Chapter 9.20
SIDEWALK CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE

Sections:

9.20.010    Definitions.

9.20.020    Construction or reconstruction of sidewalk – Abutting property – Expenses chargeable.

9.20.030    Notice of work to be done – Assessment procedures.

9.20.040    Abutting property owner.

9.20.050    Responsibility and duty to repair, maintain and reconstruct sidewalk.

9.20.060    Responsibility and duty to maintain, repair and reconstruct planting strips.

9.20.070    Responsibility and duty to maintain, repair and reconstruct transition strips.

9.20.080    Procedures and methods for maintenance, repair, and/or reconstruction – Apportionment of costs.

9.20.090    Enforcement responsibility.

9.20.100    Hazardous conditions on public street right-of-way.

9.20.010 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and terms used are defined as set forth below:

A. “Concrete curbs and gutters” means that portion of the roadway edge constructed to city standards.

B. “Maintenance” means the removal and disposal of debris, litter and vegetation which tends to impair the utilization of the right-of-way for public purposes and the removal of ice and snow from sidewalks.

C. “Planting strip” means that portion of the right-of-way between the outside of the curb and the inside of the sidewalk.

D. “Reconstruction” means the removal and disposal of broken, cracked, raised or sunken portions of the sidewalk, or broken, cracked or dislodged portions of retaining walls and rockeries lying within the right-of-way, and replacement of the removed sections with materials to match the portion on either side of the removed section in accordance with city standards.

E. “Repair” means the removal and/or patching of small damaged portions of sidewalks, retaining walls or rockeries lying within the right-of-way, and planting strips and transition strips with like materials, each such damaged portions not exceeding one hundred fifty square inches in area shall be classified as reconstruction.

F. “Sidewalk” means all pedestrian structures or forms of improvement for pedestrians included in the space between the street margin, as defined by a curb on the edge of the traveled road surface, and the line where the public right-of-way meets the abutting property.

G. “Street” means street, boulevard, lane, avenue, way, alley, square, road, drive, place or public walkway.

H. “Transition strip” means that portion of the right-of-way between the outside of the curb and the property line; or where no curb or sidewalk exists, that portion of the right-of-way between the edge of the roadside ditch or the shoulder of the road, whichever is closer to the abutting property line, and the abutting property line. [Ord. 4085 § 1 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 3101 § 1, 1996].

9.20.020 Construction or reconstruction of sidewalk – Abutting property – Expenses chargeable.

The duty, burden, and expense of constructing or repairing a sidewalk shall be upon the property owner directly abutting the sidewalk zone: When a portion of any city street, not longer than one block in length, is not improved by the construction of a sidewalk thereon, or the sidewalk thereon has become unfit or unsafe for the purposes of public travel, or no longer functions as a stormwater facility as designed, and such street, adjacent to both ends of said portion, is in good repair and the city council of the city finds, by resolution, that the improvement of such portion of such street by the construction or reconstruction or repair of a sidewalk thereon is necessary for the public’s safety, convenience, and/or stormwater management obligation, pursuant to the procedures outlined below in ECC 9.20.030; provided, that such abutting property shall not be charged:

A. With any costs of construction, reconstruction or repair under this chapter in excess of 50 percent of the valuation of such abutting property, exclusive of improvements thereon, according to the valuation last placed upon it for the purposes of general taxation; or

B. With costs of reconstruction required to correct deterioration or damage to the sidewalk that is the direct result of actions by the city or its agents or to correct deterioration of or damage to the sidewalk that is the direct result of the failure of the city to enforce its ordinances. [Ord. 4085 § 2 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 3101 § 1, 1996].

9.20.030 Notice of work to be done – Assessment procedures.

A. Resolution of Intent. Whenever the city council of the city wishes to devolve the duty and/or burden and/or expense of constructing, reconstructing, or repairing a sidewalk, the city attorney, along with the city engineer, shall prepare a resolution of such intent. The resolution shall include a preliminary assessment roll identifying the abutting property owners who may be asked to complete and/or be assessed for the cost of said construction, reconstruction, or repairs. The resolution shall state whether the abutting property owner is to bear the cost of all or a specific portion of this work. The resolution shall also specify if the owners have the option to complete the work and the amount of time that the property owners shall have to make the repairs themselves if they chose to do so. The resolution shall also set forth a specific time and date for a public hearing on the resolution.

B. Publication and Mailing of Resolution (Final). The city clerk shall publish the resolution for two consecutive weeks and mail copies of the resolution, preliminary assessment roll, and hearing notices to all abutting property owners affected by the resolution at least 10 days in advance of the hearing. The city clerk shall generate an affidavit specifying the city clerk’s compliance with the afore-referenced publication of the resolution and mailing of hearing notices, assessment roll, and resolution to abutting owners.

C. Public Hearing. At the scheduled public hearing, the city council should weigh the resolution in light of citizen comments and consider any appropriate changes in the resolution. Property owners may assert as a defense on limitation an assessment the defenses and/or limitations set forth in ECC 9.20.030(A) and (B) and shall have the burden of establishing such defense and/or limitation by substantial and competent evidence. Any changes to the resolution must be effected by passage of a motion.

D. Construction, Reconstruction, Repair of Sidewalks by Abutting Property Owners. If as a result of the hearing, the city council determines to proceed with the improvement(s), the affected abutting property owners shall be notified that they will have up to the time specified in the resolution to complete the repairs. Such notice shall state that in case such owner shall fail to make said construction and/or reconstruction and/or repair within such time, the city will proceed to make the same through its community services director, and that said community services director will report to the city council, at a subsequent date to be definitely stated in said notice, and that an amended assessment roll showing the lot or parcel of land directly abutting on such portion of such street so improved by the director, the cost of such improvement, and the name of the owner, if known, and that said city council of the city at the time stated in said notice or at the time or times to which the same may be adjourned shall meet to hear any and all protests against the proposed assessment.

E. Second Survey and Report to City Council. Upon the expiration of the time fixed within which the owner is required to construct, to reconstruct, or repair such sidewalk, the city engineer shall determine which property owners have made the necessary repairs, and shall remove their names from the preliminary assessment roll. If the owner has failed to perform such work, the city may proceed to perform such work, and the community services director of the city performing such work shall, within the time fixed in this notice, report to the said city council an assessment roll showing the lot or parcel of land directly abutting such portion of such street so improved, the cost of such work, and the name of the owner, if known.

F. Creation of Sidewalk Construction Fund. The city attorney, along with the city engineer, may prepare an ordinance creating a sidewalk construction fund to complete the construction, reconstruction, or repairs not undertaken by the abutting property owners pursuant to the resolution. The ordinance shall include the amended preliminary assessment roll as an attachment.

G. Construction. Reconstruction or Repair of Remaining Sidewalks. The city engineer will then call for bids to make repairs to the remaining sidewalks. The city council shall award a contract for the remainder of the repairs and upon completion of the repairs the city engineer shall prepare the final assessment roll and submit the same to the city council.

H. Assessments Imposed. The city council of the city shall pass a resolution fixing a date for hearing upon the final assessment roll.

The resolution shall assess the cost of such improvement against each abutting property owner and shall fix the time and manner for payment thereof, which said assessment shall become a lien upon said property, and shall be collected in the manner as is provided by law for collection of special assessments under Chapters 35.68, 35.69, and 35.70 RCW.

The city clerk shall publish the resolution for two consecutive weeks and mail copies of the resolution, preliminary assessment roll, and hearing notices to all abutting property owners affected by the resolution at least 10 days in advance of the hearing. The city clerk shall generate an affidavit specifying the city clerk’s compliance with the afore-referenced publication of the resolution and mailing of hearing notices, assessment roll and resolution to abutting owners. The city council shall either affirm, modify or reject the final assessment roll after said public hearing. [Ord. 3101 § 1, 1996].

9.20.040 Abutting property owner.

A. For the purposes of this chapter, all property having a frontage upon the side or margins of any street shall be deemed to be abutting property, and such property shall be chargeable, as provided by this chapter, for all costs of construction or reconstruction or any form of sidewalk improvement between the margin of said street and the roadway lying in front of and adjacent to said property.

B. Whenever any public right-of-way in the city shall have been improved by the construction of a sidewalk along either side thereof, the duty and expense of the inspection, maintenance, cleaning, repair and/or renewal of said sidewalk, shall be upon the owner of the directly abutting property when the sidewalk was constructed by a developer, local improvement district, or if it was in place prior to the purchase of the abutting property. When the sidewalk is located more than two feet above or below the abutting property, or if the slope of the property immediately adjacent to the sidewalk exceeds a one-to-one (1:1) ratio, the erection and/or maintenance of suitable barriers along the outer margin of the sidewalk shall be upon the owner of the directly abutting property. If the difference in elevation is the result of a change in street grade occasioned by any city, county or state roadway construction, reconstruction, or improvement project, then in that event said barrier shall be erected or installed as a part of such project and the cost thereof shall be borne by the project. The continued maintenance, cleaning, repair and renewal of said barrier shall be the responsibility of the owner of the directly abutting property. All such repairs shall be made after application for and issuance of a proper right-of-way construction permit therefor, as required by law, and all of such work to be duly inspected and approved by the city engineer or designee. [Ord. 3101 § 1, 1996].

9.20.050 Responsibility and duty to repair, maintain and reconstruct sidewalk.

It shall be the responsibility and duty of the abutting property owner to maintain, repair and reconstruct sidewalks adjacent thereof; provided, however, the city shall maintain, repair and reconstruct sidewalks adjacent to double-fronted lots along the higher classified arterials at the locations set forth on the following Schedule I:

Schedule I

1. The west side of 100th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 3 through 9 of the plat of Sea Crest;

2. The west side of 100th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 14, 15 and 16, plat of Michielli Park;

3. The west side of 100th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 3, 4, 6 and 7, plat of Twin View Estates, Division 2;

4. The east side of 100th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 1 through 7, plat of Twin View Estates, Division A;

5. The west side of 76th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 23 through 32, plat of Dellwood Village;

6. The west side of 76th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 4 through 8, plat of Helen McKinley Park. [Ord. 3116 § 1, 1996; Ord. 3101 § 1, 1996].

9.20.060 Responsibility and duty to maintain, repair and reconstruct planting strips.

It shall be the responsibility of the abutting property owner to maintain, repair and reconstruct adjacent planting strips in an attractive and safe manner, while continuing to provide stormwater management as required. Planting strips shall be maintained, repaired or reconstructed with approved materials that allow for use of the right-of-way for public purposes. Nonliving material shall be level with the top of the curb and the sidewalk and shall be contained within the planting strip so as not to be a hazard to the persons using the sidewalk or street or crossing the planting strip. Living vegetation exclusive of street trees placed in the planting strip shall be of a height that does not interfere with the lawful and safe use of the public right-of-way and shall be maintained by weeding, fertilizing, watering and trimming. Approval shall be obtained from the city engineer prior to the installation of materials within the planting strip. [Ord. 4085 § 3 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 3116 § 2, 1996].

9.20.070 Responsibility and duty to maintain, repair and reconstruct transition strips.

It shall be the responsibility and duty of the abutting property owner to maintain, repair and reconstruct adjacent transition strips in an attractive and safe manner, free of vegetation which tends to impair the utilization of the right-of-way for public purposes. Nonliving material shall be contained within the transition strip so as not to be a hazard to the persons using the sidewalk or street. Living vegetation placed in the transition strip shall be maintained by weeding, fertilizing, watering and trimming. The abutting property owner shall maintain, repair and reconstruct rockeries and retaining walls within the transition strip; provided, however, the city of Edmonds shall repair and reconstruct all rockeries and retaining walls constructed under street projects which exceed an average height of six feet as measured from the base of the retaining wall or rockery; provided, however, the city of Edmonds shall maintain, repair and reconstruct transition strips adjacent to double-fronted lots along the higher classified arterials at the locations set forth on the following Schedule II:

Schedule II

1. The west side of 100th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 3 through 9 of the plat of Sea Crest;

2. The west side of 100th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 14, 15 and 16, plat of Michielli Park;

3. The west side of 100th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 3, 4, 6 and 7, plat of Twin View Estates, Division 2;

4. The east side of 100th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 1 through 7, plat of Twin View Estates, Division A;

5. The west side of 76th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 23 through 32, plat of Dellwood Village;

6. The west side of 76th Avenue West adjacent to Lots 4 through 8, plat of Helen McKinley Park. [Ord. 4085 § 4 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 3116 § 3, 1996].

9.20.080 Procedures and methods for maintenance, repair, and/or reconstruction – Apportionment of costs.

A. Notice. The city may construct, reconstruct or repair sidewalks and pay the costs thereof from any available funds, or the city may require the abutting property owner to construct the sidewalk improvement at his or her own cost or expense or, in the alternative, the city may assess all or any portion thereof against the abutting property owner. In the event the city requests an abutting property owner to undertake or pay for the improvement, it shall follow the procedures for resolution, notice and hearing on such improvements as outlined in Chapter 35.68 RCW.

B. Any person desiring to repair, change or relocate any sidewalk abutting their property shall make application in writing to the community services department of the city. Such application shall contain, among others, the exact location of such proposed change or relocation, the location of any new sidewalk to be laid and the connections and location of other sidewalks upon such street; no change or relocation of any sidewalk shall be made until the issuance of an appropriate permit; provided further, however, that the cost or reconstruction pursuant to ECDC 19.00.010(H) shall be borne solely by the abutting property owner without contribution from the city. [Ord. 3101 § 1, 1996].

9.20.090 Enforcement responsibility.

The city community services director shall be charged with the enforcement of this chapter. [Ord. 3101 § 1, 1996].

9.20.100 Hazardous conditions on public street right-of-way.

It shall be unlawful for the owner and/or any person occupying or having charge or control of any premises abutting upon any public street right-of-way or alley in the city to construct, place, cause, create, maintain, or permit to remain upon any part of said right-of-way located between the curb line, or if there is no curb line, then between the adjacent edge of the traveled portion of such right-of-way and the abutting property line, any condition, structure, or object dangerous or hazardous to the use of said right-of-way by the members of the general public, including but not limited to the following conditions:

A. Defective sidewalk surfaces, including but not limited to broken or cracked cement concrete, stub-toes, depressions within or between sidewalk joints.

B. Defective cement concrete surfaces placed adjacent to the public sidewalk or defects at the juncture between said cement surfaces and said public sidewalks, including stub-toes or depressions at said junction.

C. Defects in sidewalks or public ways caused or contributed to by the roots or trees or similar growth or vegetation located either on private adjoining property or on the parking strip portion of any such street right-of-way.

D. Defective conditions caused by tree limbs, foliage, brush, or grass on or extending over such public sidewalks or rights-of-way or tree roots extending over such public sidewalks or rights-of-way.

E. Defective conditions on the parking strip area between the curb line and the sidewalk or, if there is no curb line, then between the edge of the traveled portion of the street and the sidewalk and between the sidewalk and the abutting property line.

F. Defects resulting from accumulation of ice and snow on public sidewalks or on the right-of-way between the curb line or, if there is no curb line, then between the adjacent edge of the traveled portion of the street roadway and the abutting property line.

G. Defects consisting of foreign matter on the public sidewalks, including but not limited to gravel, oil, grease, or any other foreign subject matter that might cause pedestrians using said sidewalk to fall, stumble, or slip by reason of the existence of such foreign matter.

H. Defective handrails or fences or other similar structures within or immediately adjacent to said right-of-way area.

I. Property Owner Liable. In the event of any injury or damage to any persons and/or property proximately caused by the defective, dangerous or hazardous condition of any sidewalk as hereinbefore specified, or by the presence of accumulation of ice or snow thereon, or by lack of proper guards or railings on or along the property abutting on any public way, then the abutting property owner where such injury or damage occurs shall be liable therefor including liability to the city for all damage, injury, costs, and disbursements including court costs and attorney’s fees, which the city may be required to pay or incur to any person injured or property damaged as aforesaid; provided, no claim shall be paid by the property owner unless by agreement of the parties to such actions or after a judgment is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction; provided further, this chapter shall not be interpreted to require indemnification from the property owner for injury or damage to any persons and/or property which is the result of the sole negligence or fault of the city. [Ord. 3101 § 1, 1996].