Take good care of your boulevard.
The City of Salmon Arm would like owners or occupiers of residences to maintain their boulevards. If you didn’t know you had one, apparently the majority of people in the community do.
The boulevard is defined by the city as the space between the back of the sidewalk or curbing or road and the residence property line.
City council voted on an amendment to a traffic bylaw on Aug. 9, which was explained by Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works.
“The reason for this amendment is we have people who plant and take care of the boulevard area, but sometimes the plantings such as bushes and trees get in the way of sight lines. So by doing this amendment it will allow us to enforce the maintenance or maintaining of those plantings,” he said, referring to sight lines for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Mayor Alan Harrison asked if everybody has a boulevard and Niewenhuizen said yes, the majority do.
“Sometimes it’s a couple of metres, sometimes it’s 10 to 15 metres, depending on the width of the roadway going through. On average it might be about three metres behind the sidewalks or curb.”
Harrison noted that boulevards in the rural areas can be quite long.
Niewenhuizen replied: “Most of the boulevards in the rural areas would have ditches, and so really the city would be maintaining most of those areas. But this is really about dealing with the urban areas where there are trees planted within the boulevards or shrubs of any sort. They can grow to an excess and need to be maintained.”
Harrison said he has had inquiries from people about their neighbours not Fire Smarting the boulevard. He asked if the city has a role in that – if there is heavy bush and trees between the sidewalk/curb or roadway and the property line, is the owner responsible to FireSmart in that area?
“Technically if the plantings or anything are done by the homeowner, I would say yes, it would be their responsibility. If it’s a natural forest, we have a bit of a conundrum there as nobody planted it. Really, that would almost become the city’s responsibility. But that would require a significant increase in budget levels in order to deal with that.”
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