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City of Markham owned portion of my front yard

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  • Apr 23rd, 2020 9:34 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 22, 2011
27 posts
1 upvote

City of Markham owned portion of my front yard

Few years ago, I was planning to do interlock of my front yard and I contacted the City of Markham before I hire people to do it.
City of Markham sent two of their staffs to my home and they gave me their suggestion based on my idea.
At the same time, I asked the City staffs about the tree planted by the City in my front yard and I thought it was too close to my house. The staff took a tape measure and measured from the pavement of road side up to the tree. The City staff told me that it is within the range, 8 feet from the pavement toward my house are owned by the City of Markham.
The City staff told me that we cannot cut or move the tree without notifying the city government. But it will likely be declined by the City even if we request the tree to be moved.
I also read a previous discussion in this forum regarding the tree planted by the City.
A forum member provided info about Markham tree bylaws and if anyone violated the bylaws could be fine for up to ten thousand dollars.

I wonder if anyone has been fine for violating the Markham tree bylaws before?
16 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9955 posts
5242 upvotes
Paris
Its usually not just a fine, but a fine plus you pay the cost of replanting a similar sized tree to what it is today, not what it was when planted. A $150 Maple 15 years ago is probably a $4500 maple now.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 22, 2011
27 posts
1 upvote
Jerico wrote: Its usually not just a fine, but a fine plus you pay the cost of replanting a similar sized tree to what it is today, not what it was when planted. A $150 Maple 15 years ago is probably a $4500 maple now.
Thank you for providing even more info.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
15993 posts
17243 upvotes
Oakville
wantmore wrote: Few years ago, I was planning to do interlock of my front yard and I contacted the City of Markham before I hire people to do it.
City of Markham sent two of their staffs to my home and they gave me their suggestion based on my idea.
At the same time, I asked the City staffs about the tree planted by the City in my front yard and I thought it was too close to my house. The staff took a tape measure and measured from the pavement of road side up to the tree. The City staff told me that it is within the range, 8 feet from the pavement toward my house are owned by the City of Markham.
The City staff told me that we cannot cut or move the tree without notifying the city government. But it will likely be declined by the City even if we request the tree to be moved.
I also read a previous discussion in this forum regarding the tree planted by the City.
A forum member provided info about Markham tree bylaws and if anyone violated the bylaws could be fine for up to ten thousand dollars.

I wonder if anyone has been fine for violating the Markham tree bylaws before?
Yes they have and I believe fines can go up to $25k (maybe that's just Toronto). They value the price of replacing a tree with a similar mature tree, not a new sapling. If you don't like it, you can apply to cut it down and pay to plant a new tree further away.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
748 posts
312 upvotes
Do you know what type of tree it is?
Hopefully they have gotten better about putting big trees in tiny setbacks.
Sr. Member
Jun 26, 2019
959 posts
709 upvotes
wantmore wrote: Few years ago, I was planning to do interlock of my front yard and I contacted the City of Markham before I hire people to do it.
What is the scope of your project, is this just redoing your driveway in interlock, or is it replacing grass/other area on your front yard with an interlock patio of sorts?
wantmore wrote: I wonder if anyone has been fine for violating the Markham tree bylaws before?
The next question is, do you know where your property line is? From the sounds of it, this is a City tree.

If it's a large tree on YOUR property, you could apply to have it removed, and then either plant new trees or pay a fee in place of the tree removed.

If its a City tree, within the right-of-way, or just not in your property, this is a whole different process, you would basically just ask the City if they could remove or move it, and they will probably just say no, unless you have a real good reason. Wanting to build a patio would not fly. Furthermore, is this new interlock proposed to pass the property line? This is another grey area, if its just a driveway replacement, that is probably fine, if its putting pavers where grass used to be, the City probably isn't going to want that on their property, or in the future they could just rip it up and not have to replace it if they need to do something.

More details would be helpful in providing some guidance.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3223 posts
2179 upvotes
Toronto
How close is it to your house? Why would you want to remove a tree? If it's within 8 feet of the 'pavement' (is that a sidewalk, the road?) it surely is at least 10+ feet from your house?

What species of tree?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12088 posts
8383 upvotes
Edmonton
wantmore wrote: Few years ago, I was planning to do interlock of my front yard and I contacted the City of Markham before I hire people to do it.
City of Markham sent two of their staffs to my home and they gave me their suggestion based on my idea.
At the same time, I asked the City staffs about the tree planted by the City in my front yard and I thought it was too close to my house. The staff took a tape measure and measured from the pavement of road side up to the tree. The City staff told me that it is within the range, 8 feet from the pavement toward my house are owned by the City of Markham.
The City staff told me that we cannot cut or move the tree without notifying the city government. But it will likely be declined by the City even if we request the tree to be moved.
I also read a previous discussion in this forum regarding the tree planted by the City.
A forum member provided info about Markham tree bylaws and if anyone violated the bylaws could be fine for up to ten thousand dollars.

I wonder if anyone has been fine for violating the Markham tree bylaws before?
https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/7 ... -18-trees/
https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/com ... ned-4-500/

She was fined $4,500, also made a donation of $45,000 the city's "Trees for Tomorrow Fund", plus had to either plant 18 new trees or pay another $10,800 ($600 * 18).

C
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
748 posts
312 upvotes
CNeufeld wrote: https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/7 ... -18-trees/
https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/com ... ned-4-500/

She was fined $4,500, also made a donation of $45,000 the city's "Trees for Tomorrow Fund", plus had to either plant 18 new trees or pay another $10,800 ($600 * 18).

C
I mean that was a terrible thing to do but why didn't she pay the 10,800 fine? She elected to hire a lawyer and pay an additional $45,000 donation and a $4,500 fine on top of $10,800 fine still owing?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
12088 posts
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Edmonton
Katedontbreak wrote: I mean that was a terrible thing to do but why didn't she pay the 10,800 fine? She elected to hire a lawyer and pay an additional $45,000 donation and a $4,500 fine on top of $10,800 fine still owing?
The $10,800 "fine" is if she doesn't plant any of the 18 trees to replace the ones that she cut down; if she plants the trees (at her cost), she doesn't have to pay. The $4,500 was a fine regardless of what else she does (plants the replacement trees or not).

In the second article, someone (don't know if they were an expert or not) claimed the largest of the three trees she cut down had a value of $75,000. No idea how they come up with that number. Perhaps the $45,000 donation was to make sure that $4,500 fine didn't escalate. Plus she might have gotten a tax break for a charitable donation, if it was.

C
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
748 posts
312 upvotes
A photo of this tree in relation to the house and driveway would be nice.
Sr. Member
Jun 26, 2019
959 posts
709 upvotes
CNeufeld wrote: https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/7 ... -18-trees/
https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/com ... ned-4-500/

She was fined $4,500, also made a donation of $45,000 the city's "Trees for Tomorrow Fund", plus had to either plant 18 new trees or pay another $10,800 ($600 * 18).

C
Yeah, and these are trees on her property, so she had the option of planting more.

From the sounds of it, the tree in question is a municipal tree, therefore they would just fine you and bill you to replant. You would probably be also destroying City property if you did this.

Cities usually keep inventories of all municipal trees, so there is a high likelyhood they found realize the tree is missing sooner or later.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 22, 2011
27 posts
1 upvote
torontotim wrote: How close is it to your house? Why would you want to remove a tree? If it's within 8 feet of the 'pavement' (is that a sidewalk, the road?) it surely is at least 10+ feet from your house?

What species of tree?
The City staff measured from the road pavement towards my house. He said the tree was planted within 8 feet and that's within the range.
Which means that the City of Markham own 8 feet from the road pavement towards the property of all households in Markham Ontario.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3223 posts
2179 upvotes
Toronto
wantmore wrote: The City staff measured from the road pavement towards my house. He said the tree was planted within 8 feet and that's within the range.
Which means that the City of Markham own 8 feet from the road pavement towards the property of all households in Markham Ontario.
Question is how far is the tree from your house and what species of tree?
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9955 posts
5242 upvotes
Paris
wantmore wrote: The City staff measured from the road pavement towards my house. He said the tree was planted within 8 feet and that's within the range.
Which means that the City of Markham own 8 feet from the road pavement towards the property of all households in Markham Ontario.
This is the case Canada wide I believe. Road easement in case they ever want to run a 4 lane highway down your street.
Sr. Member
Jun 26, 2019
959 posts
709 upvotes
wantmore wrote: The City staff measured from the road pavement towards my house. He said the tree was planted within 8 feet and that's within the range.
Which means that the City of Markham own 8 feet from the road pavement towards the property of all households in Markham Ontario.
Everything is a case by case basis, depending on what the actual width of the right of way is. For most towns/cities, (again, you could look up the standards for Markham, but that might not even be exact for your case) in a standard 16m to 20m right of way the road width in this is usually either 8 or 8.4m. Which means, for a standard right of way now a days, if you were to measure from the Curb, the right of way probably extends 4m from there.

You should probably look up or request a survey of your lot to see exactly where it is. Or you could just look up the limits or ROW width on parcel mapping.

Alternatively, if you house was built sometime in the last few decades, you could find your curb stop or water valve. That is usually located on the property line.

If you want to give me your address or maybe even street name, I could probably figure out the right of way width with minimal effort.
Jerico wrote: This is the case Canada wide I believe. Road easement in case they ever want to run a 4 lane highway down your street.
Just to clarify this point, the land right now is just the right-of-way, it is municipally owned land and is not an easement. The City owns it and can do whatever they want with it (within reason), you just have to maintain it.

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