Residents in Winnipeg's River Heights neighbourhood are closer to getting eight massive metal silos removed from their community.

The city's legal department has determined they are illegal because they violate zoning bylaws.

The silos, each about five storeys high, were erected in September next to the BNSF Railway line on Lindsay Street and Mathers Avenue, in the heart of River Heights.

They are storing saltwater used to keep dust down on roads.

Area Coun. John Orlikow says even though the silos are on federal land, the city bylaws apply.

Fort Distributors, which is leasing the land from the railway company, could face fines if they aren't removed, Orlikow said.

"They'll be getting notice shortly. They are not adhering to the bylaw, they're not allowed to store materials at that site," he said.