On December 22, Calgarians woke up to roads, sidewalks and cars covered in fresh snow as the city saw as much as 40 centimetres of snowfall overnight. The snow started Monday evening, December 21 and with it came strong, northerly winds, causing troublesome driving conditions and poor visibility.
With this record snowfall, it quickly became clear that snow removal was going to be a challenge for at least several days, possibly longer after the snow stopped falling. It also made Condominium Consultants aware very quickly about the misunderstanding many residents have regarding snow removal. There appeared to be a large gap between expectations and the contracted service requirements. The following information should help clarify snow removal at your Condominium.
Snow removal is performed by third party contractors approved by the Board of Directors. The scope of work or service parameters are identified in a contract that the Board of Directors has signed on behalf of all the owners of the Condominium Corporation.
Most Condominium Corporations’ snow removal contracts have the following service parameters:
- Snow removal is to commence within 24 hours of cessation of snowfall.
- Snow removal is to occur every 24 hours during a continuous snowfall.
- There is no guaranteed arrival time of the snow removal contractor, such as before 9:00 am. There are some sites such as hospitals and essential services that have this type of contract, but that type of service is very cost prohibitive and therefore typically not endorsed by Condo Boards.
- Snow is removed from all city walkways, common walkways, building entryways, driveways and garbage enclosures.
- Ice melt and/or grit is applied as required to all city walkways, common walkways, building entryways, driveways and garbage enclosures. With Calgary’s temperature fluctuations thawing and freezing cycles are a constant concern and ice melt must be applied to remedy the icing.
- Snow Removal from Roadways, Parking Lots/Stalls will commence at the request of the Board (in writing) or depending on the property/contract at the discretion of the contractor. Many Condominium Bylaws stipulate that parking stalls are the owner’s responsibility.
Please note that snow removal contractors only have so many trucks and so much equipment. There are only so many hours in a day (and night) and capacity for clearing properties can be limited. Reputable snow removal contractors generally have full schedules, including servicing clients who sign contracts year after year. When a record snowfall occurs, it is a challenge for these contractors to keep up and maintain acceptable safety standards at every property. Service schedules can be adversely affected due to an unexpected volume of the snowfall.
Calgary property owners are also required to follow The City of Calgary, Section 67 of the Street Bylaw. The link is as follows: