Colorado Springs residents, in case you didn’t know, it’s a property owner’s responsibility to remove snow from sidewalks within a day of the end of a snow storm.
And you may have noticed many people ignore the city ordinance.
“I am always disappointed to see the number of people who disregard the city ordinance requiring sidewalks to be cleared within 24 hours of snowfall,” wrote reader Becky Carver.
“I’m wondering who is responsible for enforcing the ‘clear sidewalks’ ordinance? Does the ordinance in fact exist? I’ve never heard of it being enforced despite all-too-obvious violations. And most importantly, what is the liability of the property owner should I fall and break a leg, or worse, on their un-cleared sidewalk?”
Yes, there is an ordinance. There are no ‘snow police.’ The city responds to citizen complaints. Property owners have potential liability.
The city’s communication department noted that “City Ordinance 3.4.202 requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours after termination of the falling snow. Current practice for enforcing this requirement includes city staff responding to citizen calls about sidewalks covered with snow by informing the owner of the property of the requirement to remove snow from sidewalks. The notification is usually either in person or by leaving a flier with the information on their door. Most owners voluntarily remove the snow, and in recent years, the snow usually melts within a day or two making further enforcement unnecessary.”
Further, “when owners do not remove snow in a timely manner, the city may remove the snow and bill the removal cost to the property owner. City ordinance 3.4.204 provides that unpaid bills for snow removal costs be compiled and presented to the city council in an ordinance authorizing a tax assessment and if the assessment goes unpaid, filing a lien on the property.”
The last time such an assessment occurred was in the winter of 2007-2008. City Hall further reported that since Jan. 1 there have been 36 calls about snow-covered sidewalks. There were 46 calls in 2012 and 91 in 2011.
We’ll always have snowfall scofflaws. Want to build community?
Find out which of your neighbors can’t shovel for themselves and do it for them.
Got a question? Contact Barry Noreen at 636-0363 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Hear him on KRDO 105.5 FM and 1240 AM at â€¨6:35 a.m. Friday