City councillors in Dieppe have adopted a new by-law this week that encourages the protection of trees and other parts of the regional’s natural heritage.
Officials told council Monday that the “ambitious document” will ensure a sustainable future and will better encourages the protection of woodlands.
This bylaw is a first of its kind for Atlantic Canada.
“This bylaw is one more step towards fulfilling Dieppe’s mission of being a welcoming, dynamic and eco-responsible city,” said Mayor Yvon Lapierre.
“I believe that we can work together to ensure a sustainable future for our community and maintain the quality of life that Dieppe residents enjoy.”
The city says it has had a tree code since 2006, but it only covers trees on municipally owned land. There were no regulations governing trees on private property.
“The new bylaw seeks to balance the protection of trees with the need to pursue development aimed at addressing the lack of housing in the city,” reads a release.
Any tree-cutting on private land must now be authorized by the municipality.
In order to cut trees on private land, officials say landowners require a permit to cut trees larger than 10 centimetres in diameter.
“City staff will analyze the condition and health of the trees on a given site to determine which can be kept, which are of interest, and which can be cut,” reads a news release.
“Trees of interest are trees that are at least 30 cm in diameter at a height of 1.3 m (4.26 ft) from the ground.”
Town staff might also require the replacement of cut trees, which could result in possible fines.
“If replanting on a property is not possible, a monetary amount per tree will be paid to the municipality for replanting initiatives in elsewhere in the city,” officials said.
“Measures must be implemented to protect trees that remain on a property during construction.”
A review of the bnew bylaw is slated for 2024 to determine whether any changes are necessary.