Encroachment on City Property

In April 2022, Council adopted an Encroachment Policy to help address properties that are encroaching on City land and greenspace.

What is an encroachment?

An encroachment means any type of object or item of personal property which exists on or extends from a person’s premises onto public lands. This includes, but is not limited to fences, accessory buildings, fire pits, vehicles, hot tubs, recreational vehicles, trampolines and gardens.

Why is it important to remove encroachments?

Encroachments have the potential to have significant impact on public lands, create safety issues and cost taxpayers money

  • Important drainage infrastructure is buried underground. Residents who build, drive, store items, and plant trees in these areas can harm infrastructure. The City has incurred significant costs to repair damage directly caused by encroachment. 
  • In areas surrounding our dike system, uncontrolled vegetation can affect the structural integrity of dikes, obscure visibility and impede access for inspection and maintenance, and hinder emergency flood fighting operations.
  • In all areas, the green space around homes and properties was not intended for personal use.

The City of Fernie is asking residents to remove any encroachments on City Property.

Residents must ensure where property lines are, and avoid encroaching onto City land.

What should I do if I have an encroachment?

Residents must remove any personal property or structures encroaching on municipal land, and make alternate arrangements for storage moving forward.

FAQs:

What if the encroachment existed before I bought my house?

Awareness of property lines when buying or selling your home is important. An encroachment is tied to the lands and follows ownership of the property, regardless of how long it has been there or who placed it there. Having knowledge of where your property lines are will ensure you avoid unknowingly placing items outside your property or inheriting an existing encroachment.

How do I find out where my property line is?

If you aren't sure if you are currently encroaching on City property, a good place to start is taking a look at this aeriel map. Find your property and see if there is anything extending beyond your marked property line. If you need further clarification, please contact Bylaw Services at 250.423.2244 or bylawservices@fernie.ca.

What if I don't move my stuff?

As with other enforcement endeavours, our goal is compliance. We are asking residents to voluntarily move any personal property from City land. In the fall we will re-evaluate the situation and consider further enforcement or legal action.