News / Calgary

Calgary assembling enforcement 'team' to crack down on 'unidriveways'

Calgary is assembling an enforcement “team” to crack down on the practice of a growing number of residents who have paved large sections of their front lawns, creating what’s become known as “unidriveways.”

As Metro reported in October, numerous Calgary residents, particularly in the city’s northeast, have taken to pouring concrete over previously grassy front yards, sometimes melding multiple homes’ driveways into one large, paved stretch.

"We're having a lot of controversy in my ward about the paving of front lawns," Ward 3 Coun. Jim Stevenson said at Monday’s city council meeting, while asking city staff “what they’re actually doing” to deal with the situation.

"We have established a team across the corporation to work on that issue," replied Stuart Dalgleish, general manager of community and protective services.

Chief city planner Rollin Stanley said the situation is “predominantly an enforcement issue.”

Most front yards are supposed to have a soft-surfaced, “two-metre strip along the edge of the sidewalk” to soak up any storm water and “stop drainage from those properties coming onto city property,” Stanley said.

In addition, he said, “from a zoning perspective, it’s an issue of whether cars are parked permanently on these areas, or casually.”

Dalgliesh said the city’s enforcement team will include officials from the Calgary Parking Authority, Animal and Bylaw Services, corporate properties, waterworks, the fire department and roads.

The first step will be to issue “warning notices” to any homeowners found in violation of city rules, Dalgliesh said.

“And there are follow-up inspections that we do,” he said.