High River Tree Bylaw Updated to Allow Property Owners to Maintain Boulevards

High River Tree Bylaw Updated to Allow Property Owners to Maintain Boulevards

boulevard picHIGH RIVER, AB: Council made an amendment to the Town’s Tree Protection Bylaw regarding the maintenance of boulevards adjacent to personal and business properties at its regular meeting on April 25.

The purpose of the amendment is to give responsibility for grass cutting of boulevards to the landowners of properties adjacent to Town of Higher River boulevards.

“We found that the vast majority of property and business owners were maintaining their adjacent boulevards and some others were being maintained by Town staff,” said Tannas Webb, parks supervisor for the Town. “However, a section within the Bylaw could be interpreted that it is an infraction to for owners to cut the grass on a boulevard, so that is what we are amending.”

The amendment to the Bylaw now states that:

No person shall remove, move, cut or prune or cause to be removed, moved, cut or pruned a Public Tree, shrubbery or other plant material located within any Public Place;except for grass which is to be maintained by property owners adjacent to the Public Place

A boulevard is typically the strip of land between the curb and the sidewalk and between the sidewalk and the property line. Where there is no sidewalk, the boulevard is the strip of land between the curb and the property line, or, where there is no curb, the strip of land between the near edge of the road and the property line.

Research indicates that a majority of municipalities require landowners to maintain boulevards by cutting grass including Calgary, Edmonton, North Vancouver, Toronto, Kelowna and Winnipeg.

“As most landowners were maintaining their property already, our approach for communicating this change to other landowners will be pretty passive for the remainder of 2016,” adds Webb. “We are asking everyone to take pride in beautifying our community and asking for their help to keep taxpayer costs down by maintaining adjacent boulevards.”

Webb adds that enforcement would only be of a last resort as the focus for this year is education that will continue into 2017 and include more involvement with Municipal Enforcement if required.