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City's tree bylaw approved despite councillor's objection

Coun. Ralph Cipolla wanted to wait for results of canopy study to determine if $250 permit was justified
2021-05-31 Orillia trees 2

A city councillor’s push to delay the implementation of Orillia’s new tree preservation bylaw was shot down Monday.

Coun. Ralph Cipolla said he had received plenty of feedback from those who remained opposed to the part of the bylaw that requires a property owner to obtain a $250 permit to destroy or injure a tree.

“I’m a strong supporter of the tree canopy within the City of Orillia and I think we have one of the best tree canopies in Ontario, if not Canada,” he said.

However, he wanted to wait until a new tree canopy study and a public education campaign were undertaken before implementing the bylaw.

Having that information would help the city determine if it could “justify that we desperately need to preserve (the canopy) with the $250 permit fee,” he said.

Coun. Tim Lauer reminded Cipolla the $250 permit applies only to those with properties larger than half a hectare.

Staff requested the permit fee, Lauer said, because “they had some enforcement responsibilities but no income to back them up.”

Mayor Steve Clarke also noted it’s unlikely a private resident would have a property in the city larger than half a hectare.

Cipolla’s request to defer was denied when he was the only one to vote against the bylaw’s implementation.


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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central Ontario news desk in Simcoe County and Newmarket.
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