Driveway crackdown planned as pavement replaces front lawns in Calgary

City officials are promising to take action against a trend toward so-called "unidriveways" in northeast Calgary.

Trend toward adjoining paved front yards catching on in some neighbourhoods

Mega driveways in parts of Calgary are restricting street parking and city access to water and sewer lines. (CBC)

City officials are promising to take action against a trend toward so-called "unidriveways" in northeast Calgary.

Homeowners in some neighbourhoods have completely paved over what little front lawn space they had, which creates long stretches of continuous driveway across several homes.

“Obviously the people building them like them, but we don’t,” said Saddleridge Community Association president Judy Brown. “It tends to look basically like a used car parking lot up there.”

Ward 3 Coun. Jim Stevenson said the "mega" driveways make it hard for people to park on the street.

“We used to have the curb cuts, and that’s the way you knew where a driveway was. But now we have all these rolling curbs, so when someone cements their entire property, then where’s the driveway? That means that nobody can park in front of their property,” he said.

The driveways also restrict city access to things like water and sewer lines, he said.

Snow cleanup concerns

Brown said the community is worried about what will happen this coming winter.

“You are not allowed to shovel snow on to the street so you’ve paved from property line to property line, where are you going put your snow? Because I don’t think there were a lot of these out here last winter."

The "unidriveways" gained popularity in Saddleridge this summer. Brown said there are currently 65 homes in Saddleridge with these driveways and the number keeps increasing. 

The extended driveways are also becoming a problem in Martindale and Taradale.

The city has set up an enforcement team to deal with the illegally-wide driveways and some homeowners could be forced to tear up their driveways.

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