Cornwall tree control law being investigated

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A city councillor wants to control what you do with your tree on personal property as well as on city land.

Coun. Andre Rivette tabled a new business motion last night (Monday) and has asked for a report from city staff on having a tree control bylaw.

The move is in response to a 70-year-old tree that was spared from being chopped down to make way for a sidewalk on Charles Street.

The city is now building the sidewalk beside the tree. “We’re able just to get by,” Infrastructure Supervisor Michael Fawthrop told council.

The report would include a “draft bylaw to prohibit or regulate the destruction or injuring of trees located on private property and public properties in the City of Cornwall.”

“I think we have to take a look and make sure we’re not cutting trees to put in a sidewalk where it’s not needed,” Rivette explained.

Rivette believes it makes sense because “many municipalities” have laws in place.

According to the Ontario Woodlot Association, there are seven municipalities in Eastern Ontario with full or partial restrictions in place.

But Rivette’s biggest concern is that the city doesn’t “tie up” property owners with red tape.

Coun. Bernadette Clement said “it’s good for us to take a look at putting something in place.”

A report will come to a future council meeting.