Toronto tree protection nonsense drives contractor crazy
A contractor emailed us the comical BS he recently had to go through, all because he wanted to build some porch stairs slightly within a "tree protection zone"
By Steve Payne
What you see here is a notice that the City of Toronto insisted be posted on a renovation contractor’s jobsite recently. (He asked to remain nameless, and we’ve whited out the address of the project which was on the sign.)
INJURY AND/OR DESTRUCTION OF TREES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?
All that was happening was that the stairs for the new front porch that the contractor was building were apparently too close to the “tree protection zone.”
Here’s the email we got from the contractor:
The stairs for the new porch encroach slightly into the tree protection zone, so we had to obtain an arborist report, and submit along with an application to “injure” the tree. The reduction in the tree protection zone is on the periphery, and amounts to about 5% of the entire tree protection zone. An insignificant amount, according to the arborist.
The entire process was partly comical, partly frustrating:
1. The entire process from start to finish took more than 8 weeks.
2. We were listed as the agent, but the city called the homeowner looking for additional information.
3. At one point, we got a call asking why the tree hoarding was installed 30 cm greater than what is required. We gave them more than what they asked for, and that’s a problem?
4. At the 8 week mark, I got a phone call asking to provide, among other things, a copy of the committee of adjustment decision. I was told that if I get this to them in the next 5 minutes they will continue to work on the application, otherwise they will move on to other files and don’t know when they will be able to continue reviewing the file. Fortunately I had my laptop with me, I pulled into a parking lot and sent them the info they wanted. If you need the document, ask at the application stage. Definitely not at the 8 week mark. And try and give me more than 5 minutes to get it to you.
5. But here’s the best part – while we were waiting to have our application approved, the city was repairing water lines on the street. They decided to replace the water shutoff, which was right in the middle of the tree protection zone!
Feel free to comment if you’ve also had “Out of Their Freakin’ Tree” stuff like this from city hall.