Finish shoveling the driveway? Don't forget the sidewalk
4:46 PM, Feb 2, 2011
6:10 PM, Feb 2, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Missouri - You probably have cleared your driveway by now. But what about
Many cities have ordinances requiring people shovel their
sidewalks within a reasonable amount of time. But few communities
hand out tickets.
In Kansas City, residents have a "reasonable amount of time" to
clear sidewalks. But Call For Action found no agency willing to
enforcing the rule by ticketing.
Overland Park has a resolution "encouraging people" to maintain
their sidewalks, but the city does not ticket. The situation is
similar in Olathe and Independence. Lee's Summit does not have a
sidewalk maintenance ordinance on the books.
Call For Action found only one city, Lawrence, ready and willing
to ticket. Regarding snow, the city ordinance states, "removal must
be done within 48 hours after the ice forms or snowfall ends." The
fine is $20 per day.
Following this latest snowfall, Lawrence has extended the period
to clear sidewalks before ticketing due to the blizzard conditions
and now the cold. The deadline went from 8 am Friday morning to 5
pm Friday afternoon.
In January, Lawrence handed out 157 citations following two
But even if the city where you live doesn't ticket, you may
still get hit with an unexpected cost if you don't clear your
Tom Dubbert of the Yard Barber of KC, a snow removal and
landscaping company, reminds homeowners about liabilities if
someone is hurt.
Dubbert says, “Typically there is some liability issues of
course if someone slips and falls on your property. It could cause
some problems for you and your insurance company."
Most cities hope people adopt a good neighbor approach and clear
the sidewalks on their own without the city becoming heavy handed
and enforcing the rules.