Thousands of illegally widened driveways in Mississauga has The City looking at its bylaws

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Published March 30, 2023 at 5:00 pm

There are “thousands of illegally widened driveways” across Mississauga, so the City is taking a closer look at its bylaws in an attempt to make the rules fair for everyone.

Prompted by a motion from City of Mississauga Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, staff will study the issue and return to council with a report on how the current rules governing the widening of residential driveways can be improved.

Of particular concern to Parrish, who first floated the idea of revamping Mississauga’s driveway widening bylaws during a discussion at council last May, is that the huge number of illegally widened driveways exist pretty much “safe from prosecution” and are usually only investigated if there’s a complaint.

Among other things, her motion asks staff to look at how other municipalities govern driveway widening before preparing a new draft bylaw that would address the matter more equitably across the board in Mississauga by employing more consistent standards.

Any new/reworked bylaw, Parrish added in her motion, would allow for residential driveways already improperly widened to remain without penalty.

In her motion, Parrish also noted that the City’s committee of adjustment currently deals with “at least five cases of driveway widening every week.”

The matter showed up on Parrish’s radar during a council meeting last May in which details were shared about an ongoing fight between Mississauga officials and a homeowner who had been showing a blatant disregard for property zoning rules with respect to the widening of his driveway.

That prompted the longtime councillor to question the fairness of how the bylaw is enforced across the city, noting that the bigger issue is that the City only enforces the rules when it receives complaints.

Parrish said at the time that illegally enlarged driveways are not uncommon on some of the city’s major streets, including Creditview Rd., “which I drive up all the time,” she added.

“Some of them have fully paved front lawns, no grass at all, and the guy next door is the same and the guy across the road is the same. So, they all shook hands in the middle of the road and said ‘I won’t complain about you if you don’t complain about me’,” Parrish said at the time, adding a number of such homeowners enlarge their driveways so they can more safely access the busy road.

“So, when we don’t enforce, this gentleman (in north Mississauga) is driving by those (homes) and going ‘Hey, how come they get away with it?'”

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