The Land Use Bylaw Project: Landscaping
There are currently a lot of provisions and guidelines for landscaping requirements throughout the Land Use Bylaw.
We think there are too many, and we want to help local residents by allowing them a lot more flexibility when it comes to making their property dreams into a reality. What we are proposing is a significant reduction in landscaping requirements.
First, we would like to remove District-specific landscaping and we would like to replace it all with one set of minimum aesthetically pleasing standards. That means whether its grass, retaining/maintaining trees, or even new hard landscaping, it would all fall under these new, uniform rules.
We would also like to make it a requirement for landscaping plans to be a mandatory part of large-scale developments. So this means if you were developing a mobile home, for example, you would not necessarily require one. But if you were planning to develop a Mobile Home Park, you would be required to submit a landscaping plan for the entire area. The same would be for new industrial and commercial developments.
In an effort to preserve infrastructure and avoid future issues due to landscaping, we are also proposing a requirement that landowners would need to avoid planting trees and shrubs that could cause damage to municipal infrastructure.
We’re trying to preserve underground utilities such as gas, sewer and water lines, and there are some plant species that have deep root systems that can be very damaging. So we would like to see more shallow-root trees and bushes planted as opposed to deep-rooted ones. This is an effort to save property owners some money, as the Town is also proposing to divest itself of liability and responsibility for these types of damages.
For boulevards, we would like to peel back landscaping red tape all the way back to municipal engineering standards. Any applications which include the development of new boulevards or new landscaping of existing boulevards would require a Development Agreement and would be handled on a case-by-case basis. It would be a similar process for parking lot landscaping. We are proposing to do away with specific guidelines and instead handling them on a case-by-case basis.
We feel the reduction of red tape and being able to make it easier for landscaping to take place is a uniquely High Level solution – after all, we have all shapes and sizes of lots and developments in this community, why not provide a lot of options for those lots and developments? We encourage residents to be creative and come up with their own ideas – as long as we can mitigate potential damage to municipal infrastructure and they are aesthetically pleasing!
Simplification is the goal here. And what could be simpler than that?
The Town of High Level is currently reviewing and developing their Land Use Bylaw. As part of that process, local residents are strongly encouraged to take part in the process and help direct future development in High Level.
For more information, please contact Hayley Gavin, Land Use and Planning Manager, by phone at 780-502-0778 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.