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Himalayan Balsam is a weed that needs to be removed from your property.

Municipal Enforcement Officers will be patrolling the city for noxious and prohibited noxious weeds, as well as promptly responding to citizen complaints. If regulated weeds are found on your property, you will receive an Inspector’s Notice to remove or control the weeds on your property.

If you do not comply with the notice, the City has the authority under the Alberta Weed Control Act to enter your property without notification and initiate remedial weed control and/or destroy measures. All costs incurred by the City are added to your property tax bill. Costs may vary depending on the amount of infestation and area cleared, but ranges from $250 to $5,000 or more.

What is my responsibility if I have a noxious weed on my property?

Noxious weeds must be controlled, meaning the growth or spread needs to be prevented. Mechanical mowing is the easiest form of control.

What is my responsibility if I have a prohibited noxious weed on my property?

Prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed, meaning all growing parts need to be killed or the plant's reproductive mechanisms need to be rendered non-viable.  The easiest form of destruction is the removal of the entire root system, by digging up or hand pulling the prohibited noxious weed.

How are plant species designated noxious and/or prohibited noxious?

The Government of Alberta regulates the spread of noxious weeds and prohibited noxious weeds through the Alberta Weed Control Act.  Owners of residential, commercial, under construction and/or infill, and vacant lots are subject to enforcement. This includes your back alley, flankage and boulevards.

What’s the big deal if I do not control the regulated weeds on my property?

These plants might look harmless, but they can do serious damage to our local ecosystem. These regulated weeds are non-native plants that cause economic or environmental harm and can spread quickly to new areas. These plants can invade crops, infest streams, riverbanks and waterways. These plants can also out compete our native plants and reduce wildlife that live off our ecosystems. 

Your property includes the back alley, flankage and adjacent boulevards.  

I maintain my property but still received weed removal charges?

Your property includes the entire lot, as well as the back alley, flankage and adjacent boulevards. The Inspector’s Notice provides detailed information where the regulated weeds were found on the property. If further information is required for compliance please contact the officer at the number provided at the bottom of the notice.  If you do not remove all regulated weeds as described in the Inspector’s Notice, the City Contractor will cut and/or remove the remaining regulated weeds at your expense.  

I complied after receiving the notice and then was charged for a weed removal a month later; why didn’t I receive another notice?

An officer will send out one Inspector’s Notice which is in effect for the entire season (up to October 31).  Officers can follow up on this notice multiple times throughout the season to ensure the regulated weeds are being controlled and/or destroyed for that property.

How can you enter on my property without consent?

Weed Inspectors appointed under the Alberta Weed Control Act have the legal authority to enter private property without consent for the purpose of investigating and enforcing regulated weeds.
 

I didn’t know that the flowers on my property were regulated weeds?

Many of the regulated weeds are plants, trees, and bushes that are colourful, sweet smelling, and beautiful to the eye. However, this does not make the regulated weeds any less dangerous to spread. All species can be found on the city website and through different apps which show the name and pictures for easy identification.

Download the 311 app for helpful weed identification.

Are these regulated weeds only for Edmonton?

The Alberta Weed Control Act is enforced throughout Alberta. Other provinces may have similar regulated weeds under their Government Acts and/or bylaws. 

Why is the amount for the weed removal so high?

Weed removal is a set price with an external contractor, which is calculated by the square meters of the area that weed removal is required.  Contract fees include the cost of labour, equipment and disposal of regulated weeds.

How do I dispute the weed removal clearing invoice?

Invoice appeals can be submitted online for review. A City representative will respond in 10 days. Please review the criteria below for acceptable appeals. There is also a formal appeal process which is listed on the Inspector’s Notice and within the Alberta Weed Control Act under section 19(2). A formal hearing can be made at the Community Standards and Licence Appeal Committee.

My landlord gave me the invoice but I want to fight it?

Information pertaining to an invoice will only be released to the owner of the property.  Individual agreements between the landlord and tenant will not be considered in the review process.  

I own my condominium and pay condominium fees, why am I receiving an invoice for weed removal instead of the condominium association?

Once the work is completed, the charges are applied to the legal property owner’s tax bill.  For multiple owners of a property - the charges are divided equally and applied to everyone identified as legal property owners. Condominium fees are not part of the city review and should be discussed with the condominium association.

What happens if I do not pay the weed removal invoice?

The charges are applied to taxes owed for the property. 

I bought the plant/seeds from a store. They should be fine, right?

Not necessarily. It is important to research plants or seed packs before purchasing. Be sure to check the Alberta Weed Control Act if you aren’t 100% sure. If a store is selling regulated species please report to 311 to be investigated.

Invoice Review Process

Files will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Please review the criteria for acceptable disputes and submit the request form below. A City representative will follow up in 10 business days.

Review Process For Weed Removal Invoices

After your request has been submitted online:

  • Complaints & Investigations reviews the invoice and photographs provided by the Contractor
  • A review is done of the bylaw officer’s investigation or report (notes/photos)
  • The review is completed within 10 business days and a response is sent to the person requesting the review. No further reviews will be conducted by City administration.
  • A formal hearing may also be requested through the Community Standards and Licence Appeal Committee.  Appellants have 10 days to file an appeal before the board and there is a $500 appeal fee.

Request A Review

Property owners with weed removal invoices can request a review.

Acceptable Dispute Examples
  • I have receipts from my own contractor for weed removal and require details on the weed removal 
  • I am the property owner and require more information to provide to my tenant on the weed removal charges
  • I just purchased the property and received an invoice for weed removal before I had possession
     
Non-Acceptable Dispute Examples
  • The cost is too high and not reasonable
  • I was out of town and the person looking after the place failed to cut my grass and remove my weeds
  • I didn't know I was responsible for weed removal on the back side of my property
  • I didn’t know the flowers were actually regulated weeds
  • My property is a vacant lot and I will be building on it

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