City of Plattsburgh, NY
Clinton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted by L.L. No. 11-2007; amended in its entirety 1-25-2018 by L.L. No. 1-2018 (Ch. 233, Art. V, of the 1989 Code)]
The purpose of this article is to impose a duty on the owner of real property to remove or clear snow or ice from public sidewalks adjacent to the owner's property. When a property owner fails to comply with the requirements of this article, the sections below provide a procedure for the City to remove snow or ice and recover the cost from the property owner. In addition, the City may impose a fine and pursue other enforcement mechanisms. This article is also designed to secure safety and promote the public health and welfare and convenience of access for all pedestrians and residents in the City and is adopted, in part, pursuant to the authority of § 20(24) of the General City Law and is therefore to be characterized as a "local zoning law" for purposes of authorizing service of process under Criminal Procedure Law § 150.40.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OWNER
The person identified as the owner of the premises on the real property tax records maintained by the Assessor of the City of Plattsburgh.
PUBLIC SIDEWALK
Refers to the sidewalk lying parallel to a City street and beyond the edge of the pavement of such street, whether located on private or public property, including intersecting sidewalks at street corners and mid-block crosswalks.
REMOVE or CLEAR
To remove or clear dry or loose snow, or where not possible, to remove snow and ice with a hand operated snow removal device. When, due to weather conditions, it is not possible to remove snow or ice with a hand operated snow removal device, the sidewalk must be covered in sufficient quantity by a substance to prevent slippery conditions and insure safe passage by pedestrians.
SIDEWALK MEDIAN
A strip of land lying between the edge of the sidewalk nearest the street and the edge of the street pavement.
SNOW OR ICE EVENT
A weather event, which includes snow, sleet, frozen rain, blowing snow, hail or other precipitation, as publicly declared by a designated City official. The City's activation of the parking-ban lights will be presumably, but not in all cases, provide additional public notice of a "snow or ice event."
It shall be the duty of the owner of a developed or vacant lot that adjoins a public sidewalk to remove or clear snow and ice from such public sidewalk within 24 hours after the end of a snow or ice event, as publicly declared by a designated City official. Except as provided herein, the entire width of the sidewalk shall be cleared, edge to edge, creating conditions that allow safe pedestrian travel and preventing any accumulation of ice and/or snow, or impenetrable ice/snow that is not treated to prevent slipping.
A. 
Where there is no sidewalk median, and the City plows deposit snow on a sidewalk with an average depth (along the length of the sidewalk) of more than 12 inches as a result of plowing the streets, the owner is exempt from removing such snow. The City will be responsible for removing the snow but the owner shall resume responsibility for proper sidewalk maintenance after its removal.
B. 
When, due to weather conditions, it is not possible to remove snow or ice with a hand operated snow removal device, the sidewalk must be covered in sufficient quantity by a substance to prevent slippery conditions and ensure safe passage by pedestrians.
C. 
The exception for snow removal as set forth above shall not relieve an owner of liability for injuries to pedestrians using such sidewalk.
D. 
24 hours after a publicly declared snow or ice event will trigger the duty to remove snow.
The property owner has the sole legal obligation to remove snow and/or ice. If this duty is not performed, the property owner is liable for charges imposed by the City for removal of snow and/or ice. The property owner is not exempt from this duty, regardless of any agreement between property owner and occupant that assigns this responsibility to the occupant.
No person shall deposit snow from his property or a public sidewalk adjacent to his property, on a City street, or the property of another person. In addition, the owner of the property from which the snow is removed may be found liable for the acts of his or her employees, agents or contractors, who violate this section.
A. 
If an owner fails to remove snow and/or ice within 24 hours after the public announcement of the end of a snow or ice event, and is not otherwise exempt from removal as set forth above, City employees or City designated independent contractors may, in his or her discretion, cause said snow and/or ice to be removed or cleared from said sidewalk, or treated as the situation may require, and the cost of which shall be charged to the owner of the property adjacent thereto, and, if unpaid within the time prescribed, shall be added to the tax bill assessing said property, which shall be and remain a lien against the property upon or adjacent to which the work is done and collected by the City from the owner of such property in the same manner as taxes are collected.
B. 
City employees, or City designated independent contractors, shall not be required to provide any additional notice to the property owner of their duty to remove, clear and/or treat the snow and/or ice prior to causing said removal or treatment of the adjacent sidewalk. However, upon removing or treating the snow and/or ice from the sidewalk, the City shall cause an invoice notice to be conspicuously posted on the property and shall send a copy of the Invoice Notice to the owner via first class mail to the property owner's address as listed on the City's real property tax records. The City employee, or City designated independent contractor shall maintain reasonable records of their work performed under this section.
C. 
Invoices for snow removal/treatment shall be due and payable in full within 30 days of the date of the invoice, and if not paid when due shall bear interest at 12% per annum until paid in full. Any such invoice that is past due may be levied against the owner's property in the same manner as unpaid sewer and water charges.
D. 
The Common Council by resolution shall adopt a schedule of charges for snow removal, which shall include the cost of labor, equipment, administrative time, and expenses.
E. 
If an owner disputes an invoice notice for snow removal, based on a claimed factual error or administrative error, said owner may, within 30 days of the date of the invoice notice, send a written appeal to the Superintendent for the Department of Public Works who, upon receipt of said appeal, shall within 14 days, respond in writing. The Superintendent's response to such an appeal shall apply a written policy and standards for appeal and potential waiver of charges as developed by the Superintendent for the Department of Public Works and approved by the Common Council.
F. 
If an owner disputes an Invoice Notice, because of age, infirmity, disability, or other reason not based on a factual error or administrative error, said owner may, within 30 days of the date of the Invoice Notice, send a written appeal to the Public Safety Committee of the Common Council who, upon receipt of said appeal, shall, within 14 days, respond in writing. The Public Safety Committee's response to such an appeal shall apply a written policy and standards for appeal and waiver of charges as developed by the Committee and approved by the Common Council.
A. 
In addition to the snow removal charges, as set forth in § 295-44, any owner or person who violates §§ 295-40 and 295-43 of this article shall be guilty of a violation of the Code of the City of Plattsburgh, and upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine.
B. 
The Housing Code Inspector, officer of the City Police Department, or parking enforcement officer, as defined in § 340-2 of the Code, shall have authority to inspect and report violations of §§ 295-40 and 295-43 of this chapter and shall send notice of the violation and fine to the person or owner on record per the Assessor's files, at the address as on record per the Assessor's files, by registered or certified mail service. Within 14 days from receipt of such notice, the person or owner may pay or cause to be paid to the City of Plattsburgh, through the Code Enforcement Office, as a penalty for and in full satisfaction of such violation the monetary sum as indicated by the notice of fine and violation. Such penalty shall be in addition to the cost of removal and administrative fee as set forth in § 295-44. The failure of the person or owner to make such fine payment may result in the issuance of an appearance ticket in Plattsburgh City Court, and upon conviction therein, the person or owner shall be guilty of violating the Code of the City of Plattsburgh and shall be subject to a fine.
[Amended 5-31-2018 by L.L. No. 4-2018]
C. 
If, before an appearance ticket is issued, because of a claimed factual error or administrative error, a person or owner who disputes a notice of violation and fine, may, within 14 days from the receipt of such notice of violation and fine, send a written appeal to the Code Enforcement Office on notice to the Housing Code Inspector, who, upon receipt of said appeal, shall, within 14 days, respond in writing. The Housing Code Inspector's response to an appeal shall apply a written policy and standards for appeal and waiver of fines and violation as developed by the Housing Code Inspector and approved by the Common Council.
D. 
If an owner disputes a notice of violation, because of age, infirmity, disability, or other reason not based on a factual error or administrative error, said owner may, within 14 days of the date of the notice of violation, send a written appeal to the Public Safety Committee of the Common Council who, upon receipt of said appeal, shall within 14 days, respond in writing. The Public Safety Committee's response to such an appeal shall apply a written policy and standards for appeal and waiver of charges as developed by the Committee and approved by the Common Council.
E. 
The Common Council shall by resolution adopt a fine structure for violations of §§ 295-40 and 295-43 of this article.
F. 
Because this article is adopted, in part, pursuant to the authority of § 20(24) of the General City Law, it is to be characterized as a "local zoning law" for purposes of authorizing service of process of any appearance ticket under Criminal Procedure Law § 150.40(2).