Encroachment Policy

The City of Airdrie (The City) owns and operates facilities, which are located both within public rights of way and on private property. When located on private property, the City generally possesses a utility easement permitting itself and other utility companies to install, operate, and maintain the utility facilities. An Easement is a right to use a defined area of a property of another for a specified purpose. The landowner of the property generally retains all the benefits of ownership of the land, as long as it is reasonable and does not interfere with the rights of the easement holder. The landowner of the property is prohibited from installing anything that will hinder or prohibit the cities right of use of the easement.

Most municipal infrastructure located on private property is protected by easement agreements which usually contain a "no-build" clause that restricts the landowner from erecting a "building or other structure" on the easement. The purpose of this restriction is to ensure that the City enjoys unobstructed access to its infrastructure for maintenance and repair purposes.

In some circumstances, however, it may be possible to permit an encroachment provided it is does not interfere with the City's right of access. Currently where the City is agreeable to an encroachment, a formal encroachment agreement between the landowner and the City is required to confirm terms and protect both parties in the future.

Encroachments on City property or Public Land are most often discovered when private property is being sold. Many encroachments are found during the processing of a Compliance Certificate application. Other times, encroachments are discovered through Development Permit applications, site visits by City staff and complaints from the public.

In instances where the encroachment poses a risk of injury, is a safety hazard or interferes with utilities or traffic, the property owner may be required to remove the encroachment at their own expense.

A copy of the current Compliance and Encroachment Policy can be found here.

 

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