Boulevard maintenance is important for the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
Individual property owners are responsible for the care and maintenance of the boulevard adjacent to their property.
A properly-maintained boulevard ensures that there are adequate sight lines for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. It also ensures that there is nothing that may prevent access to sidewalks, or cause a slip or trip by pedestrians. The North Shore has a number of residents with disabilities who travel on our sidewalks on a daily basis. Don’t forget that overgrown hedges and low-hanging tree branches are often major impediments to safe passage for people using mobility aids as well as persons who are visually impaired.
If you own or live on a corner property you should be even more aware of the concern for clear sight line visibility for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. On a residential street, a motorist needs 65 m (200 ft) to judge if it is safe to enter an intersection.
Any boulevard encroachment on a corner property, such as vegetation or fences, should be no taller than 0.6 m (2 ft), at the intersection, and all hedges, trees and shrubs should be set back 3 m (10 ft) from the edge of the road, in order to maintain a safe sight line.
What is an Encroachment?
A sight-line hazard is any obstruction that impedes the ability of a pedestrian, cyclist or motorist to see other pedestrians or oncoming traffic.
Overgrown vegetation can impede visibility for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists by obstructing the sightlines required to see other road users. It can also impede access to properties and sidewalks.
Vegetation must be kept well back from the edge of the road, or sidewalk, to provide a clear sight line for all road users, especially at crosswalks, intersections, any District sign, especially STOP signs, and around driveways.
Tall fences, particularly at intersections, can be a serious sight-line hazard.
Fences must be built according to Council’s accepted guidelines for encroachments, which take into consideration sight line visibility. For more information, please contact the District’s Planning Department at 604-925-7055.
If an encroachment is deemed to be urgent, the District will perform the necessary work immediately and invoice the property owner for costs incurred.
The owners and/or residents will also be advised, in writing, that it will be their responsibility in the future to maintain the boulevard.
If the boulevard is not an immediate hazard to public safety, the property owners and/or residents of the adjacent property will be notified and a time frame will be specified in which the work must be completed.
If the property owner and/or resident fails to comply with the request, they will be considered in contravention of the Boulevard Bylaw No. 3191, 1984, which requires the owner of land fronting or adjoining a boulevard to, at their own expense, keep the boulevard in good and safe condition. This includes tidying, pruning, trimming, mowing, weeding, watering and any other activity necessary to achieve a good and safe condition.
The District will perform the necessary work and invoice the property owner for costs incurred Charges that are past due at December 31 of the year they are incurred will be transferred to Arrears of Taxes, and interest will be added from that time until payment is received.
If You See a Problem...
If you notice any overgrown vegetation that is causing a sight-line problem or a vision obstruction, please report it to the District.
District of West Vancouver