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  1. #1

    Default Can Property Owners Be Made Responsible for Maintaining Public Sidewalks

    A few years ago, our local government enacted an ordinance that made the care and maintenance of the public sidewalks the responsibility of the residents. Citizens that live along the main street within the village limits have to keep the public sidewalks that lie adjacent to their properties clean of snow, ice and other debris. Snow and ice must be removed within 24 hours of the incurrence or they will be fined $50 a day for non-compliance.

    Along the main street, the public plow throws up a huge mound of frozen chunks onto the sidewalks which are almost impossible to remove even with a snow blower. Six inches could turn into 2 feet of impacted snow as hard as granite. I'm an old lady living alone and sometimes find it almost impossible to obey the ordinance. I've spoken to a village board member about my concerns and have been informed that the law is the law - no exceptions or exclusions. I even suggested that village get a small sidewalk plow/blower to do the sidewalks. Again, was informed that the ordinance was in effect so that was no need to incur the expense of purchasing this equipment.

    I wanted to know if the ordinance is legal that makes private citizens responsible for public property.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Residents Made Responsibel for Public Property

    Quote Quoting debodun
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    I wanted to know if the ordinance is legal that makes private citizens responsible for public property.
    In at least most states (and you did not mention in what state you live) it is legal and many cities/counties throughout the country have such laws. Have you spoken directly to the public works department that handles the snow plows to make them aware of the impact of how their plowing affects you? They might be able to alter how they plough to avoid piling it up on your walk.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can Residents Be Made Responsible for Public Sidewalks

    I have seen many jurisdictions in which homeowners are responsible to clear public sidewalks that cross their property, and I'm not aware of any that were invalidated. Pretty much every property owner in the snowy parts of the country is familiar with the issue that can be created when a snowplow pushes a berm of compressed snow in front of their driveways; it is unfortunate that the berm or debris is being pushed all the way up onto the sidewalk, and that may be something that could be addressed through equipment or reduced speed; but to some degree it's inevitable as snow being pushed out of a roadway has to go somewhere.

    If you want to know the laws for your jurisdiction, you need to identify the jurisdiction. Laws are different in every state.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can Residents Be Made Responsible for Public Sidewalks

    It isn't the local plow that does the main street - it's a state (new York) plow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Can Residents Be Made Responsible for Public Sidewalks

    Well now that we know your state.

    There was a thread just the other day about this issue on this or another forum. NYC has such a law and it was hardly new so yes I would say that in your state the city pass and enforce such an ordinance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    23,812

    Default Re: Can Residents Be Made Responsible for Public Sidewalks

    It's generally not a case of, what law makes it legal. It's generally a case of, Is there a law that makes it illegal? If there isn't, then it's legal until some legislative body gets around to saying it's not.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,163

    Default Re: Can Residents Be Made Responsible for Public Sidewalks

    24 hours?

    heck, in that last thread their ordinance was only 4 hours. Feel blessed.

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