Tree issues stalling investor plans

Fighting the City on building permits and other big issues is commonplace but more investors are finding their projects stalled by debates over…trees.

Municipal departments naturally want to protect the urban trees for aesthetic and conservation values but their system and lack of communication is what is irking many investors.

“The city is very strict on trees around private properties and have many stipulations on how to deal with their growth. I do not blame them as it makes the whole neighbourhood look more appealing,” says Sahil Jaggi, a Toronto-based investor that is currently undertaking a renovation project in North York.

“It is this issue that is delaying my project,” he says. “It’s just that we have to go through four or five departments to get a solution and there is no communication or coordination between each so we are getting moved around from one to another. It’s very time consuming and costly to me.”

Despite some trees being on privately held properties, many are protected and regulated under the provisions of municipal by-laws.

The private tree by-law protects all species of trees with a diameter of 30 centimetres (12 inches) or greater measured at 1.4 metres (4 ½ feet) above the ground. It applies to trees on all land use types including, single family residential.

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