It’s that time of year when we stop experiencing aches and pains from shovelling snow, and start experiencing aches and pains from yard work and gardening. Which, let’s be honest, is a far more enjoyable pain-inducing activity, especially when completed on a beautiful sunny day with a tall cold drink in hand. In honour of gardening season, we figured it was worth a review of current City of Calgary bylaws related to yard maintenance and usage.
Grass is required to be less than six inches tall. Weeds must be kept under control as they can lead to insect and rodent problems. Furthermore, they can also spread to neighbouring properties when not eradicated. Any hedges, shrubs, or trees on the property must be trimmed so as to ensure they don’t interfere with pedestrian spaces.
Full details available at https://www.calgary.ca/csps/abs/bylaws-by-topic/trees-shrubs.html
Materials on your property
There are a few things that you can be fined for having on your property, including:
- Open industrial fluid (such as antifreeze or engine oil)
- Dilapidated vehicles not housed in a garage
- Animal remains
- Fridges or freezers outside with their doors still attached
- Household furniture, packaging materials, machinery and automobile parts that are visible from outside of the property
Fences, balconies, decks, stairs – all must be kept in good repair, meaning free from damage and rot. Building materials are not permitted to accumulate on your property unless construction or renovation is underway or occurring in the near future. And speaking of building, permits are required for any structure that is greater than 107 square feet.
Full details available at https://www.calgary.ca/pda/pd/home-building-and-renovations/garages-and-sheds.html?redirect=/garage
Fire pit safety
Roasting marshmallows is a time-honoured summer tradition, and here are a few tips to ensure it is done safely:
- Before starting a fire, ensure that there is not a fire ban in effect
- Consider the wind conditions before lighting up, high winds can cause a fire hazard
- Putting a metal grate on top of the fire will help to prevent sparks from escaping
- Always keep a hose or bucket of water in close proximity
Fire pits must be situated at least two metres from your house, your property line, your garage, or your fence.
Full details on fire pit safety available at https://www.calgary.ca/csps/fire/safety-tips/in-your-home/fire-pit-safety.html
Nuisances that have the potential to get residents a fine include:
- Shining an outdoor light into the sleeping area of an adjacent residence
- Activities that allow smoke or dust to escape a property
- Loose debris on the property
- Having downspouts or eaves troughs situated such that water flows onto an adjacent property
Full details available at https://www.calgary.ca/csps/abs/bylaws-by-topic/nuisances.html
By the numbers:
- What constitutes daytime hours in Calgary? 7:00 am – 10:00 pm during the week and 9:00 am – 10:00 pm on weekends
- 65 decibels is the unacceptable sound level during the day (measured over a one hour period) and 50 decibels during the night for residential (and 75 decibels during the day and 60 decibels at night in the downtown area)
- $50 – $100 is the fine for violation of composting regulations including having an open composting pile within 10 metres of an adjacent residence