On November 13th, 2017 Council enacted a by-law to protect trees on Town-owned property. This by-law requires that a permit be obtained to remove or injure a Town-owned tree. It also establishs fines and penalties for the un-authorized removal of or injury to a town-owned tree.
As population pressure and economic demand for land and timber increases, the sustainability of urban forests is threatened. Trees are an intrinsic part of our communities, towns, cities, and regional districts. They play a vital role in creating and maintaining sustainable communities that attract and retain residents and businesses. A healthy urban canopy can be considered as an investment that will only appreciate over time.
Trees play a valuable role in the wellbeing of Newmarket. Trees in Newmarket:
- Have a replacement value of $364,000,000
- Sequester 1,558 metric tonnes of carbon per year, at an annual value of $120,400
- Remove 40 metric tonnes of air pollutants per year, at an annual value of $321,500
- Reduce local heating and cooling costs by 1,127 MWH, at an annual savings of $3,345,000
- Manage 215,000 square metres of water runoff per year, at an annual value of $500,000
Town-owned trees are occasionally injured or removed. This may be done by the Town to remove an unhealthy tree, or with the Town's permission by a resident or developer to allow for a change to a private property. In order to ensure that Town-owned trees are protected and that requests to injure or remove them are evaluated consistently, Council approved the PUblic Tree Protection By-law regulating the injury and removal of Town-owned trees. By-law 2017-59:
- Prohibits the injury or removal of any Town-owned trees
- Establishs a permit process to review requests to injure or remove Town-owned trees
- Requires compensation for any trees that the Town allows to be injured or removed
- Creates offences and fines for which anyone injuring or removing Town-owned trees without a permit
There are no permit application fees for the first year (November 2017 to November 2018).