Chapter 12.80
SIDEWALKS, PLANTING STRIPS
AND STREET TREES

Sections:

12.80.010    Definitions.

12.80.020    Sidewalk – Repair determination – Responsibility and costs.

12.80.030    Sidewalk – Notice to repair – Cost assessment.

12.80.040    Planting strip maintenance.

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

12.80.060    Sidewalk – Violation of CMC 12.80.050 deemed misdemeanor.

12.80.070    Exemption from CMC 12.80.040 and 12.80.050 permitted when.

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

12.80.010 Definitions.

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

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

(2) “Planting strip” means that portion of the right-of-way behind the curb line and between the curb line and the sidewalk or between the sidewalk and the right-of-way line used for the planting of trees, grass, shrubs or ground cover.

(3) “Sidewalk” means that property between the curb line and the adjacent property, set aside and intended for the use of pedestrians, improved by paving with cement concrete or asphaltic concrete.

(4) “Street tree” means a tree planted within the public right-of-way or landscape/streetscape easement. (Ord. 38-02 § 2 (12.52.010))

12.80.020 Sidewalk – Repair determination – Responsibility and costs.

Whenever a portion of any street is improved by a sidewalk thereon, and the sidewalk shall have become unfit or unsafe for public travel, the Department of Public Works may determine that the repair of that portion of sidewalk is necessary for the public safety and convenience. If the Department does so find, the duty, burden and expense of repair shall be the responsibility of the abutting property owner; provided, that the abutting property owner shall not be charged with any costs of repair in excess of 25 percent of the valuation of the abutting property, exclusive of improvements. (Amended at request of department 2/08; Ord. 38-02 § 2 (12.52.020))

12.80.030 Sidewalk – Notice to repair – Cost assessment.

Whenever the Department of Public Works has determined that a portion of a sidewalk has become unfit or unsafe for public travel, the Department shall serve a written notice on the owner of the abutting property instructing the owner to repair the sidewalk in accordance with standard plans and specifications which shall be attached to the notice. The City shall process all notices and enforcement of this section pursuant to Chapter 35.69 RCW. (Amended at request of department 2/08; Ord. 38-02 § 2 (12.52.030))

12.80.040 Planting strip maintenance.

Maintenance of planting strips including trees, shrubbery, grass or other ground cover shall be the responsibility of the abutting property owner. Should the Director of Public Works find that such property is not being properly maintained, a notice shall be forwarded as provided in CMC 12.80.030, specifying a reasonable time within which such maintenance shall be accomplished. If the owner fails to proceed, the Public Works Department will have the maintenance performed, and the cost will be assessed against the property owner as provided in CMC 12.80.030. (Amended at request of department 2/08; Ord. 38-02 § 2 (12.52.040))

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

It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation owning real property within the City of Covington 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 Covington, 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. (Amended at request of department 2/08; Ord. 38-02 § 2 (12.52.050))

12.80.060 Sidewalk – Violation of CMC 12.80.050 deemed misdemeanor.

Each day any sidewalk, or driveway portion thereof, is permitted to remain in a hazardous condition as specified in CMC 12.80.050 shall be considered and shall constitute a separate violation. Violation of CMC 12.80.050 shall constitute a Class II civil infraction which shall be punished according to the provisions of CMC 9.180.005 through 9.180.130. (Ord. 38-02 § 2 (12.52.060))

12.80.070 Exemption from CMC 12.80.040 and 12.80.050 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 CMC 12.80.040 and 12.80.050. Exemptions may be granted by the City based upon standards which shall be established by the Department. (Ord. 38-02 § 2 (12.52.070))

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

(1) Notwithstanding any provision of franchise agreements, street trees planted within the public right-of-way or easements along roads under the jurisdiction of the City of Covington shall not be removed or cut back so as to generally damage the aesthetic quality of the tree. Such trimming, when required by utility 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.

(2) 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. 38-02 § 2 (12.52.080))