Boulevards: balancing safety with beauty
We love our West Vancouver neighbourhoods with their beautiful landscaping and lush greenery that provides privacy for residents. In our climate, this vegetation grows quickly and can easily become a nuisance or hazard if not managed regularly.
Rights and Responsibilities
Residents: The Boulevard Bylaw allows residents to plant on boulevards, but it also makes boulevard care the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, even if it was already there when you moved in.
The District: A boulevard is public property. If the responsible resident does not maintain boulevard vegetation, the District will, because it is ultimately responsible for public safety, public access and the municipal services affected by overgrown boulevards.
Boulevards are public spaces. They contain public infrastructure that the District is responsible for maintaining. Municipal staff need access to boulevards for many reasons, including:
- perform water /sewer utility work
- display regulatory signage
- construct or maintain infrastructure such as sidewalks
- pick up garbage and recycling
- maintain safe sightlines for vehicle traffic
- maintain safe pedestrian access to sidewalks
West Van Prunes
This spring, the District will take a more proactive approach to addressing overgrown vegetation on boulevards, including the following:
- The District will be arranging to have district-wide spot checks of landscapes done so that residents are reminded to keep their vegetation safely trimmed back.
- In some cases, vegetation may need to be cut back more than a homeowner desires, or even removed completely. We understand this could have a significant impact on a homeowner, however, this would only be done if necessary for public safety.
- District staff will make every attempt to contact you prior to vegetation removal adjacent to your property.
- If a resident’s vegetation is overgrown and municipal staff identify a safety or accessibility issue, we will ask the resident to perform the required maintenance. If they do not do the work, the District will, but in that case, we will do the work strictly for accessibility, not for looks.
Residents can be more proactive too. Plan to maintain your boulevard this spring—ensure public access is maintained while keeping it attractive.