Chapter 12.12
PUBLIC SIDEWALKS, PLANTING STRIPS AND TRANSITION STRIPS

Sections:

12.12.005    Purpose.

12.12.010    Definitions.

12.12.020    Public works standard details and policies.

12.12.030    Sidewalks and walkways – Required for new developments.

12.12.040    Sidewalks and walkways – Maintenance.

12.12.050    Responsibility and duty to maintain and reconstruct planting strips.

12.12.060    Procedures and methods for repair and/or reconstruction – Apportionment of costs.

12.12.070    Civil action by city.

12.12.080    Enforcement responsibility.

12.12.090    Violation – Penalty.

12.12.005 Purpose.

The purpose of this section is to regulate and promote the development of sidewalks, planting strips and transition strips and to avoid or abate public nuisances through the construction of facilities designed to provide safe passage of pedestrians. (Ord. 2045 § 3, 1995)

12.12.010 Definitions.

A. “Pathway” means that portion of a transition strip occupied by a temporary facility to be used for pedestrian traffic until such time as permanent sidewalks are constructed.

B. “Planting strips” means those portions of a transition strip not occupied by a sidewalk or pathway.

C. “Sidewalk” means that portion of a transition strip improved for pedestrian traffic in accordance with standards fixed by the department of public works.

D. “Transition strip” means that portion of the public street abutting a tract of land lying between the traveled portion of the street and the property lines. (Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)

12.12.020 Public works standard details and policies.

The director shall adopt standard details and policies to further the purposes of applicable Lynnwood Municipal Code chapters. The director is authorized to make changes to the standard details and policies in order to better implement the standards and policies and as needed to stay current with changing design and construction technology and methods. The State of Washington Department of Transportation Standard Specifications, State of Washington Department of Ecology Criteria for Sewage Works Design, American Water Works Association Standards, American Public Works Association (APWA) Greenbook Standard Specifications and APWA Standard Plans for Public Works Construction are adopted by reference.

The details and policies shall include:

A. Details illustrating the minimum requirements for utility and infrastructure installation;

B. The policies concerning installation and maintenance of private and public utilities.

In the case of conflicting standards, the director will determine which standard shall govern. (Ord. 2726 § 24, 2008; Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)

12.12.030 Sidewalks and walkways – Required for new developments.

A. Sidewalks and full street improvements along adjacent right-of-way shall be provided as part of the general development plans of all plats and short plats, segregations and building permits except minor reconstruction or alteration. For building permits involving minor reconstruction or alteration, a walkway to the design standards of the department of public works shall be provided.

B. The design standards for the required sidewalks and/or walkways shall be prescribed by the public works director, taking into account existing and proposed pedestrian facilities within the immediate vicinity, and the availability of technical data for the establishment of permanent improvements, provided, where local conditions of surrounding developments, topography or other relevant factors warrant a delay in construction of permanent sidewalks in the opinion of the director of public works, a pathway or walkway may be established in lieu thereof.

C. For the purpose of this chapter, “minor reconstruction or alteration” is defined as building or site improvement within any 60-month period that does not result in a cumulative increase of the total floor area of a building or buildings on a site by more than 25 percent and the cumulative valuation of the improvements during that period is less than twice the estimated cost of the sidewalk installation. Properties for which the cost of sidewalk installation exceeds one-tenth the total assessed valuation of the property and structures according to the most current records of the Snohomish County assessor’s office shall be exempt from permanent sidewalk installation. The estimated cost of sidewalk installation for the purpose of this comparison shall be based upon submitted bids and subject to review and acceptance by the public works director.

D. In all cases where a permanent sidewalk is not provided and a walkway is established in lieu thereof, a bond or other reasonable equivalent guarantee that full permanent sidewalks and full street improvements to the public right-of-way would be installed at the expense of the applicant or assigns shall be provided. (Ord. 1387 § 1, 1983; Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)

12.12.040 Sidewalks and walkways – Maintenance.

Sidewalks and/or walkways shall be maintained by the abutting property owner, free and clear of ice and snow, all vegetation, and free of all materials which are not a part of surfacing material fixed by the construction design standards of the department of public works. (Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)

12.12.050 Responsibility and duty to maintain and reconstruct planting strips.

Planting strips shall be improved by the abutting property owners with living or nonliving materials. Nonliving materials shall be placed within the planting strip so as to be contained therein and to not become a hazard to the persons using the sidewalk, street or pathway adjacent thereto. Vegetation placed within the planting strip shall be maintained by weeding, spraying, fertilizing, watering and draining so as to not encroach upon the sidewalk and/or walkway. Planting areas shall be maintained free and clear of debris not an integral part of the improvement of the planting strip.

Whenever a portion of a transition strip is occupied by a rockery, the abutting property owner shall maintain, repair and reconstruct all rockeries and retaining walls which have a height of less than six feet as measured from the base of the retaining wall averaged from property line to property line. (Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)

12.12.060 Procedures and methods for repair and/or reconstruction – Apportionment of costs.

With respect to repair and/or reconstruction of sidewalks, the city shall participate in the cost of the reconstruction on the following basis:

A. Sidewalks requiring reconstruction within five years from the date of acceptance of completion of the construction work by the city of Lynnwood shall be reconstructed without cost to abutting property owners.

B. Sidewalks in need of reconstruction more than five years after the date of acceptance of completion of the construction by the city of Lynnwood, but less than 10 years after said date, shall be reconstructed on the basis of 50 percent contribution by the city and 50 percent contribution by the abutting property owners.

C. Sidewalks in need of reconstruction more than 10 years after the acceptance of the construction by the city shall be reconstructed solely at the cost of the abutting property owners.

Provided, however, in the event that the reconstruction referred to in any of the subsections of this section is necessitated as a direct or proximate result of an act or omission of the abutting owner or owners, said acts to include but not be limited to the upheaval of the sidewalks by tree roots or other vegetation and the driving of heavy equipment over and upon the sidewalk by an owner or one acting in behalf of the owner, the sidewalk shall be repaired or reconstructed in the manner provided in this section solely at the cost of the owner of the properties abutting the sidewalk. (Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)

12.12.070 Civil action by city.

In the event any such reconstruction or repair within a transition strip is made necessary by an act or omission of any third party, the city shall have the right to institute a civil action against the third party for all costs incurred and attendant to such reconstruction and/or repair. (Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)

12.12.080 Enforcement responsibility.

Whenever a violation of the requirements of this chapter is brought to the attention of the city of Lynnwood, the matter shall be referred to the department of public works. A written notice describing the infraction shall be mailed to the address of the party paying the real estate taxes on the abutting property, requiring correction within a reasonable time to be established by the notice. In the event that the infraction is not corrected within the time specified in the notice, the director of public works or his designee shall either:

A. Cause the work necessary to correct the infraction to be done and file a lien against the benefited property for all costs incurred by the city, including experts’ fees, attorneys’ fees and overhead reasonably incurred by the city; if such lien is not paid within 30 days thereafter the city may enforce the same in the manner of mechanics’ liens; or

B. Cause an action to be commenced in the superior court requesting an order by the court directing the responsible parties to perform the work necessary to correct the infraction. In such event, the court may award to the city a judgment for all costs incurred by the city due to such infraction, temporary or permanent repairs, plus attorney’s fees reasonably incurred in bringing such action;

C. Provided, whenever the alleged infraction is a failure to construct, reconstruct, or repair an improvement within the definition of RCW 35.68.010, the department of public works shall inform the city council of such alleged infraction in order to institute action pursuant to Chapter 35.68 RCW. (Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)

12.12.090 Violation – Penalty.

Failure of the abutting property owner to maintain, repair or reconstruct adjacent sidewalks, planting strips and transition strips in accordance with this chapter is declared a public nuisance. Any abutting property owner failing to abate the nuisance within 45 days of notice of the same shall be subject to a fine of up to $250.00 for each offense. The court hearing violations of this chapter may consider each day the abutting owner fails to abate such a nuisance after notice to be a separate violation. (Ord. 1197 § 1, 1981)