Taggart apologizes for deforestation with lack of community consultation / Memos to Ottawa Council.
The Taggart family is once again in the News in Carlsbad Springs for the third week in a row.
Taggart offering to help with a community project in return as an act of goodwill.
(voir lettres PDF en français au bas)
"Please see the following links for communication received from Michelle Taggart on March 7th in regards to the tree clearing on AOO lands near the Tewin area in Carlsbad Springs. The CSCA will take some time to determine what project, if any, the community selects to receive support from Taggart (i.e. community hockey rink in the 2024 season) and to ensure that the integrity and non-partisan position of the CSCA will remain unchanged regardless of any partnership with Taggart on specific community projects. The CSCA will remain a transparent voice for the community, and continue to engage in dialogue with concerned community members and raise issues to the city, media and other transparent organizations if required."
Adrian Becea, Carlsbad Springs Community Association President
" Dear Adrian, neighbors, and Carlsbad Springs Community Association,
Thank you for your time to discuss the tree clearing on our property at 4401 Piperville Road. First of all, I want to apologize about the communication bungle on our end. As you know, AOO and Taggart jointly own thousands of acres of land in the area. Since these lands are designated rural and outside the urban boundary, we were not planning to include them in the consultation program for the new community of Tewin. Of course, we realize now that was a mistake. Given the sensitivity of the project, people in the surrounding area are rightfully interested in what we are doing with all our lands, not just those inside the urban boundary. I apologize for not coming to the community sooner and commit to doing a better job of keeping the community informed about the work we are doing in the rural area. Our Community Liaison Committee Terms of Reference will be out later this week and we look forward to working together."
"We realize that we have upset our neighbours by moving ahead with this work without informing the community. Again, we apologize for this. After much discussion and engagement with Councillor Darouze and Community Association President Adrian Becea, as an act of goodwill, we would like to offer to help with a community project. The preliminary suggestion is to fix up the rink at the Carlsbad Springs Community Centre. As a demonstration of our commitment to the community, Taggart would like to undertake this project at no cost."
(for the rest of the letter please see below PDF)
Vice President, Land Development
Taggart Group of Companies
Below are two memos on the situation (By-law Exemption for Tree Cutting near
Tewin Area) shared by Don Herweyer, Interim General Manager, Planning, Real Estate and
Economic Development to Mayor Sutcliffe and Members of Council (City of Ottawa) dated March 7 and February 28, 2023.
"The landowner has provided notice that cutting operations were in support of future agriculture related uses and they indicated widespread damage from the 2022 Derecho incident. The Tree
Protection By-law and Site Alteration By-law provide for exemptions where permits are not
required, including where tree removal is required for normal farm practices as a part of an
The ownership group has indicated that the land is being cleared and being prepared for farming
activities. Documentation in this regard has been provided to City staff by the ownership group.
The land is zoned for agricultural use.
Although the land is subject to the Tree Protection By-law, Subsection 82(7) of the By-law states
that a tree permit is not required in circumstances where the injury or destruction of trees is
required for farming practices. Ontario’s Farming and Food Production Protection Act, 1998 lays
out the requirement for these exemptions by stating that no municipal by-law can restrict a normal farm practice carried on as part of an agricultural operation (Subsection 6(1) of the Act).
Given the information available to staff, the tree cutting on this land is exempt from the Tree
Protection By-law and as such, the Stop Work Order will be lifted later today. The ownership
group has indicated there is additional tree cutting to be done on site in preparation for planned
farming activities. As such, it is expected that tree cutting will resume following the lifting of the
Stop Work Order.
The onus of maintaining an exemption under the By-law rests with the ownership group. That
said, the City will continue to monitor activities at the property should circumstances change that may affect the exemption status.
Staff’s initial investigations have concluded, however as noted above, staff will be monitoring the
activities on this site to confirm adherence with the farming exemption. Staff is committed to
compliance with the Tree Protection By-law and will provide further updates as required. On site
activities in terms of hours of operation are and continue to be regulated by the City’s Noise Bylaw."
Don Herweyer, MCIP, RPP
Interim General Manager, Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development