Boulevard or road right of way encroachments are defined as anything installed, constructed, or planted within the municipal road allowance that was not installed, constructed or planted by Bowen Island Municipality. Some examples of typical encroachments are:

Soft LandscapingHard Landscaping
Hedges & shrubsFences, gates, pergolas and trellises
TreesOff-street parking pads or bays
Raised or delineated garden bedsRock stack walls and concrete retaining walls and steps

Soft Landscape Encroachments

Many residents and property owners have extended landscaping into the municipal road allowance to beautify the boulevard in front of their homes. However, when trees and shrubs become overgrown they can impact pedestrian and vehicle safety. Overgrown trees and shrubs become a sightline hazard when they restrict a person’s view of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

To ensure safe sightlines residents and property owners should note the following:

  • Vegetation should be kept clear from the paved portion of the roadway by a minimum of 1.0m
  • Traffic and information signs should be clear of vegetation a minimum of 3.0m (10’)
  • At intersections, vegetation, especially hedges, should be a maximum of 1m (3′) tall within 5m of the property line at the street corner

The resident and/or the property owner is responsible for maintaining their soft landscape encroachments within the municipal road allowance adjacent to their property. If these encroachments are not maintained or become a sightline hazard, the Municipality may request their removal at the cost of the resident and/or property owner.

Once identified, overgrown landscaping will trigger a letter to the resident and/or property owner by the Public Works Superintendent. The letter will request that the landscape encroachment be corrected within 30 days of notice. In most cases, this means trimming an overgrown bush, hedge or tree back to the property line.

Hard Landscape Encroachments

Occasionally, residents and property owners may need or want to install hard landscape encroachments on the municipal road allowance. In such instances, a permit from Bowen Island Municipality would be required prior to installation. When reviewing the application, Municipal staff will consider such factors as future utility (water, sewer, drainage, etc) improvements, future pedestrian access features, and maintaining clear sightlines especially at intersections. 

A permit would be required if you are installing:

  • A driveway, culvert, retaining wall, or stairs
  • Anything that alters the natural grade and drainage patterns
  • Trees or shrubs more than 1.0 m at maturity
  • Fences, gates, pergolas and trellises

Obtaining a Permit

To obtain a permit, please submit an Application to Occupy Municipal Road Allowance in writing to Bowen Island Municipality Public Works Department.  The Application must include a description of the proposed works and a detailed drawing. Work cannot proceed until a Permit is issued. Improvements proposed on the municipal road allowance will require the homeowner enter into a legal agreement with the Municipality to have the improvement registered on the property’s legal title.  The applicant will be responsible to cover all necessary fees. Applications and enquiries can be directed to the Public Works Department at 604 947 0613.