: Town of Markham to regulate driveway size

Jun 27th, 2006, 11:34 AM
A civil servant just came by to notify my dad that a law will be passed tonight to regulate the size of driveways. Lucky for us ours is just gravel as we are getting it repaved soon. The man said they may go back to single car width driveways. Does anyone else object to this? It's our property, we paid for the land and we should be able to have our driveway as large as we want. Ours was made wider about 10 years ago and now that we are getting it repaved they may make us narrow it to conform to the bylaw enforced by the city.

Anywhere else have the same thing?

Jun 27th, 2006, 12:09 PM
I do agree with you to a certain degree about freedom to use your land the way you want, but I think there are some valid reasons for regulating driveway size.

First off is that it degrades the look of the street, which can affect property values, which in turn affects property taxes.

Second, bigger driveways means less green space, which means less plants helping to make the air cleaner. Since the honor system won't convince enough people to allocate more green space for lawns, trees and other plants, laws have to be passed.

The third issue is street parking. If everyone made their driveways bigger, there would be less space for visitor parking on the street, which is already pretty scarce in some neighborhoods.

Finally, essential community utilities might be buried under an extended driveway. When they surveyed the subdivision, they knew where the driveways would go, and where they could run power, gas, telephone, cable and water lines. Extended driveways might cover up these lines, and if they ever need to be dug up for some reason, it will be a much bigger expense and hassle if the area above is paved.

I'm not defending the city, these are just a few of the reasons I came up with on the spot for why they might want to regulate driveway sizes.

Jun 27th, 2006, 12:20 PM
Here in the central-east end down by the lakeshore, parking pads have been an issue (well of course, parking is an issue everywhere in the central core). Too many pads and driveways means less green space and more drainage run-off into the sewers... not to mention the arid ugliness of all that concrete and tar. All of that grey and black reflects more heat back into the city in the summer, too. One giant cook-top for us all.

I don't know about by-laws, though. By-laws are a pain. I wish more people could agree on what's good for a neighborhood without resorting to legal means to enforce things. Set a good example and hope that others follow your logic, that sort of thing.

Jun 27th, 2006, 02:55 PM
I am able to fit 6 small to medium cars in our driveway, but I am going to convert it to mainly greenspace when we repave next year.

Jun 27th, 2006, 03:10 PM
Markham has always had driveway width restrictions in place. About 7 years ago I did a reno to my house and when it was complete I had the driveway widened to support the new layout. We checked with the town of Markham and it was not a problem to get the width we needed although we had to pay to have the curb redone. The city work crew came out and cut the curb so that we could access the new portion of the driveway but didn't come back for almost 5 years to fill the other side that was no longer needed. Eventually, when some road work was done, the curb was completed on the other side and our driveway looks right now.

I would doubt that they will go back to single driveways given that most houses have at least two-car garages. However, the width can easily be controlled by the city given that ownership of the boulevard remains with them. You always need their permission to do any work out there.

Further to madgunde's points - Markham tries to limit the potential for renting space within a residence. If you have a wide enough driveway, you could support multiple occupancies in one dwelling. Not something they approve of. It goes along with rules like not being able to have multiple kitchens, etc.