Code Enforcement 101: What Does Snow Removal Have to do with Community Spirit?!

This year, the Town of Mountain View will be announcing Community Spirit awards at the Spring Fling on Saturday, March 30th, for community members who most consistently shoveled their sidewalks promptly this winter. 

Not everyone knows the rules. That is part of the problem, and so this year, we are working to help everyone understand what the Town Code states about this issue.

Here is the relevant portion of the Town Code, which can also be found on the town website at www.tomv.org.

Section 11.02.010 

(a) The existence of snow and ice on sidewalks in the Town in violation of the provisions of this Section is declared to be a public nuisance.

(b) Every person in charge or control of any building or lot of land within the Town fronting or abutting on a paved sidewalk, whether as owner, tenant, occupant, lessee or otherwise, shall remove and clear away, or cause to be removed and cleared away, snow and ice from the full width of such sidewalk and ramp, as applicable, as is in front of or abuts on such building or lot of land, within twenty-four (24) hours after the cessation of any fall of snow, sleet or freezing rain. For every person in charge or control of any building or lot of land that is on a corner, the entire corner shall be cleared of snow and ice as consistent with this Subsection.

(c) In the event snow and ice on a sidewalk has become so hard that it cannot be removed without likelihood of damage to the sidewalk, the person or entity charged with its removal shall, within twenty-four (24) hours after the cessation of any fall of snow, sleet or freezing rain, cause enough sand or other abrasive material to be put on the sidewalk to make travel thereon reasonably safe, and shall then, as soon thereafter as weather permits, cause such sidewalk to be thoroughly cleaned.

(d) Whenever an officer charged with the duty of enforcing this Article has knowledge of conditions in violation of this Section, but no person can be found in or upon the building or lot of land fronting or abutting on the sidewalk upon which such conditions exist, such conditions constituting a nuisance may be abated without notice at the expense of the owner of such building or lot of land.

(e) Whenever any condition constituting a nuisance under the provisions of this Section is found in existence more than twenty-four (24) hours after delivery of any notice or notification thereof to a person or entity charged with its removal, such nuisance may be abated without notice at the expense of the person or entity charged with removal of snow and ice.

(f) Violation – Penalty. Violations of this Section shall be punished upon conviction as follows:

(1) For a first violation, a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00).

(2) For a second violation in any twelve (12) month period, a fine of one hundred dollars ($100.00).

(3) For a third violation in any twelve (12) month period and for each subsequent violation during such twelve (12) month period, a fine of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00).

The fines described in this Section are in addition to any expenses charged to the owner of such building that the Town incurred in abating the nuisance.

The Town knows that not everyone has the same ability to manage this issue on their own. Also, there are times when people travel and need to plan for snow removal in their absence. 

Community Members who need help with their sidewalks due to physical disability or travel should reach out to the Town’s Public Works Coordinator, David Nugent so that arrangements can be made if possible.

The Town is also seeking volunteers who can help their neighbors who need a little extra help. Shoveling snow is great exercise and much easier when we all pitch in. If you would like to contribute to our shared solutions in this way, please reach out to coordinate with our Public Works Coordinator. He can be reached via email at dnugent@tomv.org.

When sidewalks are not shoveled promptly, they become difficult for all of us, but especially for those who use assistive devices such as walkers or wheelchairs, and for community members who are elderly or who have children in strollers. Doing the right thing and clearing your sidewalk promptly (or making arrangements ahead of time for people to help you) demonstrates your desire to be a good neighbor. And if there is one thing that Mountain View values, it’s good neighbors. Thank you, everyone!

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