operate.

What you probably won’t see on Cogeco is the detailed questionnaire a group of environmentalists are going to present to Council.

Here for your viewing pleasure are the questions that were asked along with the responses.

Having read them – how would you have voted and what do you think your Council should do.  We will tell you what they did tomorrow.

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1 comment to If the city never sees a private tree bylaw it won’t be because the environmentlists stopped trying. One more kick at this can.

  • David Auger

    The survey you show was NOT prepared by a group of environmentalists and it wasn’t purported to be so.
    It’s development was the result of one citizen who saw that the “research” used by the City was ill-conceived, inappropriately executed, and incorrectly interpreted for City Council. This is my personal opinion and it is shared by an experienced market research professional. I regret that no one on City Council or City Staff felt the need to speak with me about these concerns.
    Editors note: I don’t believe we said it was “prepared by a group of environmentalists” but presented to Council by environmentalists.
    We have been sportive of efforts to get a bylaw in place that would protect the rights of people with trees on their property and a the same time give the city some data as to just how many trees were being cut down and why they were being cut down. when David Auger advised us that he was going to take steps to have a survey done we asked for the results as soon as they were available and Auger complied with that request.
    Auger however was secretive about just who put the survey together saying only that the person was not a resident of Burlington but did have many years of experience in the research field. Not exactly transparency on Auger’s part. While delivering the results of the survey to Council, Councillor Dennison pressed Auger on the source of the design of the survey. He was not given a clear unequivocal answer.