Homeowners in the process of rebuilding their homes are reminded it is their responsibility to verify their property lines before building fences on their property. Should any fences encroach onto neighbouring Municipal property, homeowners will be asked to remove or relocate them.
While there are no permit requirements for building a fence within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), all homeowners must follow the location and height restrictions for fences that are set out in the Land Use Bylaw (LUB). These restrictions can be found online at rmwb.ca/fencingandencroachments.
The Planning and Development Department would also like to remind homeowners that the LUB Wildfire Overlay 16/020, which was passed Sept. 28, 2016, is intended to provide a range of rebuilding options to property owners, including allowing their rebuilt home to occupy the same footprint as before the wildfire. This allows for the interpretation of replacing ‘like for like’ what was lost in the fire.
The Overlay does not, however, authorize encroachments of any structure or fence onto adjacent property, whether it is Municipal land or private property.
During the rebuild, the Planning and Development Department has identified confusion surrounding the interpretation of a ‘like for like’ rebuild. This phrase has been interpreted in some cases to mean the replacement of everything on the property, including the replacement of a fence, exactly as it stood before the fire. Unfortunately, in cases where pre-existing fences encroached on Municipal land or neighbouring private property, this is not the case. Fences that may have encroached before the fire will not be allowed to encroach on Municipal land or private property now.
Homeowners who have questions about fencing and encroachment are encouraged to visit rmwb.ca/fencingandencroachments or to contact the Planning and Development Department by phone at 780-799-8695 or in person at Timberlea Landing, located at 309 Powder Drive.