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Requirements for trees and shrubs changed on interim basis

The City has come up with an interim fix to a bylaw requiring a disproportionate amount of landscaping on new developments.

Planner Reed Desroches says until a larger review of the Land Use Bylaw can be done, one tree for every 400 square metres and one shrub for every 200 square metres of total lot area will be required for residential and commercial districts, and one tree for every 800 square metres for industrial.

“Essentially right now the problem is the requirement doesn’t match the size of the lot, so it asks for a ridiculous number of trees on certain lots. Developers just can’t do it, and so they have to work with a development officer, and in a lot of cases they have to ask for a variance.”

That adds a lot of time and work to the process, meaning projects are being delayed.

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The wording has been amended in the meantime, as Desroches says this is just one problem they’ve found in the LUB brought in last winter.

“The problem was that it was an entire replacement of the ’90s bylaw; they didn’t do every section individually, and so the problem with doing that is it’s such a big project that the little details might get overlooked.”

A major review is already underway.

Photo by Flickr user ConspiracyofHappiness

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