Boulevards and Encroachments

Boulevard care is the responsibility of the property owner adjacent to that boulevard. A well-maintained boulevard—the strip of land that separates the edge of the road from your property line—adds character and class to the neighbourhood. However, changes you make to your boulevard cannot negatively impact municipal services, reduce public safety or restrict public access.

Anything placed in a boulevard must not:

  • Create a hazard, nuisance, danger or obstruction to the public
  • Remove on-street parking needs
  • Obstruct sightlines necessary for traffic safety
  • Impede or obstruct access to, or damage or unsafely expose utilities and services
  • Be adjacent to a waterfront street end

Apply for an Encroachment Permit

Many boulevard alterations require an Encroachment Permit. To apply for a permit or get more information, call the Permits Department at 604-925-7040.

Boulevard Encroachment Permit

No Permit Required

You may install the following anywhere in the boulevard:

  • lawns, flowers, ground covers, low shrubs: less than 0.6 metres in mature height
  • removable canopies attached to commercial buildings

You may install the following if they are more than 2 metres from the travelled road surface:

  • access steps that are part of a sidewalk
  • a very low berm: less than 0.6 metres from adjacent ground

You may install the following if they are more than 3 metres from the travelled road surface:

  • a hedge or shrub: measured to the trunk of the hedge or shrub, as long as foliage doesn’t grow closer than 2 metres
  • a street tree, if you have obtained permission from the District Arborist
  • rocks or similar landscape features under 0.6 metres

Permit Required 

With a permit, you may install the following things anywhere in the boulevard:

  • one parking space per property: maximum width of 2.7 metres and 7 metres in length and no curb
  • retaining walls, if part of a driveway: wall requirements: 2:1 ratio (hortizontal to vertical), retaining walls over 4 feet require a building permit

You may install the following if they are more than 2 metres from the travelled road surface:

  • rocks and similar landscape features spaced intermittently up to 1.2 metres high
  • a landscaped berm, between 0.6 and 1.2 metres in height
  • mailbox and address pillars up to 1.5 metres in height and 0.6 metres in width

You may install the following if they are more than 3 metres from the travelled road surface:

  • heating coils in driveways
  • underground irrigation systems

No Permit Issued

What cannot be issued a permit? The following would require Council approval or a design change:

  • anything not listed above, such as a driveway gate or columns or fences
  • any private structure that would also require a Licence to Occupy and annual fee such as a garage, carport, pool, tennis court, gazebo, deck
  • anything that would be closer to the street or exceed the height of the noted guidelines (this would typically be considered for sites with features such as rock outcroppings or creeks)
  • anything in a boulevard adjacent to the waterfront, including planting of grass
  • almost anything in Altamont other than landscaping (hard encroachments, including treatments such as brick pavers in the boulevard, are discouraged by Council policy)
  • anything that would potentially cause a sight line issue, interfere with municipal services, or not fit in with the established character of your street

Things you must avoid:

Anything that you place within a boulevard must not:

  • create a hazard, nuisance, danger or obstruction to the public
  • remove on-street parking needs
  • obstruct sightlines necessary for traffic safety
  • impede or obstruct access, damage or unsafely
  • expose utilities/services
  • be adjacent to a waterfront street end

Landscaping

There are 19 plants identified in the District's Invasive Plants Strategy which are not permitted for planting on municipal boulevards. 

To help control the spread of invasive plant species, create landscape plans that do not include these non-native plants. 

Invasive Plant species in West Vancouver

Contact

Permits Department

604-925-7040

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