News / Calgary

City of Calgary has warned 63 residents about their 'unidriveways' to date

Move your ride or face a fine.

That's the message Calgary bylaw officers have sent to 63 homeowners, who've been found to date with what have been dubbed "unidriveways."

In each case, the owner has taken it upon themselves to put down concrete in place of grass on their front lawn, back lawn or both. The result has left some blocks with long stretches of paved space that poses challenges both for visitors to the community hoping to park on street as well for drainage and snow removal.

Metro first reported on what some have dubbed a suburban "trend" in October. It was indicated in early November that an enforcement team had been created to crack down on the unidriveways.

Now, Cliff de Jong, a senior special projects officer with the city, said 63 of them have been found in a number communities to date. Residents caught have been told to move their cars from the newly paved spot immediately or face a fine.

"We're not looking at relaxing the rule and we want to rectify as much of the situation as we can without (creating) full financial ruin for these folks," he said.

"We're looking for compliance. Sometimes, the road to compliance takes a long time."

The city has largely been made aware of existing unidriveways through complaints and de Jong conceded there are likely more flying under the radar.

Saddle Ridge Community Association president Judy Brown said she's aware of more than 60 such sites in her community alone. Metro snapped a photo in October of one block in her community where four houses in a row had eliminated front-yard grass.

"It looks like a used car lot," she said.

Brown said she's aware of other unidriveways in Martindale and at least one down in the McKenzie area.

"I don't think they (city bylaw officers) have found all of them," she said. "(The McKenzie resident) paved the front-lawn and back-lawn, she just didn't want to mow the lawn anymore — excuse me? Where's all the water going to run off?"

De Jong said his team is also working on the "future scenario" and amending bylaws to prevent future unidriveways.

"To be quite honest, our bylaws didn't anticipate this . . . we want to provide information for the public that this is a scenario that's just going to cause you grief," he said.

"We really do need to stem the tide . . . it's not a trend that's acceptable. You don't want to be in a position where you have forcibly remove portions of the concrete. It's a waste of money at this point."