Urban Tree Changes and Library Consultation

From the Councillor’s office:

Ottawa Central Library Public Consultation

 An online questionnaire is now available for the public to help shape the criteria that will be used to evaluate potential locations for the new flagship Ottawa Central Library. The public has until Thursday, June 9 (midnight) to complete the questionnaire that was developed using community input, technical expertise, and best practice research. The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) Board will be asked to approve the evaluation criteria and weighting at their July 12 meeting.

In a concurrent process the OPL, working with the City of Ottawa, launched a call-out to identify publicly- and privately-owned sites within the city’s Central Area that could be suitable for the Ottawa Central Library.  The sites identified through the call-out, which closed on May 20, will be compiled in a site inventory that will be made public after the  site criteria are approved. The sites in the inventory will be evaluated and analyzed against the Board-approved criteria. This will result in a short-listing of potential sites, which will undergo financial analysis and due diligence. The OPL Board will make a decision before the end of the year regarding the financial framework, potential partnership with Library and Archives Canada (LAC), a project delivery method, and location. The OPL Board will recommend a best approach to Ottawa City Council.

Ground-breaking for the Ottawa Central Library is expected in the spring of 2018 with official opening of a new iconic library in 2020.

New Processes to Protect Ottawa’s Trees

Two new requirements aimed at protecting Ottawa’s urban trees will take effect beginning 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.

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