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Encroachments into City of Calgary parks and greenspaces

Encroachments into parks and greenspaces

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The City owns and maintains large areas of land earmarked for specific use. Much of this land is designated as reserve land and includes:

  • Municipal Reserve
  • Environmental Reserve​
  • School Reserve
  • Municipal and School Reserve
  • Community Reserve

Sometimes, landowners and/or residential homeowners encroach on these designated properties. This includes City-owned parks and greenspaces.

Our parks and greenspaces are for ALL Calgarians to enjoy. They are not for the exclusive use of a few, over extended periods. Modifying or building onto the land beyond your property line disrupts the delicate environmental balance in natural areas, creates safety issues and interferes with all citizens’ ability to enjoy these spaces. Encroachments onto park space are regulated under the Encroachment Bylaw 9M2020.

Encroaching onto City-owned parks and green spaces carries a penalty. Fines can range from $750 to $10,000 upon conviction.

Those encroaching onto parks and greenspaces are asked to correct the situation at once.

For more information please contact 311.

Know Your Property Line

Learn more about sharing a boundary with Parks land:

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Frequently Asked Questions

When did the bylaw take effect?

The new Encroachments Bylaw came into effect in March 2020. Any unauthorized encroachment onto a City owned park or greenspace is now an offence. In some instances, an agreement may have been signed between a landowner and The City allowing the encroachment.

Who does the bylaw affect?

The bylaw affects land/homeowners found to be encroaching onto parks and greenspaces. No land/homeowner is permitted to develop beyond their property line.

What is an encroachment?

An encroachment is when any kind of structure, landscaping or other improvement extends from a homeowner’s property onto City-owned property.

An encroachment includes any portion of:

  • A building
  • Fence
  • Driveway
  • Added landscaping
  • Retaining wall or other structure

Some examples of encroachment are:

  • Placing a storage shed on a park or greenspace
  • Extending a fenced backyard onto a park or greenspace
  • Fire pits
  • Unapproved plantings
  • Compost bins
  • Parked vehicles
  • Constructing bike parks and bike jumps
  • Building play forts

What does this mean for homeowners?

Please consider how you share the boundary with park space.  On City-owned property:

  • Do not build jumps, forts or shelters.  These can introduce safety issues and disrupt the delicate environmental balance in natural areas.
  • Do not dump dirt, garden or yard waste.  Doing so can introduce invasive plants.
  • Do not plant trees or vegetation.  This introduces non-native plants and weeds into our park spaces.
  • Know your property line. Ensure fences are built on or within the property line, ensure structures are not built outside of the property line.

          While not an encroachment, please also consider the following:

  • Do not dig holes, mow the grass, prune or remove plants pursuant to Bylaw 11M2019. This can destroy plants important to pollinators and other wildlife species.
  • Do not cut, trim or remove trees, bushes or other natural elements pursuant to Bylaw 11M2019 and Bylaw 23M2002. This can disturb natural areas.

Are there consequences for not complying?

Unauthorized encroachments onto City owned parks and greenspaces are offences. They are regulated under the Encroachmen​t Bylaw 9M2020 and the City’s Encroachment Guidelines.

The Alberta Municipal Government Act sets out the permitted uses of City-owned parks and greenspaces that are designated as reserve land. Encroachments are not a permitted use.

Encroaching onto City-owned parks and greenspaces carries a penalty. Fines can range from $750 to $10,000 upon conviction.

Those encroaching onto parks and greenspaces are asked to correct the situation at once.

Homeowners found to be encroaching will receive notices. They will have a reasonable period of time to correct the problem. Following that period, a violation ticket will be issued.

For more information please contact 311.

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