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Sarnia Council Urged To Shelve Tree By-Law

City staff is recommending council pump the brakes on a proposed tree by-law, following community consultations.

83 per cent of those surveyed were opposed to the by-law, which would have restricted homeowners from cutting down trees without going through city permits and inspections.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley admits the by-law was premature.

He says they’re shifting focus to the development of an Urban Forest Management Study.

“That’s where I think we should be moving,” says Bradley. “We should be developing a policy that will bring about more trees in the community, more coverage of the ground in the community by trees. That’s a positive thing to do, not a regressive law that would have added more costs, and more staff and would have been an invasion of property rights.”

Bradley says the city could re-visit a tree by-law, in some form, pending the findings of the study.

To address concerns surrounding pre-development clear-cutting, staff is recommending a report on the site alteration by-law be returned to council in 2018.