Chapter 12.70
SIDEWALKS, PLANTING STRIPS
AND STREET TREES

Sections:

12.70.010    Definitions.

12.70.020    Sidewalk – Repair determination – Responsibility and costs.

12.70.030    Sidewalk – Notice to repair – Cost assessment.

12.70.040    Planting strip maintenance.

12.70.050    Sidewalk – Snow, ice and trash removal required when.

12.70.060    Sidewalk – Violation of KMC 12.70.050 deemed misdemeanor.

12.70.070    Exemption from KMC 12.70.040 and 12.70.050 permitted when.

12.70.080    Street trees and plantings – Trimming limitations – Removal prohibited.

12.70.010 Definitions.

Terms used in this chapter with relation to sidewalks, planting strips and curbs will have the meanings as set forth in this section:

A. “Abutting property” means property having a frontage upon the sides or margins of any street or right-of-way.

B. “Curb” means a cement, concrete or asphaltic concrete raised structure designed to delineate the edge of the pavement and to separate the vehicular portion from that provided for pedestrians and surface drainage control.

C. “Planting strip” means that portion of the right-of-way which lies:

1. Behind the curb line and between the curb line and the sidewalk; or

2. Between the sidewalk and the right-of-way line; or

3. Between the edge of pavement and the right-of-way line where sidewalks and/or curb are not present.

D. “Public works director” means the public works director, or designee.

E. “Sidewalk” means that property between the curb line and the abutting property, set aside and intended for the use of pedestrians, improved by paving with cement concrete or asphaltic concrete. [Ord. 17-0445 § 1; Ord. 16-0428 § 2 (Att. A); Ord. 03-0180 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 02-0141 § 1; Ord. 98-0024 §§ 1, 2 (KCC 14.52.010).]

12.70.020 Sidewalk – Repair determination – Responsibility and costs.

A. Whenever a portion of any public street, including any boulevard, avenue, lane or place, is improved by a sidewalk thereon, and the sidewalk has become unfit or unsafe for public travel, the city manager may determine that the reconstruction or repair of that portion of sidewalk is necessary for the public safety and convenience. If the city manager makes such a determination, the city manager will also determine the cause of the damage to such sidewalk.

B. If the city manager finds that damage to the sidewalk results from activities on or use of the abutting privately owned property or actions or omissions of the abutting private property owner (examples include roots from trees not planted by any public entity, private vehicle traffic at driveways, etc.), the duty, burden and expense of reconstruction or repair will be the responsibility of the owner; provided, that the owner will not be responsible for any construction or repair in excess of 25 percent of the valuation of the abutting property, exclusive of improvements.

C. If the city manager does so find the cause of damage to the sidewalk lies on public property, within the right-of-way, or can be identified as placed by a public entity, the duty, burden and expense of repair will be the responsibility of the City.

D. The city manager will prepare a written order of the city manager’s determinations under this section. This chapter and the city manager’s determinations will constitute the “resolution” identified in Chapters 35.68, 35.69 and 35.70 RCW. [Ord. 17-0445 § 2; Ord. 03-0180 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 02-0141 § 1; Ord. 98-0024 §§ 1, 2 (KCC 14.52.020).]

12.70.030 Sidewalk – Notice to repair – Cost assessment.

A. Whenever the city manager has determined that a portion of a sidewalk has become unfit or unsafe for public travel, that reconstruction or repair is necessary for public safety and convenience, and that the abutting property owner is responsible for reconstruction or repair pursuant to KMC 12.70.020(B), the public works director will give written notice of the determination to the owner of the abutting property. The notice will:

1. Instruct the owner to reconstruct or repair the sidewalk in accordance with standard plans and specifications which will be attached to the notice;

2. Specify a reasonable time for the reconstruction or repair;

3. Require the owner to provide an estimate of the cost of the reconstruction or repair before commencement of the reconstruction or repair;

4. Advise the owner that the public works director must approve plans for reconstruction or repair before the owner commences reconstruction or repair, so that the City can determine whether the 25 percent limit of KMC 12.70.020(B) is met;

5. Advise the owner that the City may require the owner to revise the plans for reconstruction or repair to comply with the 25 percent limit of KMC 12.70.020(B);

6. State that if the owner fails to reconstruct or repair within the time period specified, the public works director will complete the reconstruction or repair at the owners’ expense;

7. State that if the public works director completes the reconstruction or repair, the public works director will determine the cost to be charged to the owner; and

8. State that the city manager will hear protests to the determination of the owner’s responsibility for reconstruction or repair, and the public works director will hear protests to the cost to be charged to the owner, at a time and place and in a manner established by the city manager or public works director, as applicable.

The notice will be delivered to the owner or to the resident of the property, or delivered by mail to the recorded tax address. If the owner is unknown, a copy of the notice will be posted in a conspicuous place on the portion of the street where the reconstruction or repair is to occur. Before commencing reconstruction or repair, the owner must provide to the public works director the plans for the reconstruction or repair, together with an estimate of the cost of the reconstruction or repair and information from which the public works director may determine the valuation of the abutting property, exclusive of improvements. The public works director may require the owner to provide additional information to determine such valuation, at the cost of the owner. If the public works director determines that the cost of the reconstruction or repair will exceed 25 percent of such valuation, the owner must modify the plans for the reconstruction or repair so that the cost of the work does not exceed 25 percent of such valuation. The owner will not commence the reconstruction or repair until the public works director has approved the modified plans.

B. If the owner fails to perform the approved reconstruction or repair within the time period stated in the notice, or a different time period approved by the public works director, the City will complete the reconstruction or repair. After completion, the public works director will determine the cost to be charged to the owner, and the time and manner of payment thereof; provided, that the cost will not exceed 25 percent of the valuation of the abutting property, exclusive of improvements. The public works director will give notice of the cost to the owner. The notice will:

1. State the cost to be charged to the owner, and the time and manner of payment thereof;

2. Include supporting documentation for the cost;

3. Advise the owner that the cost cannot exceed 25 percent of the valuation of the property, exclusive of improvements;

4. State that the public works director will hear protests to the determination of cost, at a time and place and in a manner established by the public works director.

The approved cost will become a lien upon the property. The lien will be collected in the manner as provided by law for collection of local improvements assessments.

The owner may appeal the city manager’s determination of responsibility for the reconstruction or repair, and may appeal the public works director’s determination of cost, by filing a notice of appeal with the city manager or the public works director, as applicable, within 10 calendar days after entry of the city manager’s or public works director’s determination. The city manager or public works director will consider the owner’s protests at a time and place and in a manner determined by the city manager or public works director. The city manager or public works director will give notice of the date, time, place and manner of consideration of the protests to the owner at the owner’s recorded tax address. After the protest consideration, the city manager or public works director will issue a decision, which will be the City’s final decision on the owner’s responsibility for reconstruction or repair or the cost. [Ord. 17-0445 § 3; Ord. 03-0180 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 02-0141 § 1; Ord. 98-0024 §§ 1, 2 (KCC 14.52.030).]

12.70.040 Planting strip maintenance.

Maintenance of planting strips, including trees, tree limbs that protrude over the road and sidewalk, shrubbery, weeds, grass or other ground cover, will be the responsibility of the abutting property owner. Vegetation in planting strips will be kept in a condition that does not impair the use by the traveling public of the right-of-way. The use of the right-of-way includes, but is not limited to:

A. Motor vehicles on paved roadways;

B. Bicycles on paved surfaces or designated trails; and

C. Pedestrians on sidewalks, designated paved walkways or other pedestrian paths as determined by the city manager.

Vegetation will not overhang sidewalks, walkways or bike lanes within eight feet, measured vertically from any point on the traveled way. Vegetation will not overhang vehicle lanes within 11 feet, measured vertically from any point on the traveled way.

D. The traveled way (facing private property) for sidewalks, paved walkways or bike lanes will be defined by the edge of paved surfaces. Other pedestrian paths, as determined by the city manager, will be a minimum of four feet wide.

E. The traveled way for vehicles will be defined by the edge stripe or edge of pavement where no stripe is present.

Drainage ditches will be kept free of debris and maintained in a condition that allows the free flow of water. Aesthetic maintenance of drainage ditch vegetation, assuming free flow of water is maintained, is at the discretion and responsibility of the abutting property owner.

Should the city manager find that such property is not being properly maintained, the city manager will send a notice as provided in KMC 12.70.030 specifying a reasonable time within which such maintenance will be accomplished. If the owner fails to proceed, the department will have the maintenance performed, and the cost may, at the discretion of the city manager, be assessed against the property owner as provided in KMC 12.70.030.

Nothing in this chapter will preclude the City, at city manager’s discretion, from maintaining vegetation in the City right-of-way. [Ord. 17-0445 § 4, 2017; Ord. 16-0428 § 2 (Att. A); Ord. 03-0180 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 02-0141 § 1; Ord. 98-0024 §§ 1, 2 (KCC 14.52.040).]

12.70.050 Sidewalk – Snow, ice and trash removal required when.

It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation owning real property within the City of Kenmore to permit the accumulation of snow, ice, trash or any other matter on an existing sidewalk which impedes the normal flow of pedestrian traffic. In the event the property is owned by a person not a resident of the City of Kenmore, a reasonable period of time shall be provided for the owner or his agent to remove the material. If such removal is not accomplished within a reasonable period of time, the director of public works may have the sidewalk cleaned and the cost thereof shall be a lien on the property. [Ord. 03-0180 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 02-0141 § 1; Ord. 98-0024 §§ 1, 2 (KCC 14.52.050).]

12.70.060 Sidewalk – Violation of KMC 12.70.050 deemed misdemeanor.

Each day any sidewalk, or driveway portion thereof, is permitted to remain in a hazardous condition as specified in KMC 12.70.050 shall be considered and shall constitute a separate violation. Violation of KMC 12.70.050 shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided by law. [Ord. 03-0180 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 02-0141 § 1; Ord. 98-0024 §§ 1, 2 (KCC 14.52.060).]

12.70.070 Exemption from KMC 12.70.040 and 12.70.050 permitted when.

Residents whose property is substantially higher or lower in elevation than the street who do not have street access from one or more sides of their property may apply for an exemption from the provisions of KMC 12.70.040 and 12.70.050. Exemptions may be granted by the city engineer based upon standards which shall be established by the department. [Ord. 03-0180 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 02-0141 § 1; Ord. 98-0024 §§ 1, 2 (KCC 14.52.070).]

12.70.080 Street trees and plantings – Trimming limitations – Removal prohibited.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of franchise agreements, street trees planted within the public right-of-way along streets under the jurisdiction of the City of Kenmore shall not be removed or cut back so as to generally damage the aesthetic quality of the tree. Such trimming, when required by power or telephone companies to safeguard their wires, shall be done in a manner that preserves the general appearance of the tree. The same provisions shall be applicable to others in that trees, shrubs and other plantings shall not be removed or otherwise trimmed so as to damage the general appearance of the planting areas.

B. Judicious trimming is permitted in such areas that will provide proper sight distance for intersections and such traffic warning or regulatory signs that are in place. [Ord. 03-0180 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 02-0141 § 1; Ord. 98-0024 §§ 1, 2 (KCC 14.52.080).]