Residential Boulevard Program
Over the past two years, the Town of Whitecourt has been working in selected areas to transition residential boulevards from gravelled pads to turf grass. While the Town’s Land Use Bylaw has always required that the area between an owner’s property line and back of walk/curb be grassed, over the years, some property owners have expanded their parking area by the placement of gravel adjacent to their driveway. These pads have been used mainly for the storage of recreational vehicles and additional parking for their passenger vehicles.
Why is the Town enforcing this issue?
- Identified by the public as a concern - Gravel placed next to driveways was one of the issues raised through public input when the Town was reviewing its Land Use Bylaw in 2014 and 2015 as being not esthetically pleasing.
- Deteriorates road infrastructure - When used as a driving surface, and following heavy runoff, tracked gravel speeds up the deterioration of Town sidewalks and roadways.
- Pedestrian safety – Tracked gravel on sidewalks is a hazard for young cyclists, roller-bladers and skateboarders.
- Limits on-street parking - On some streets, on-street parking is limited and people visiting a residential area may find it difficult to park when driveways, through the gravel pads, appear to be excessively wide.
- Utilities – If work needs to be done to underground services in the boulevard, the surface will only be restored to a grass standard, as per municipal bylaws.
The Residential Boulevard Program is labour intensive as our staff work with individual property owners to restore their boulevard to turf. To allow sufficient interaction with our residents, the Town has broken down the program into phases, so that a coordinated approach can be taken to bring a cohesive look to our neighbourhoods.
Phase I of the Boulevard Program focused on Blueberry, Poplar and Wellwood Drives, Olson Crescent, Riverstone Road, Mink Creek Extension and Rockhaven Way. Through working with property owners in the initial phase, over 90% of the properties have been improved to meet Town criteria.
Phase II of the program, beginning in early August, will be working with property owners on Park Drive North through to Park Circle; and including Park Place, Close, Key, Way and Point. Areas downtown include Spruce Road, Sonoma Key, Prestlien Drive, Patterson Place and Powers Cove. If your property is non-compliant with Town bylaws, you will be receiving a notice if you live in the Phase II area, requesting that the property be remediated before June 30, 2018.
Regardless of where your home is located, our Planning Staff are always available to answer your questions at 780.778.2273 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.