[Adopted 4-22-1982 (Ch. 233, Art. I, of the 1989 Code)]
The construction, maintenance, repair and replacement of sidewalks and street curbs within the City of Plattsburgh, New York, shall be under the supervision of the Public Works Superintendent of the City of Plattsburgh.
Each parcel of property that is contiguous to a public street or highway shall have a sidewalk and curb along that portion of the property which abuts on a public street, alley or highway, except where there is evidence that such sidewalk or curb is not required for the safety and convenience of the public as determined by the Common Council.
The Public Works Superintendent of the City of Plattsburgh shall determine priorities and schedule replacement of any sidewalk or curb in need of reconstruction. The cost of work performed under this schedule shall be charged to the general tax fund.
Abutting property owners who for reasons of their own, wish to have a sidewalk or curb reconstructed adjoining their premises, may have such work performed by the City upon written request to the Public Works Superintendent. In such cases, the owner will be assessed for 50% of the full cost of the work, and the reconstruction shall be done as soon as possible subject to the City work schedules.
All sidewalk and curb work shall be performed by the City, or the Public Works Department Superintendent may authorize the abutting property owner to do the work. In such cases, where the abutting property owner or his agent is to perform the work, a street opening permit shall first be obtained and all work done and all materials used shall be in accordance with the specifications of the Public Works Department Superintendent. In these cases, the abutting property owner shall pay directly for all costs.
[Amended 8-17-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
The cost to be charged for construction or replacement of sidewalk or curb shall be unit prices as determined annually by the City Planner, or an engineer designated by the Mayor, based on prevailing labor, material and equipment costs or based on current City contract prices.
Whenever sidewalks or curbs are damaged or removed by the City in connection with any of its operations or resulting from the operations of any public utility company or other agency authorized by law to perform work within the street or highway limits, such will be repaired or replaced at no expense to the abutting owner. Sidewalks, curbs and street paving, if damaged or removed by an abutting owner or his agent for repair, replacement or installation of utility services to the property or for any other reason, shall be replaced or repaired at the full expense of the property owner. In cases where a sidewalk of excess width or thickness is required by the owner, the full cost of the excess width or thickness or special construction will be assessed upon the abutting property.
Sidewalks and curbs shall be constructed of portland cement concrete. All construction materials and methods of construction shall conform to the specifications of the Public Works Department Superintendent.
Public sidewalks shall not be covered with asphaltic or any other surfacing materials either at driveways or elsewhere unless use of such material shall be approved by the Common Council.
[Amended 8-17-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
Hereafter, the construction, extension or removal of all curb openings, aprons and driveways within the City rights-of-way shall be in accordance with the specifications and requirements of the City Planner, or an engineer designated by the Mayor. Before commencing any such work, an abutting owner shall obtain a street opening permit. Application for such permit shall be accompanied by plans or a sketch indicating the proposed work and compliance with the applicable design requirements as issued by the Public Works Department Superintendent.
[Amended by L.L. No. 2-2011]
Intent. The intent of this section is to prevent damage to public sidewalks and underground utilities, and insure the safe and unobstructed use of public sidewalks.
Persons responsible. The owner of real property that adjoins a public sidewalk is responsible for removing or trimming trees, hedges and other plantings located on his property that the City of Plattsburgh Building Inspector determines:
Are causing damage to public sidewalks and underground utilities.
Or, overhang public sidewalks and restrict or obstruct pedestrians. For purposes of this subsection, overhanging trees, hedges, or plantings will be presumptively restrictive or obstructive — and therefore subject to trimming or removal — if, in any season, they are less than seven feet above any portion of the sidewalk.
[Amended 5-14-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
Or, obstruct a motor vehicle operator's view of traffic at street intersections or entering or exiting driveways on the owner's property, or adjoining property.
Or, are damaged or diseased and may fall and cause injury to pedestrians or motorists.
City right to remove or trim. The City of Plattsburgh may remove or trim trees, hedges and other plantings on an owner's property and recover the entire cost thereof from the property owner as provided in § 295-17 of this article, or otherwise permitted by law, if the owner fails to act after notice from the City of Plattsburgh.
Notice. The Building Inspector shall give written notice to property owners of trees, shrubs and plantings on their property that require removal or trimming.
Notice may be given personally to the owner, or by certified mail return receipt requested, addressed to the property owner at the name and address listed on the City of Plattsburgh's current real property assessment roll.
[Amended 5-14-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
The notice shall state the reason for requiring removal or trimming and give the location of the tree, shrub or planting.
The notice shall give the owner not less than 30 days' notice to take the required action, unless the condition presents an imminent danger to public safety in which case the notice shall be what is reasonable under the circumstances.
The notice shall advise the property owner that if he fails to take the required action within the time specified in the notice, and a City department or City retained contractor does the work, the owner will be liable to pay the cost of the work.
If the City performs the work, the owner shall be charged for City employee time, equipment use time at then prevailing rental rates for similar equipment, material costs (if any) and an administrative charge equal to 10% of the time, equipment and material charges.
If a City retained contractor performs the work, the owner will be liable to pay or reimburse the City the amount paid to the contractor plus an administrative charge equal to 10% of the amount paid the contractor.
Editor's Note: Original § 233-11, Subsection 4.g, of the 1989 Code, regarding a property owner's right to appeal a notice, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 5-14-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015.
Report to Common Council. By May 31st of each year, the Building Inspector shall file a report with the Common Council that identifies public sidewalks where trees, hedges and other plantings require trimming or removal.
[Amended by L.L. No. 2-2011]
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- MEDIAN STRIP
- The area between the street side edge of a public sidewalk and the curb of a City street, or if there is no curb, the edge of the street pavement.
- STREET LINE INTERSECTION
- The place where the outer edge of the improved surface of a City street intersects the outer edge of the improved surface of an intersecting street.
The City Building Inspector is authorized to issue permits to property owners who wish to plant trees in the median strip adjoining their property. No trees, hedges or shrubs shall be planted in a median strip within 30 feet from a street line intersection.
The City may, at its expense, remove trees and stumps located in median strips if it determines the tree is diseased or damaged, or its roots are causing damage to the public sidewalk or underground utilities, or the tree obstructs the vision of motorists.
New plantings. A property owner shall not plant a tree or shrub more than 30 inches high on his property that is within five feet from the edge of a public sidewalk or City street. Where the property is a corner lot, the property owner may not plant or allow trees, hedges, or shrubs to grow to a height of more than 30 inches in a triangular area where the street line intersection is the apex of the triangle, the two sides are 30 feet in length and the base is a line between the ends of the two sides. This subsection applies to plantings after the effective date of this section; however, trees or shrubs planted prior to the effective date of this section may be required to be trimmed or removed if the there is a violation of the standards of § 295-11B.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to sidewalks and curbings constructed or to be constructed as part of a subdivision plan, but upon acceptance of the public streets of any such subdivision, the provisions of this article shall be applicable.
The replacement or reconstruction of existing street curbings and sidewalks shall be an expense of the City of Plattsburgh only.
The cost of construction or extension of sidewalk and curbs where none previously existed shall be borne 50% by the abutting property owner.
The cost of construction of curb openings, aprons and driveways shall be borne 100% by the owner of the abutting property. The abutting owner shall be responsible for all repairs, resurfacing and maintenance of driveways. Driveway aprons within the City's right-of-way may be repaired by the Public Works Department at the owner's expense and at the owner's request. The Superintendent of Public Works shall schedule the work. The cost to be charged shall be unit prices per square yard, as determined annually by the City Engineer, based on prevailing labor material and equipment costs or based on current contract prices.
The cost of removal of trees and tree stumps on the property of an abutting property owner shall be borne 100% by such owner.
Whenever any sidewalk or curb construction or other street improvement is undertaken by the City with the use of federal or state grant funds, the abutting owners shall not be charged for such work.
Upon completion of any work pursuant to this article for which the owner of the abutting property is wholly or partially responsible, the Public Works Superintendent shall prepare a special assessment of the amount of such charges, including his certificate of the actual costs of the work payable by the abutting property owner, the property in front of which the repairing or other work was performed, the name of the owner of the abutting property as shown by the tax roll of the City of Plattsburgh or, if he a nonresident, the last known address of such owner, and shall deliver the same to the Common Council of the City of Plattsburgh. The Common Council shall approve such special assessments and issue a warrant to the City Chamberlain of the City of Plattsburgh for collection of the same. If the abutting property owner shall fail to pay such charges within 30 days after billing by the City Chamberlain, the City Chamberlain, in the preparation of the notices of general City taxes, shall add such amount to the property assessment, and the same shall be levied, corrected, enforced and collected in the same manner and by the same proceedings, at the same time and under the same penalties, and shall have the same lien upon the property assessed as the general City tax as a part thereof.