Chapter 12.28
SIDEWALK MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR

Sections:

12.28.010    Definitions.

12.28.020    Notification to city of need.

12.28.030    Investigation and report of city superintendent.

12.28.040    City council determination.

12.28.050    Improvement – Hearing.

12.28.060    Maintenance of sidewalks – Responsibility.

12.28.070    Sidewalks to be kept clear of snow and ice.

12.28.080    Placing of snow and ice on main-traveled portion of street prohibited.

12.28.090    Maintenance of planting strips.

12.28.100    Maintenance of transition strips.

12.28.110    Repair of damage.

12.28.120    Liability of property owner.

12.28.130    Violation – Penalty.

12.28.010 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, certain words and terms used in this chapter are defined as set forth in this section:

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

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

C. “Reconstruction” means the removal and disposal of broken, cracked, raised or sunken portions of the sidewalk, 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.

D. “Repair” means the removal and/or patching of small damaged portions of sidewalks, retaining walls and rockeries lying within the right-of-way, and planting strips and transition strips with like materials, each such damaged portions not exceeding 360 square inches in area. Damaged portions exceeding 360 square inches in area shall be classified as reconstruction.

E. “Sidewalk” means all hard-surfaced walkways within city right-of-way and does not include curbs or gutters.

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

G. “Transition strip” means that portion of the right-of-way between the outside of the sidewalk and the abutting property line; or, where no sidewalk exists, 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. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.020 Notification to city of need.

Either an abutting property owner or sidewalk user may notify the city in writing of a need in his/her opinion to maintain, repair or reconstruct sidewalks. The notification shall include all of the circumstances leading the reporting party to believe that such a state of disrepair as to constitute a hazard to reasonably careful sidewalk users and any specific types of corrective action requested of the city. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.030 Investigation and report of city superintendent.

Within 30 days after written notification of a need to maintain, repair or reconstruct a sidewalk is submitted to the city, the city superintendent shall conduct as thorough an investigation of the circumstances as time and available resources permit including pictures of the sidewalk in question and interviews of the notifying party and any other persons knowledgeable about the nature and extent of use normally imposed on the area of the sidewalk in question. When the investigation is completed to his/her satisfaction, the city superintendent shall forward a written report of all findings and recommendations to the city clerk for placement upon the next available regular meeting agenda of the city council. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.040 City council determination.

A. When the question of need to maintain, repair or reconstruct sidewalks is presented to the city council, the council shall consider the written notification of need, the city superintendent’s report and recommendation, the statements of any persons who may wish to address the subject at the meeting and any other information available to it. After the city council is of the opinion that sufficient information has been provided relative to the need for maintenance, repair or reconstruction, it shall declare whether such a need exists by deciding whether under all the circumstances, as presented and known to the city council, a reasonably cautious man, having the duty to preserve and repair the sidewalks, would consider a particular defect as one whether pedestrians exercising ordinary care for their own safety might nevertheless be injured.

If, upon receiving a report from the city superintendent, the city council deems such construction, reconstruction or repair necessary for the public safety or convenience, it shall, by resolution, order the abutting property owner to perform the necessary construction, reconstruction, or repair. The resolution shall:

1. Specify the time within which the work shall be commenced and completed by the abutting property owner;

2. State that if the improvement is not completed within the time specified that the city will perform and complete the improvement and assess the cost against the abutting property owner;

3. Fix a time from and after its passage, and a place for a public hearing on the resolution;

4. Be published for two consecutive weeks in the official newspaper of the city;

5. Provide that a notice of the date of such public hearing shall be given each owner or reputed owner of property abutting the proposed improvement, as shown on the tax rolls of the county treasurer, by mailing to the owner or reputed owner of the property, at the address shown thereon, a notice of the date of hearing, such mailing shall be made at least 10 days before the date fixed for such hearing.

B. Proof of publication of the resolution and the mailing of the notices to abutting property owners shall be filed with the city clerk prior to the hearing on the proposed improvement. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.050 Improvement – Hearing.

A. At the time of hearing, the council shall hear persons appearing for or against the improvement, and shall determine whether it will or will not proceed with the improvement, whether it will make any changes in the original plan, and what the changes will be. This action may be taken by motion adopted in the usual manner; provided, however, that the hearing may be postponed from time to time to a definite date until the hearing is held.

B. The city shall take any steps prescribed by the city council to implement its decision within a reasonable time, including, without limitation, negotiation of the terms of any sidewalk maintenance, repair or reconstruction agreement to be submitted to the city council for its approval or the initiation, if necessary, of procedures required for mandatory assessments of abutting property pursuant to Chapter 35.68, 35.69 or 35.70 RCW incorporated in this chapter by this reference of which three copies have been on file with the city clerk for public examination. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.060 Maintenance of sidewalks – Responsibility.

It shall be the duty of the person having charge or control of any property abutting a sidewalk within the city to keep the walk or walks along the property in the street or streets adjacent thereto in a clean condition. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.070 Sidewalks to be kept clear of snow and ice.

All persons occupying property on any and all streets within the corporate limits where sidewalks are laid, are required to keep them clear from snow and ice; provided, that in cases of vacant lots the owner thereof shall cause the sidewalks in front of the lots to be cleared as herein provided. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.080 Placing of snow and ice on main-traveled portion of street prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, whether an owner or occupier of property or otherwise within the corporate limits, to remove accumulations of snow and or ice from any private commercial property, including the parking lots or facilities of any commercial operation or apartment building or any other privately owned or operated off-street parking facility of whatever kind or nature, onto the main-traveled portion of any street or alley within the city, nor shall the city use the abutting sidewalks or property for snow removal without permission. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.090 Maintenance of planting strips.

It shall be the responsibility and duty of the abutting property owner to maintain, repair and reconstruct adjacent planting strips in an attractive and safe manner. Planting strips shall be maintained, repaired or reconstructed with an approved material and free of vegetation which tends to impair the utilization 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 person using the sidewalk or street or crossing the strip going to or from a vehicle. 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, spraying, fertilizing, watering and trimming. Approval shall be obtained from the city superintendent prior to the installation of materials within the planting strip. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.100 Maintenance of 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 materials shall be contained within the planting strip so as not to be a hazard to the person using the sidewalk or street. Living vegetation shall be maintained by weeding, spraying, fertilizing, watering and trimming. The abutting property owner shall maintain, repair and reconstruct rockeries and retaining walls within the transition strip. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.110 Repair of damage.

A. In the event that maintenance, repair or reconstruction of sidewalks or planting strips is necessitated as a direct or proximate result of an act or omission of the abutting owner or owners, any damage, including the upheaval of the sidewalks by tree roots or other vegetation planted by the owners or their predecessors in interest, or the driving of heavy equipment over and upon them, shall be remedied, or repaired or reconstructed solely at the cost of the abutting owner or owners causing or allowing the damage to occur.

B. In the event that maintenance, repair or reconstruction is made necessary by an act or omission of any third party, either the city or the abutting property owner shall have the right to institute a civil action against the third party for all costs incurred and attendant to such reconstruction and/repair. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.120 Liability of property owner.

In the event of any injury or damage to any person and/or property proximately caused by the defective, dangerous or hazardous condition of any sidewalk, or by the presence or accumulation of ice or snow thereon, or by lack of proper guards or railings on or along the property abutting on any public way, 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 fees, which the city may be required to pay or incur to any person injured or property damaged as aforesaid. (Ord. 840, 1995).

12.28.130 Violation – Penalty.

Failure of the abutting property owner to maintain, repair or reconstruct adjacent sidewalks, planting strips and transition strips as required by this chapter is declared a public nuisance. Any abutting property owner failing to abate the nuisance within 60 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 as a separate violation. (Ord. 840, 1995).