City of Calgary Right-of-Ways
For most homeowner defining where their property begins, and ends, is a simple task. But did you know that the City of Calgary and certain utility companies have access to portions of your property also? These areas of your property are called Right-Of-Ways and in Calgary most properties have a least one Right-of-Way that traverses through the property, either at the front or the back.
The best to find out what Right-of-Ways, if any, are running through your property is to look at the most recent updated version of your Real Property Report. The RPR is an essential tool to aid any homeowner in this process. Utility Right-of-Ways are not physically marked on property, the whereabouts of these are only shown on Survey Plans or Real Property Reports. They are usually marked with an etched line as seen in the pictures below.
Commonly located at the front of a property, Utility Right-of-Ways are exactly what they sound like. Water, power, sewer and in some communities even fiberoptic cables run deep underground within these Right-of-Ways. Its important to keep these areas clear as municipalities and utility companies may need access to the services that are buried underground if upgrades or repairs are needed.
Overland Drainage Right-of-Ways.
Commonly located at the rear of a property, Overland Drainage Right-of-Ways are seen on properties that have a concrete swale running alongside or through the back of the property. The City reserves the right to access your property to repair or replace the concrete drainage system as needed. These concrete drainage systems are in place to collect rainfall and run off water. A Right-of-Way will exist on either side of a concrete swale. If you have a concrete swale running through your property, then reviewing your RPR is the best way to see how much of your property is actually located within the Overland Drainage Right-of Way.
Pole Anchor site
Although not as common as Utility and Overland Drainage Right-of-Ways, Pole Anchor sites exist when a utility pole is anchored into a private lot. This type of Right-of-Way is not common, but they do exist within the City of Calgary. And similar to the previous Right-of-Ways, the utility company that owns the utility pole reserves the right to access this area of your property in the event that repairs, or upgrades are needed.
Keeping Right-of-Ways clear
Because Right-of-Ways are not easily identified unless looking at an RPR, it’s easy to build or place objects in these areas. But doing so can spell trouble for a homeowner when submitting an RPR to the City for a compliance stamp. Private objects or building that are located within these Right-of-Ways will be flagged on the RPR at the compliance stage. The City will then often ask that these objects be removed. In some cases, the city will let an object stay within an Overland Drainage Right of Way if the property owner pays a small fee and signs a letter of consent between the City of Calgary and the property owner.
The most common objects that we see located within Right-of Ways are sheds, pergolas, gazebos, garden beds, greenhouses and the like. All of these objects will be flagged on your RPR at the City of Calgary when applying for a compliance stamp.
The best way to minimize any situations like the above is to keep all Right-of-Ways that traverse through your property clear of all objects.
If you would like more information about City of Calgary Right-of-Ways then feel free to give us a call (403-277-1272) or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org We’ve seen just about every issue involving a Right-of-Way and Real Property Reports and we’d be happy to help you.
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