Boulevard or Highway Encroachments
Boulevard or Highway Right of Way Encroachments are loosely defined as anything installed, constructed, or planted within the public road allowance that was not installed, constructed or planted by the Village of Lions Bay. Some examples of typical encroachments are:
|Soft Landscaping||Hard Landscaping|
|Hedges & Shrubs||Fences, gates, pergolas and trellises|
|Trees||Off-street parking pads or bays|
|Raised or delineated garden beds||rock stack walls and concrete retaining walls and steps|
|Ornamental lighting, benches, or other landscape furniture||Sprinkler systems or driveway lighting|
Many residents have extended landscaping into the highway right of way to beautify the boulevard in front of their homes. These encroachments add to the beauty of the Village’s streets and are welcome improvements. However, when trees and shrubs become overgrown they can impact pedestrian and vehicle safety.
Overgrown trees and shrubs become a sightline hazard when they restrict a person’s view of vehicular or pedestrian traffic. To ensure safe sightlines:
- Keep vegetation clear of the paved portion of the roadway by a minimum of 0.45m (18")
- Traffic and information signs should be clear of vegetation a minimum of 0.6m (2')
- At intersections, vegetation, especially hedges, should be a maximum of 1m (3') tall within 5m of the property line at the street corner
The property owner is responsible for maintaining their soft landscape encroachments within the highway right of way adjacent to their property. If these encroachments are not maintained or become a sightline hazard, the Village may request their removal at the cost of the property owner.
Once identified, overgrown landscaping will trigger a letter to the property owner by the Public Works Manager. The letter will request that the landscape encroachment be corrected within 30 days of notice. In most cases, this means trimming an overgrown bush, hedge or tree back to the property line.
Occasionally, residents may need or want to install hard landscape encroachments on the highway right of way. In such instances, residents need to obtain a permit from the Village of Lions Bay prior to their installation. When reviewing the application, Village staff will consider such factors as future utility (water, sewer, drainage, gas, hydro, etc) improvements, future pedestrian access features, and maintaining clear sightlines especially at intersections.
You will need a permit if you’re installing:
- A driveway, culvert, retaining wall, or stairs
- Any lighting or irrigation
- Anything that alters the natural grade and drainage patterns
- Trees or shrubs more than 1.0 m at maturity
- Fences, gates, pergolas and trellises
To obtain a permit, you must apply in writing to the Village. The application must include a description of the proposal and a detailed drawing. Work cannot proceed without permission from the Village of Lions Bay. In some cases, improvements proposed on the highway right of way may require the homeowner to have to enter into a legal agreement with the Village of Lions Bay which may see the improvement registered on the property’s legal title. All necessary fees will be covered by the applicant.