Homeowners who cut down healthy trees would be required to replace them with anywhere from one to three new ones under a proposed Peterborough bylaw.
The issue was discussed during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. The bylaw still has to be approved by council.
Weller St. resident Ruth Bishop likes the idea. An avid tree lover, she says healthy, mature trees provide an aesthetic the whole neighbourhood enjoys.
“I think whatever means the city council can come up with to maintain a healthy urban canopy, I think that’s important,” Bishop says.
But not everyone thinks this is an area worth branching into.
Town ward councillor Dean Pappas says the proposed bylaw creates more problems than it solves.
“There are situations where this is not going to work,” Pappas said.
Pappas says he’s in favour of protecting the city’s trees but he points out that the bylaw stipulates that unhealthy or dead trees can be taken down without requiring the resident to replace them.
Pappas says it’s a loophole that makes the bylaw hard to enforce.
“So if someone wants to take a tree down, they’re just going to kill off their tree, and say, ‘Look, my tree’s dead,'” Pappas said.
Pappas wants the city to consider a system that he says would reward homeowners for replacing trees, perhaps by subsidizing tree replacement.