Can I mow the area behind my house if it is an Environmental Reserve (ER)?
No. The Municipal Government Act (MGA) states that an applicant for subdivision may be required to dedicate land as an environmental reserve. Environmental reserves ensure that building does not occur on land subject to natural hazards, which is to be left in its natural state. Individual residents cannot use environmental reserves for their own purposes. Unfortunately, environmental reserves are sometimes misused. Adjacent landowners must not compromise the purpose and nature of these reserves through the removal of trees and vegetation, mowing the grass, on-site development of fences, decks or other structures, the re-contouring of the site and other private uses of these reserve lands.
My sidewalk is damaged. When will it be fixed?
Construction damage repairs to your sidewalk are done two years after the subdivision was first constructed. When the repairs are being made, you may loose partial or complete access to your driveway during the time of repair. Please avoid driving on newly placed concrete for at least two weeks to allow it to gain enough strength to support a vehicle. Concrete requires 28 days to reach full strength.
What are those undeveloped parcels of land in my community?
FUD: Future Urban Development (formerly called UR, or Urban Reserve). This is a land use designation under the City of Calgary’s Land Use Bylaw specific to land that is waiting to be developed in the future. It is not a park or environmental reserve area. Development of FUD is usually not far off and is normally subject to a land use application and public process.
S-SPR: Special Purpose Reserve, formerly known as MSR (Municipal School Reserve) refers to land dedicated as school reserve, municipal school reserve, community reserve and public reserve.
Resident Association Sites: Privately owned sites designated for the enjoyment of the community. They may include facilities, buildings, entry features, parkettes, signs and pathways. (If they contain pathways, maintenance may not include snow removal in winter.) Qualico Communities maintains and owns these parcels until they are turned over to an active Residents Association.
What is the purpose of retaining walls in my yard?
Retaining walls assist in leveling out sloping areas and ensure that water drains away from the foundation. Retaining walls are required on lots where there is more than a 3:1 slope on the property. The architectural assurance committee examines grades and slopes and, if substantial slope is present, the committee will suggest or require that a retaining wall be constructed. All retaining walls are constructed to complement the exterior home design and finish, and should blend with the lot landscaping. They are to be made of materials such as brick, stone or simulated stone and have a finished cap. Retaining walls are constructed within the homeowner's lot. Maintenance of these walls is the responsibility of the property owner.
Who determines the amenities that will be available in my neighbourhood?
Community amenities are discussed during new community planning stages. The developer will perform market demand studies to assist in determining what the area may need in terms of recreational, commercial or retail space. Most often there is collaboration between levels of government, municipalities and developers that may result in a joint effort in providing said amenities. Developers generally provide landscaping and pathway systems that enhance neighbourhoods and allow for connectivity and pedestrian oriented development.
What is the purpose of a storm pond in my community?
Calgary’s storm-drainage system has over 150 storage ponds. These ponds hold water that exceeds the capacity of underground storm-drainage pipes. About half of these are wet ponds, which hold water all the time. Storm ponds are designed to a certain depth to prevent anaerobic conditions, such as those that may promote odours. Storm ponds usually consist of a forebay that allows silt in the incoming water to settle and be treated naturally within the pond. There are also areas where water is retained and, in high water events, the water is released slowly underground. Ultimately, run off from storm ponds will end up in the Bow. As the developer, we are not permitted to apply chemical treatment to any retention areas. Storm ponds also do not stay stagnant. There may be small areas around the perimeter of the ponds that appear stagnant, however there is movement (although not usually significant) within the pond during a rainfall event.
What do you do during a big rain storm when the street is flooded and water is starting to come into your yard?
The streets of any new subdivision in the City of Calgary are designed to be in compliance with an approved Stormwater Management Plan to handle severe rainstorms. The Trap Low Design is a requirement by the City of Calgary Wastewater and Drainage Division as part of this plan. Ponding areas are designed and constructed to temporarily hold back runoff so that areas downstream do not receive large quantities of stormwater/snowmelt all at once. To assist the underground pipe system during a rainstorm, temporary stormwater storage sites called “Trap Lows” are designed into the streets, lanes and even parks to accommodate a high volume of water. These ponding areas eventually drain down slowly (up to 24 hours) and are designed so that the detained water does not enter any buildings. The ponding may encroach into the lot or driveway and remain there for a while. Do not panic if you see water rising in your street, or even in your driveway, during a fast rainfall. Predetermined grading plans are followed at the time of construction to ensure the water will flow towards the Trap Low and slowly drain into catch basins once the rain subsides. There is an easement registered on any lot that will have temporary ponding on it. This easement is registered in favour of the City/Town/Municipality and legally permits the ponding to occur on the lot. Should you have concerns that there may be a blockage preventing the ponding to drain slowly into the catch basins, as stated above, report your concern to the City of Calgary by dialing 311.