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Is gravel/river stones considered "landscaped open space" in Whitby?

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  • Sep 1st, 2021 10:53 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Sep 29, 2020
38 posts
8 upvotes

Is gravel/river stones considered "landscaped open space" in Whitby?

I'm looking to replace some grass on the side of my property with river stones/gravel to avoid having to mow around a side path I have.

In the bylaw, it says that:
FRONT YARD LANDSCAPING

Any lot with an Accessory Apartment shall provide and maintain a minimum
of 40% of the front yard as landscaped open space.
Which in the by-law is defined as:
LANDSCAPED OPEN SPACE means the open unobstructed space at grade on a lot accessible by
walking from the street on which the lot is located and which is suitable for the growth and maintenance
of grass, flowers, bushes and other landscaping and includes any surfaced walk, patio or similar area
but does not include any driveway or ramp whether surfaced or not, any curb, retaining wall, parking
area or any open space beneath or within any building or structure.
This seems to apply anything that is "accessible from the street" and for growth of flora, or is a surfaced path/patio.

1. Does the "front yard" include the side of the house?
2. Does "landscaped open space" include gravel/river stones (with bedding)?
5 replies
Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
1731 upvotes
Clarington, ON
Contact the municipal law enforcement team. Inquire. Do not give your address.
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2015
2964 posts
1539 upvotes
Calgary, AB
I’d hazard a guess and say yes. The bylaw is probably designed to stop people turning their entire front yard into a drive and/or make sure the entire front area isn’t draining into the street.

Gravel is also generally landscaping, no different to wood mulch.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 2, 2018
2096 posts
2290 upvotes
Toronto
It takes a lawyer to interpret simple bylaws these days, think they could offer up some common instances in their documentation that would make things easier.

Grass is soft scape as it allows rain/water to drain into the earth, to me river stone will also allow rain/water to drain fairly easily into ground. I would consider river stone to be softscape, but I'm not a lawyer so best to ask the bylaw people.

Patio stone or interlock allows little to no drainage and considered hard scrape as indicated by the multiple posts on RDF showing flood issues in people's property...haha.
Youth is the gift of nature, age is a work of art.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1997 posts
1728 upvotes
GTA
richyrich123 wrote: I'm looking to replace some grass on the side of my property with river stones/gravel to avoid having to mow around a side path I have.

In the bylaw, it says that:


Which in the by-law is defined as:


This seems to apply anything that is "accessible from the street" and for growth of flora, or is a surfaced path/patio.

1. Does the "front yard" include the side of the house?
2. Does "landscaped open space" include gravel/river stones (with bedding)?
Based on my interpretation of those statements it appears to just say at least 40% of your front yard area cannot be driveway, parking, curb or retaining wall.

Anyways, it really shouldn't matter for your purposes.

Generally speaking in most municipalities the official front yard ends at the front face of your house, anything else on the sides would not be counted in the soft scaping calculations. I do not think I have seen a landscape architect every consider area behind the front face of the house (or rear face for rear yard) in any municipality.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 29, 2020
38 posts
8 upvotes
Okay, thanks for the insight on the front yard definition!

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