Pulling Burlington into the circle of environmentally responsible cities; one tree at a time.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 11, 2013.  The people on Indian Point want the trees they have kept.  The residents in the Orchard wanted their trees kept but the bulldozer got to them before the citizens could do very much.  The people in Roseland are determined to keep their trees and Councillor Lancaster says she was once prepared to stand in front of the heavy piece of equipment that was taking the trees out – all 5 feet 3 inches of her.

This is what people want in Burlington. Most of these trees are on city property. Should there be a bylaw to protect trees like this on public property?

Burlington, on the surface at least – wants to keep its trees, but there really isn’t a passionate advocate – at least not on city council.  Say Escarpment and the name John Taylor jumps out at you.  Say downtown core and Councillor Marianne Meed Ward is all over you with Councillor Jack Dennison mumbling that the trees are important but – business is business.  Mayor Goldring, who positions himself as an environmentalist, certainly doesn’t come across as a champion you do not want to trifle with.

We say nice things about trees – but we have yet to see significant action – except for the work the bureaucrats at city hall have begun.

Did you know that unlike Oakville and Toronto, Burlington has no bylaw to protect trees located on private properties?

As our City approaches growth capacity, development pressures continue to climb and more trees are being cut down. BurlingtonGreen is advocating for the establishment of an effective private property tree bylaw – they are the strongest tree advocates the city has.

The City of Burlington has embarked on an ambitious Private Tree By-law feasibility review.  It is an ambitious project and they want to hear from the public – I should hope so.

The review will explore options that provide a balance between allowing for the reasonable use and enjoyment of private property, while addressing public concerns about tree cutting and the need to protect trees citywide.

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1 comment to Pulling Burlington into the circle of environmentally responsible cities; one tree at a time.

  • Dr. Emil Zmenak

    I have a serious problem with the idea that some one can infringe on my property rights to the extent that they can tell me what I can or can not plant and grow on my private property. It is just more beuracratic “Thou shalt nots”.
    In the 1920’s and 30’s the City of Burlington planted about 10,000 Silver Maples. These are some of the beautiful and gracious trees that grace Indian Point, Roseland the rest of South Burlington. Unfortunately they are coming to the end of their lifespan. Rather than worry about trees on private property, it makes far more sense for the City (and private property owners for that matter) to take a pro-active pre-emptive approach and start a serious tree planting programme on city property and possibly offer incentives to property owners