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Don’t Pave Paradise, Create a Landscaped Lot


May 17, 2011

As the May long weekend approaches, many Edmontonians are dreaming up landscaping plans. But before you dig into that yard work, remember some rules to keep the neighbourhood happy.

Under Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw, any front or side yard visible from a public street must be landscaped. While most people landscape with grass, there are many alternatives such as washed gravel, shale, shrubs, flower beds, and decorative stones.

“Many people don’t want all the maintenance that comes with traditional grass and flower beds,” said Gail Hickmore, Senior Development Planner with the City of Edmonton. “Using materials like shale and shrubs can give homeowners an attractive but low-maintenance alternative.”

However, it is important to remember that only the driveway leading to the garage and the walkway to the door can be paved with continuous asphalt or concrete. Paving other areas of your yard could result in the City requiring that you remove it and landscape with something else.

“Paving over everything is a definite no-no. Whether it’s to create more parking or get rid of yard work, it really takes away from the look of our city,” Hickmore adds.

Residents should also remember that some projects require permits. A permit is required to build a fence taller than 1.2 metres in the front yard and 1.85 metres in the back yard. Permits may also be required if you are building a deck, shed, gazebo, hot tub or water feature in your yard.

For more information on landscaping bylaws or other permits, visit www.edmonton.ca/landscapingreglations or call 311.