Chapter 12.06


12.06.010    Purpose.

12.06.020    Definitions.

12.06.030    Sidewalk construction standards.

12.06.040    Sidewalk maintenance standards.

12.06.050    Duty to reconstruct or repair sidewalks.

12.06.060    Duty to maintain landscaping in public right-of-way.

12.06.070    Exceptions to landscape maintenance duty.

12.06.080    Enforcement.

12.06.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of the city and its citizens by requiring routine sidewalk and landscaping maintenance and preventing visual blight. This chapter establishes public and private responsibilities for maintenance and repair of public sidewalks and landscaping located on public rights-of-way. (Ord. 2010-710 § 2 (Exh. B))

12.06.020 Definitions.

A. “Abutting property” means all property having frontage on any portion of a sidewalk, road or public right-of-way.

B. “Sidewalk” means an improved surface constructed for public use by pedestrians.

C. “Public right-of-way” means a right-of-way held by the city for the benefit of the public.

D. “Road” means a public thoroughfare that provides for the movement of vehicles and/or is the principal means of access to abutting properties. (Ord. 2010-710 § 2 (Exh. B))

12.06.030 Sidewalk construction standards.

All sidewalk improvements, construction, repair, and replacement shall conform to approved city standards. (Ord. 2010-710 § 2 (Exh. B))

12.06.040 Sidewalk maintenance standards.

Sidewalks and adjacent areas shall be maintained by abutting property owners in the following manner:

A. No motorized vehicles, trailers, stockpiled materials or objects shall be parked, placed or stored on the curb, planting strip, or sidewalk.

B. The full width of the sidewalk along the entire length of the abutting property shall be kept clear of snow, ice, dirt, debris, leaf accumulations, and any other obstacles or obstructions that would hinder or interfere with safe and easy pedestrian use.

C. Plant material such as grass or weeds shall be promptly removed from cracks, voids or openings in the sidewalk surface. (Ord. 2010-710 § 2 (Exh. B))

12.06.050 Duty to reconstruct or repair sidewalks.

The city shall be responsible for repairs or reconstruction of sidewalks unless such repair or reconstruction is caused by the neglect or abuse of the abutting property owner, in which case the abutting property owner shall be responsible to pay the costs thereof. Neglect or abuse includes but is not limited to driving or allowing heavy vehicles on the sidewalk. (Ord. 2010-710 § 2 (Exh. B))

12.06.060 Duty to maintain landscaping in public right-of-way.

All landscaped and open space areas in the public right-of-way (i.e., typically between the curb or pavement edge and back of sidewalk) shall be maintained by the abutting property owner and shall be:

A. Kept free of litter, debris, intrusive vegetation, weeds and obstructions.

B. Maintained in a clean, neat, orderly fashion.

C. Maintained consistent with design review board and other approved landscape plans, if applicable.

D. Maintained so that all trees, plants, shrubs and vegetation are continually trimmed and do not intrude into or overhang any portion of (1) the sidewalk to a height of seven feet above the sidewalk surface, and (2) the road to a height of 14 feet above the road surface.

E. Maintained so that trees, plants, shrubs and vegetation are continually trimmed and (1) do not obstruct or obscure any traffic control device, and (2) do not intrude into a three-foot radius around any fire hydrant above a height of six inches from the ground surface. (Ord. 2011-728 §§ 5, 6; Ord. 2010-710 § 2 (Exh. B))

12.06.070 Exceptions to landscape maintenance duty.

A. An abutting property owner may seek an exception to the requirements of MCMC 12.06.060 by making a written request to the public works director. The written request shall contain a concise statement of the exception sought, the reasons therefor, supporting documents and evidence (if any), and the owner’s desired outcome. No exception shall be approved unless written findings and conclusions are made by the director that one or more of the following criteria are satisfied.

1. The applicant will assume landscape maintenance responsibility currently performed by the city that is, in the determination of the director, roughly equivalent in time and cost to maintain.

2. There are special physical circumstances or conditions affecting the abutting property that make landscape maintenance along the adjacent road frontage unsafe, impractical or unreasonable, as determined by the director.

3. The city has no legal authority to require the abutting property owner to maintain the landscaping along the sidewalk, road, or right-of-way.

4. The maintenance of adjacent road, sidewalk or right-of-way frontage represents a changed condition that is solely due to a physical reconfiguration of the road, sidewalk or right-of-way that was beyond the control of the applicant and results in a significant increase in the abutting property owner’s pre-existing maintenance responsibility. “Significant increase” means the additional maintenance becomes a burden on the property owner disproportionate with the pre-existing maintenance responsibility for the property and frontage combined, as determined by the director.

5. Any existing maintenance obligation required under this or other MCMC chapter is first completed to the director’s satisfaction.

B. The director’s decision or any agreement resulting therefrom shall be a covenant running with the abutting property, shall be approved or acknowledged by the abutting property owner, and shall be recorded in the Snohomish County recorder’s office. (Ord. 2010-710 § 2 (Exh. B))

12.06.080 Enforcement.

In the event that an abutting property owner fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter, the city may, at its discretion, take action to correct the problem and recover the costs of doing so using the following procedures:

A. Written notice shall be given to the abutting property owner describing the property involved and the condition to be remedied, requiring property owner within a reasonable time but not less than five days to take such action as may be necessary or as may be specified to correct the condition, and advising that failure to do so will result in adoption of a resolution by the city council requiring immediate correction of the condition.

B. If the condition described in the notice is not corrected within the time limit set by the notice, the city council may adopt a resolution containing the same material provisions as set forth in the notice and may require immediate correction of the condition. If the condition described in the resolution is not corrected within the time limit set by the resolution, the city may take any action required or necessary to correct the condition.

C. If the city takes any corrective action listed above, all costs of such action shall be charged to the abutting property owner identified in the resolution and shall become a lien against the property which may be enforced and foreclosed in the same manner as liens for labor and material. Costs shall include but not be limited to labor and material for performance of the work and any repair, administrative and supervisory time, attorneys’ fees and costs, and disposal fees. If costs are not paid in full within 45 days of billing, a penalty of one percent per month shall be added to the outstanding balance until fully paid. (Ord. 2010-710 § 2 (Exh. B))