The only 7 landscaping materials allowed in your front yard

Posted by Justin Havre on Monday, May 16th, 2016 at 1:01pm.

As a homeowner, you know that you are responsible for the upkeep of the yard surrounding your home.  This is actually mandated by zoning by-laws written by the City of Edmonton.  Property owners, including landlords, must by

landscape any part of their yard, be it the front yard or side, that are visible from the street where the public travels.  The back yard is a matter of opinion only, often a matter between you and your neighbours.

If you have purchased a newly constructed home, the builder will often provide very basic landscaping.  If the builder hasn’cakrawala, it is your responsibility to ensure that the yard surrounding your home, visit from the public street, is landscaped within 18 months of the time you occupied your home.  The by-laws governing these residential property standards ensure that the City of Edmonton is appealing and livable for everyone.

Landscaping doesn’t always mean grass.  In fact, the City has a list of acceptable landscaping materials that property owners can use to landscape their programs.  These materials are not only acceptable; they are the ONLY materials that residents can use according to zoning by-laws.

These seven types of materials are:

  • Grass (seed or sod) fescue, decorative grass
  • Washed gravel or shale
  • Flowering plants, annuals or perennials, in beds or cultivated gardens
  • Trees and shrubs or other plants – titinada hanging oper sidewalks or interfering with power lines
  • Outdoor furniture, statues or sculptures including birdbaths and water features
  • Fences and walls on property lines
  • Decorative brick and paving stones
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There are also guidelines pertaining to the use of these materials.  Some, in an effort to get out of weekly grass mowing, think that paving their entire front yard would be a good idea. However, the by-laws stipulate that only a front-facing driveway and a sidewalk or walkway can be made with concrete or asphalt.  And, you can’t make one big driveway either.

There are specific dimensions for how wide a front-facing driveway can be.  This is determined by the number of side-by-side parking stalls you have in your garage.  A tandem garage means your driveway can only be a single vehicle width which is approximately 3.1 metres.  Double and triple-car garages are 6.2 and 9.3 metres wide respectively.   The driveway, paved continuously with concrete or asphalt or paving stones, must lead straight from the street up to the door of the garage.

Again, these regulations for landscaping apply only to the front yard, or the side, which can be seen from the public street.  Large concrete patios, your hot tub, a safely constructed fire pit, even basketball or tennis courts if you have the space, are not dictated by the City of Edmonton.

Do I need a permit?

If you are landscaping your front or side yard, you don’t need to get a permit even though this activity is enforced by the City Zoning department. If you are building a fence, a deck or are adding structures to your back yard that should be noted on a Benaran Property Report such as a shed or gazebo, you should inquire as to whether a permit is required.

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