Planning and Economic Development Committee approves updated Woodland Conservation By-law

On Oct. 14, Niagara Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee put its stamp of approval on the Region’s updated Woodland Conservation By-law after a comprehensive review and public and stakeholder engagement process.

The updated by-law governs the protection and preservation of woodlands in Niagara, and recently underwent a complete review and public engagement process. Several key changes were made to ensure the by-law meets the current and future needs of Niagara, and is consistent with Provincial legislation and best planning and management practices.

  • Responsibility for enforcing the by-law, as well the position of Regional Forester, will be transferred back to the Region from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
  • The requirement for an external advisory committee was removed
  • An exemption was added to account for remediation efforts on contaminated lands
  • The by-law includes additional regulations for tree removals associated with a building permit
  • ​Terminology, definitions and references within the by-law have been updated and replaced to ensure alignment with local and provincial plans and policies

The by-law underwent a significant public and stakeholder engagement process. Over 350 residents completed an online survey, while 79 attended an online open house in June 2020. Approximately 40 industry representatives and community stakeholders also participated in online engagement.

Input received through this consultation revealed a keen interest to recognize and address the shortcomings of the previous by-law, and was considered by staff and incorporated into the updated by-law where appropriate. Results from the survey and open houses can be found on the Region’s website.

The updated by-law will be considered by all of Regional Council on Oct. 22. If approved there, the by-law will go into effect Jan. 31, 2021.

Quotes

"Niagara’s woodlands play a vital role in the health and vibrancy of our natural environment, our communities, and our economy. The Region’s updated Woodlands Conservation By-law will ensure we’re in step with our local and provincial plans and policies, and are working together to protect and preserve our woodlands, both now, and in the future."
~ Rino Mostacci, Commissioner, Planning and Development Services

Contact

Andrew Korchok
Niagara Region
905-329-1642
andrew.korchok@niagararegion.ca


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