What are the rules around shoveling sidewalks by my home?

BY PAUL ROBERTS, CITY ATTORNEY

QUESTION: What are the rules around shoveling sidewalks by my home?

Answer: Clearing snow is an oft-dreaded result of our otherwise delightful mountain winters. Nevertheless, it is necessary to keep our sidewalks clear, and free of hazards like ice buildup. Shoveling sidewalks is a civic duty that we all share. Safe sidewalks are critical to joggers, the disabled, children walking to school, and those pushing strollers.

City code requires property owners to clear snow and ice from any public sidewalk that fronts their property; corner lots have double the work. Citizens are allowed twenty-four hours after the end of a snowstorm to clear their sidewalks. The sooner the better, though; pedestrians on un-shoveled sidewalks will pack the snow down and make it even harder to remove.

When this duty is neglected, Syracuse Code Enforcement will be required to take action, and eventually hire a contractor to remove the snow. The cost of the removal is billed to the property owner, and if left unpaid, the bill(s) are sent to the County Treasurer for collection. Having been on vacation during snowfall does not excuse failure to clear the sidewalks; please make arrangements for snow removal during your absence.

In addition, let’s be aware of neighbors who have physical difficulties and are unable to shovel their walk. Please help them out as well!

Do you have a community question?
Submit your question to proberts@syracuseut.com.

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