Every year Glens residents have been complaining about damage done to their lot during the snow removal. Every year Glens community association is following on those complaints. As it is an on-going issue, we had meetings and email exchanges attempting to remedy the situation. This year was no different.
Based on type and number of complaints in any given area, each year the city gives directions to contractors (for example how to plow corner lots) and suggestions what piece of equipment to use.
The recent response stresses unique challenges in our community due to the narrow roads. Equipment used requires approximately 15 ft in width to operate and be effective. The equipment used in our community is the best equipment available to treat the conditions we face such as snow accumulation and ice buildup. City staff have been working with the operators to ensure that they are respectful of the edging and the lawns that so many of the residents maintain.
This year, the ground was soft when the initial snow fell, and we had not seen the deep freezes that would normally help protect the grass from equipment. When the ground is soft and the city must plow, it can happen that blades will catch the edges and could damage some of the grass. If this occurs, residents must let the city know as soon as possible so they can review the area. If it is deemed that machines caused the damage, the city will return with soil and seed in the spring to make the necessary repairs.
Under our City’s bylaws, residents also have responsibilities to maintain their property in a safe way. The Use and Care of Roads By-law speaks to the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the City’s road allowance adjacent to their property but, just as a reminder, the City does have access to the public road allowance adjacent to the private property to store snow. This area also houses some of our City’s public infrastructure including gas, water, sewer lines and more.
City Encroachment Bylaw requires that property owners not build or place any structures within the road allowance. Residents are reminded that the area is available to the City for snow storage during the winter months, and if they place any stakes in this area it can pose a risk to the infrastructure that may be buried in the grounds below.
Currently, the snow removal staff is working together with partners in Bylaw Services and Forestry to develop an information document that they can share in the coming weeks, so residents are familiar with their responsibilities as homeowners throughout the year. Once the document is completed it will be shared with our Association for distribution.