Compliance and Licensing Enforcement staff have started receiving complaints regarding the presence of dead ash trees on various properties in the city, with some properties having multiple ash trees that are no longer viable. The public are becoming increasingly aware of the issue and, the presence of these trees become more easily identifiable as they fail to produce leaves this spring, Staff advise that they are experiencing an increasing number of complaints. As per the Property Standards By-law 654-98, as amended, if an ash tree is identified as being a source of danger a Property Standards Order (PSO) will be issued to have it removed.
Because of the increasing demand for the services of contractors who can provide remediation services and the expense often related to the remediation, Compliance and Licensing Enforcement staff will be attempting to accommodate property owners as much as possible. They are reviewing the process in dealing with dead trees on private property and will be providing up to 120 days in which to bring the property into compliance, as opposed to the typical 30 day compliance period. Municipal Law Enforcement Officers (MLEOs) are being advised to extend whatever courtesy they can to property owners actively attempting to resolve the issues.
It should also be noted that as per the Private Tree Protection By-law 254-12, as amended, a permit to remove a tree is not required when the removal is required in a PSO made under the City’s Property Standards By-law 654-98, as amended.
Their goal, as always, is to achieve compliance with the by-laws, to avoid situations whereby the City must enter on the property to remediate deficiencies and to work with the property owners to resolve these issues.