North Oakville Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan ensures a sustainable and healthy urban forest
Oakville’s Planning and Development Council approved the innovative North Oakville Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan on Tuesday night, ensuring a sustainable and healthy urban forest for the lands located north of Dundas Street. The plan, which impacts overall planning for residential, commercial and industrial lands, recommends a multi-faceted strategy that connects urban forestry best practices to existing environmental features in Oakville’s Natural Heritage System.
“North Oakville is unique and there needs to be a focus on maximizing opportunities for tree growth,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This will take careful planning as there will be challenges with introducing these new standards. The long-term benefits, however, will be the sustained ecological health of our community.”
Under the plan, trees are identified as green infrastructure and their location and suitability will now be addressed at the onset of the planning process. Development applications will be required to provide detailed locations and soil volume of all trees in composite utility plans. This ensures the placement of trees will receive equal consideration as the location for the placement of other services, such as water or gas utilities.
Implementation of the plan will occur through amendments to the zoning by-law following a best practices review by staff of other southern Ontario municipalities. Changes to the site plan and subdivision requirements will be reflected in updated conditions of approval. Opportunities to maximize tree canopy coverage will be further strengthened through landscape standards, detailed land use policies, and conceptual plans for new parklands. Tools have been developed to assist staff in accurately assessing existing and proposed canopy coverage for each development site to ensure targets are met.
The plan also outlines updated standards that boost tree planting requirements on parklands, landscape strips, buffer areas, parking lots and storm water management ponds as well as dictates soil depth and volume for medium and large stature trees.
To ensure the successful realization of the new plan, the town acknowledges that it will take a concerted effort. As a result, the plan calls for the establishment of partnerships with community and environmental groups along with other public agencies, levels of government and the private sector to encourage participation in this planning and preservation initiative.
The strategic management plan is one of several master plans included in Vision 2057. Together, with other key planning initiatives, they will shape the town’s future, creating a more livable and sustainable Oakville.
For more information visit the North Oakville Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan page.
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