Bylaws and Issues Affecting Hawkwood – Trailers and Recreational Vehicles (RV’s)

Here’s hoping that on the heels of a wet summer, we will have a beautiful fall and that some of us can get some late season camping in.  If you do own a travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome (let’s call all of these RV’s), then hopefully you know some of the bylaws and general considerations for parking them in Hawkwood.  First of all, if you have space in your back yard or garage, you are entitled to store your RV or trailer there as long as it is operable and doesn’t become “junk”.  An RV (such as a tent or travel trailer) cannot be stored on a driveway. When you bring your RV to your house and park it on the street, you can do so for 36 consecutive hours for pre- or post-camping logistics.  If you are going to be there more that 1 ½ days, you can’t move it one foot and re-start the 36-hour clock – this is to prevent the actual storage of RV’s on City streets and there is a Bylaw preventing this.  Of course, when you park your RV, it has to be proximal to your house, hitched to your vehicle, and it can’t be parked in such a way to make it unsafe to use the road or sidewalk.  As a general consideration for your neighbours, please only run your hoses and extension cords across the sidewalk only when you need them.  These units are getting bigger and bigger and they can cause some safety hazards on our streets due to sight lines and the like, so please be respectful.  If your neighbour has his RV parked on the street for more than what’s acceptable, call 311 and a Bylaw Officer will come out, investigate and chalk the RV’s tires – that’s when the 36-hour clock will start for enforcement, not when you called it in.

The other issue in Hawkwood that has been happening a lot is the increasing amount of utility trailers that are parked on our streets.  There might be a couple of reasons for that in that our economic issues have forced people to self-employ and nowadays, with relatively low capital investment, all you need is some tools, a truck/trailer and a smart phone and voila, you can be a roofer, drywaller, plumber, handyman, etc.  Gone are the days of needing a shop in an industrial part of town and commuting to that shop to where your equipment is.  And depending on who you are that is either a good thing or a bad thing.  Again, keep in mind that streets and alleys are City property and garages and back yards are private property.  A trailer cannot be parked on a driveway, front yard, street or alley unattached to the vehicle that is used to tow it.  If a trailer is parked on a street – and attached to the vehicle towing it – that vehicle must be registered to the owner that lives nearby.  What is happening in Hawkwood is that a company with one or more truck/trailers are parked at night and during the day, the workers take the truck/trailer to their worksite and return it to Hawkwood at night.  At present, this is completely legal, but the aesthetics and potential safety issues around one or more of these tandems parking on our streets is concerning to say the least.  If you see an illegally parked trailer (unhitched), call 311 and report it.

According to the Land Use Bylaw, any RV or boat cannot be parked in a front setback (driveway or yard) for more than 24 hours.  Also, a utility trailer cannot remain in a front setback unless it is being actively loaded or unloaded.  Both of these items seem to be regular occurrences in Calgary and are not actively enforced for some reason.  Stay tuned to this space for an update on why.

Contributed by Kevan Newman – HCA President (