Using the boulevard in front of your house

The boulevard is the section of land between your property line and the edge of the street pavement.

If there is no pavement or curb, the boulevard is the area between your property line and the traveled portion of the road.

Why we regulate boulevard use

  • Provide an area for pedestrians to walk and space for potential future sidewalks
  • Maintain clear sight lines at intersections
  • Make it easier to exit the passenger side of your car when parking on the street
  • Cause less interference with garbage trucks
  • Permit access to underground hydro, telephone, and sewer lines for maintenance and emergencies
  • Reduce the amount of time and money we spend on trimming encroaching plants
  • Give the community more control over how the public boulevards look

Guidelines and permit requirements

For some construction, planting, and other activities along the boulevard, you need a permit.

Gardening or building

When you need a permit

You'll need a permit or District approval if you want to:

  • Build a fence, planter box, stacked rock wall, retaining wall, ornamental lighting, or benches
  • Install any hard surface that does not absorb water (other than replacing an existing driveway)
  • Install anything that alters the natural grade
  • Put up signage
  • Plant a bush, shrub, ornamental plant, or ground cover that is likely to be taller than 0.9 metres
  • Plant a tree or hedge
  • Build a new driveway, walkway, or stairs

Apply for a highway construction and planting permit

When you do not need a permit

Construction

You can repair or replace an existing driveway, walkway, or retaining wall, as long as:

  • You don't increase the width or height
  • It doesn't conflict with a utility pole or other structure
  • It's not a safety concern
  • Any bark mulch, gravel, or similar material is less than 10cm (") deep, doesn't change the grade, and is kept away from the road

Planting

You can plant a bush, shrub, grass, or ground cover, as long as it:

  • Is less than 0.9 metres high when fully grown
  • Is at least 1.5 metres from the edge of the roadway or sidewalk when fully grown
  • Doesn't affect pedestrian access, visibility, or traffic safety
  • Doesn't interfere with a public utility to the highway
  • Is indigenous to BC's southern coast if it is on a steep slope or near a body of water

Basketball hoops and other structures

Basketball hoops or other structures should never be placed on the street:

  • They can interfere with District fire fighting, sanitation vehicles, and large trucks
  • They are difficult to see at night and can impede pedestrians and those using strollers and mobility aids
  • It is also dangerous for children to play with them in lanes and streets where there are cars

If you have a basketball hoop or similar structure, make sure it is securely on your own property.

Avoid receiving a fine

District property often extends several metres back from the curb. Placing basketball hoops and other structures on District property can lead to a $100 fine.

If you are unsure of the property line, you can find it on our property map, GEOweb.

Check your property line on GEOweb