Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities is seeking permission to remove more trees at its Huron Street property.
The site, located at 70 Huron Street, is the proposed future home of Parkbridge’s national headquarters. The property was a former landfill, and Parkbridge has been working to clean up the lands ahead of construction.
The development is currently in the site plan approval stage, with the latest site plan application submitted to the Collingwood planning department on July 23, 2019. A site plan approval must be granted before a building permit can be issued.
Parkbridge has received permissions to begin cleaning up the site. On March 26, 2018, the developers received a permit to destroy trees on the property in order to work on the rehabilitation of the lands.
At that time, an ecological screening indicated there were no endangered butternut trees on the property.
Not all trees were removed at that time and the permit has since expired.
Staff brought the matter forward at last night’s (Aug. 12) Development and Operations Services Standing Committee, recommending council issue a permit to destroy trees with the following exceptions:
Tree cutting and removal cannot occur from April 15 to Aug. 10 (bird breeding period)
Three identified trees cannot be removed without written permission from adjacent property owners because they are boundary trees
Adjacent property owners must be notified via a sign posted on-site and notice circulated
Parkbridge must commit to implementing sedimentation and erosion control measures
According to the staff report, Parkbridge wants to begin necessary remediation work this summer.
Councillor Deb Doherty said she was glad there were some trees being protected, but she voted against granting the tree cutting permit.
“Generally speaking, not only this development but for a number of others, we have been destroying a lot of trees,” she said. “In the meantime, we have an urban canopy study that is underway. By the time we have the results of it, we will have destroyed a lot of trees.”
Doherty was referring to the town's Urban Forest Management Plan, which included a public input portion and is now in the building and review stage. A date for its completion has not yet been announced.
Doherty asked how many trees had been removed on the property and how many would be replaced through landscaping of the headquarters property.
Director of planning, Adam Farr, said he didn't know the exact number removed. He stated Parkbridge included a “robust” landscaping plan as part of the site plan application.
“It exceeds the town’s requirement for planting,” he said, adding they would be the largest available (60 cm) trees for planting.
“This will be a well-landscaped site,” said Farr. “That was a concern raised specifically by residents and addressed by the developer and staff.”
The Development and Operations Services Standing Committee approved the tree-cutting permit request by Parkbridge. The matter will be before council on Aug. 26.