News / Calgary

Calgary has had rules in place against ‘unidriveways’ since 2008

Paving entire front lawns to use as driveways is against the law in Calgary, according to the city’s planning department, but the rules have only been in place for the past six years.

“We didn’t really have rules on driveways and driveway widths and paving until 2008,” planner Laurie Kimber said Monday.

As Metro reported Sunday, apparent “unidriveways” are emerging in numerous northeast neighbourhoods, as residents pave swaths of their front lawns, often to use for parking.

In some places, neighbouring driveways end up connecting with one another, creating long, completely paved stretches in front of three or four homes.

But paved driveways are legally limited to a maximum width of six metres on lots that are nine metres wide or less, Kimber said. On larger lots, driveways can be up to seven metres wide.

These rules only apply within six metres from the curb, he added, and closer to the house, paving can be “flared out” wider.

It is possible to apply for variances to the rules, Kimber said, although the regulations are in place for a reason.

“Near the front (street) we want to have some landscaping or whatever, and some lawn,” he said.

Kimber said the city investigates violations on a complaint basis but Saddle Ridge resident Greg Steiner said he’s submitted numerous complaints about projects in his community that have taken place in the past couple of years but has seen little enforcement action so far.

“This summer … I submitted seven homes that have their front yard totally paved,” Steiner said. “I could have done 27.”

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