Saturday, April 25, 2009

Municipal Bureaucracy

We've had our plans for our front yard redesign since the middle of March and after six weeks of municipal bureaucracy we're still waiting for permits. It seems that the person at one counter at city hall doesn't bother to tell you about the requirements of the person at the next counter. We knew we had to get a permit to change the driveway. That took nearly a month. Only then did we discover that we also had to have a permit to plant on the boulevard (municipal property).

I applied for that on Monday (complete with a scale drawing) and a couple days later a fellow came out with a camera to take pictures of the boulevard. He was from the engineering department and he said he'll send the photos to the "parks people" so they can decide if they want to meet with us. Saanich has a thing about protecting trees and we have at least eight on the boulevard, which means we cannot do anything that will compromise their health.

What this means in terms of our plan to put some shrubs and native plants along there has yet to be discovered. I left a message for the tree guy in the parks department to call so I could arrange a meeting between him and the guy who developed our landscape plan--but haven't heard back all week. I've also found out that Saanich has a list of allowable plants and trees for their boulevards but it seems that this list is not available on line. So I'll have to go down to their office and pick it up. They are not making it easy for us to achieve our goal of improving the front yard.

Last night it occurred to me that we'll probably also need a permit from the municipality to install the watering system that we'll need to keep the new plants watered under the water-sucking cedars. Argggh!

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