Snow Plowing on Calgary Residential Streets is against city Bylaw

I love my community.  I’ve been living in the same home for quite a long time by anyone’s standards and so I suppose I know a thing or two about how things work around here in Vista Heights.  Something happened last year which did raise an eyebrow however.   One of my neighbours started snow plowing the street with his Bobcat every time it snowed.     I wasn’t quite sure what to think about this.  It was quite a funny site actually because his Bobcat is quite small and often had trouble coping with the copious amounts of white stuff that graced our familiar streets.

Now the funny thing about this is that we never had any problem with snow accumulating on the street, so as I watched I wondered why he was snow plowing these streets.   I suppose he was hired by the city as a contractor.  Probably some sort of community participation program.   Not a bad idea I thought. It probably saves us taxpayers quite a bit of money in the long run.  It was either that, or this kindly neighbour was just passing it forward so to speak, which was very nice of him.

Snow Plowing on Calgary Streets

There was a problem.   When he moved the mountains of snow he piled it all up right in front of my house, on the cul-de-sac.   I suppose he chose that location because it is out of the way but my goodness, doesn’t he realize that someone lives there and might like to park in front of their house?  That snow is going to cause some problems in the springtime when it goes to thaw out, and will likely be very hard on the underlying cement sidewalk as well.  As it is we spent quite a lot of time shovelling out a spot for me to park!

This kindly neighbour continued snow plowing until there was quite an accumulation.  I didn’t really know which neighbour was doing it because I was very often not around to see him doing it.  I wanted to talk to him and see if we could work something out.   I finally did catch him in the act one day.   We discussed the matter and he was of the opinion that I just needed to call the City of Calgary and they would haul it away.

I finally got around to doing that a week or two later and here’s what they said.

Firstly, your neighbour should not be plowing snow on a City of Calgary roadway as this was against a bylaw.  Secondly, if I wanted that heap of snow moved, I would have to make a complaint to the Bylaws Enforcement.   They would then pay the perpetrator a visit, and after their investigation, if it turns out he is moving the snow there, he will be issued an order to remove same.   If he fails to remove the offending matter within the time allotted, then the City will then remove it and bill him for the expense.

I’ll have to leave it for this year I guess.   I will see what his intentions are and if he continues snow plowing on city streets for the remainder of the winter I guess I will have to have another chat with him to explain things to him.  I would like to have the option of parking my car out in front of the house if I want to, or perhaps one of my guests would like to park there.  I hope it doesn’t come down to that because it’s such a kindly thing that he is doing for the neighbours.

Please be aware that in the City of Calgary, you may not plow snow on city roadways using any sort of tractor.  If you do, you may be held accountable for your actions!

By Mike Leibel - 403-204-1111

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