Driveway: A ground-level surface which provides vehicle access from a public road to a house, garage or parking stall. If an area is inaccessible to a vehicle it is not considered part of the driveway.
Before you start
All new driveways in established communities, driveway widening or new driveway crossings require a design and safety review to be completed by The City’s Transportation Planning department via a service request.
New driveways or widening
Submit a Service request for new driveways and driveway widening, a representative from Transportation Planning will contact you within 30 days to discuss your request and provide next steps.
A development permit may be required for new driveways and driveway widening, depending on your driveway width, adjacent roadways and rules within your land use district. If required, a development permit must be submitted and approved prior to the start of any construction.
Note: Each development permit for a driveway relaxation is reviewed on its own merits by The City.
If you are notified that a development permit for a driveway relaxation is needed, complete the
Driveway Accessing a Street in the Developed Area application and submit it to the Planning Services Centre.
Before you submit a service request, apply for a permit or hire a contractor, please consider the following:
- Paved front yards can negatively impact your neighbourhood’s appearance, safety, street parking, stormwater drainage and more.
- See the Land Use Bylaw section for general information about rules associated with new driveways in developed areas and driveway width restrictions.
- Homeowners parking their vehicles on their front yard can be subject to enforcement, if their parcel does not meet the rules of their district or when a development permit is required but not obtained.
- The City responds to all 311 driveway complaints.
Risks when a development permit is not obtained
If you do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, you maybe required to take correct action. The City always seeks compliance as a first measure, but further enforcement, such as charges or court orders, can occur.
Some of the risks include:
- Having to do more work than was originally planned or budgeted.
- Legal and financial issues when selling your parcel or making an insurance claim.
- Modifying completed work to prevent parking.
- A ticket issued for parking on the front lawn.
- A stop-work order issued under the Municipal Government Act.
Note: Homeowners are responsible for paying any penalties, even if a contractor assured you permits were not needed. Contact the Planning Services Centre if you have any building or permit questions. Find out if your contractor has a City of Calgary business license at calgary.ca/homerenos.
Driveway crossing: An area where a private driveway accesses a public road, which may include a sidewalk, boulevard, curb or gutter. Property owners that want to lower the curb to allow vehicle access (commonly describe as depressed crossing, curb cut, lowered curb, lowered or sloped sidewalk, and driveway ramp) must apply and are responsible for the cost.
Submit a Service request for driveway crossings, a representative from Transportation Planning will contact you within 30 days to discuss your request and provide next steps.
Note: It is illegal to place materials on the street to create a driveway ramp.
Apply for a driveway crossing if you:
- Have been informed by Transportation Planning to do so, after submitting a service request for driveway crossings.
- Are reconstructing a previously approved driveway crossing.
Hiring The City to construct your driveway crossing
Owners of single-family or duplex residences can request a free estimate for the construction of a new driveway crossing by completing an online service request. An estimate will be provided to the property owner. If the property owner wants The City to proceed with construction, a cheque must be submitted, or the owner can have the work done as a local improvement. Under a local improvement, the property owner can pay for the work over 15 years in conjunction with their parcel taxes.
Hiring a contractor to construct your driveway crossing
Another option available to the property owner is to construct the driveway crossing under an indemnification agreement. This allows the owner to hire a contractor directly to carry out the work.
We’re committed to providing you with a timely response on your permit application.
- Transportation Planning design and safety reviews can take a few weeks to complete.
- Development permit timelines vary, based on the type of application and the impacts to the community.
Land Use Bylaw
Land Use Bylaw requirements for driveways in low density residential areas
See Developed Area Map on page 16 of the Land Use Bylaw.
A driveway accessing a street must not be constructed, altered or replaced, unless:
- It is located on a parcel that does not have lane access.
- It is located on a parcel that has lane access and 50 per cent of the same block face also have existing driveways accessing a street.
- The driveway is legal and not being relocated or widened.
- A development permit for a driveway relaxation has been approved by The City to relocate or widen a driveway.
A driveway connecting a private garage to a street must be a minimum of 6.0 m in length along the intended direction of travel and at least 3.0 m wide.
A driveway connecting a private garage to a lane must be a minimum of 0.60 m in length along the intended direction of travel, measured from the inset of the garage door.
Driveway length is measured from the back of walk to the door of the garage, or from a curb where no public sidewalk is constructed.
See Land Use Byalw 1P2007 for complete rules.
Parcel widths and maximum driveway widths
Irregular shaped parcel width calculations
As shown in the example above, property width dictates the allowable driveway width on a residential property. Your parcel frontage is not always your actual parcel. To determine lot width on an irregular parcel, see the example below.
This irregular shaped parcel width is 13.5 meters. In this example, the maximum driveway width for this parcel is seven meters as per the bylaw.
Encroachments and utility right-of-ways
Driveways commonly pass through utility right-of-ways, resulting in an encroachment. If there is already an existing concrete driveway passing through a utility right-of-way, a second concrete driveway (sidewalk, patio or walkway) would not be permitted. This is a common problem with corner lots, when there are multiple concrete driveways passing through a right-of-way. Landscaping, such as gravel or asphalt, is viewed differently than concrete in terms of encroachments. For more information, contact Corporate Properties through 311.
Owners of encroachments are required to enter into an agreement with The City or remove the offending structure. The City does not approve all applications for encroachment agreements.
Note: It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that work being carried out conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title.
What documents do I need?
Where you live and the type of property you have will determine which application list you need to apply for a permit. Please read the content carefully and bring your completed documents, with drawings to the Planning Services Centre.
A development completion permit inspection may be required if a development permit is involved in your project. Call the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 to determine if a development completion permit is required.
Call before you dig
Always call Alberta One Call before you dig: 1-800-242-3447. For more information or to submit a locate request, visit Alberta One-Call.
Disclaimer: This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.