Build-A-Story: Who's not clearing their sidewalks?
It's the law, and it's the right thing to do: In most Washington area jurisdictions, you're required to clear the sidewalks on your property in short order after a snow storm. Yet as anyone who headed out to work this morning discovered, far too many of our neighbors have fallen down on their obligation.
So, come ahead and tell us about the businesses that still haven't done the right thing. On my own walk to work, it was mostly banks and public institutions--WMATA being the most galling offender, with totally iced over sidewalks right outside a D.C. Metro station, but schools also being bad scofflaws--that have failed to get the shovels going.
We want your stories and your pictures--photographic evidence tells the story best. Email your photos and detailed accounts of who hasn't cleared the snow to firstname.lastname@example.org
By the way, here's the law in most of our major jurisdictions: The District requires all property owners--businesses and residents alike--to have the sidewalks clear within eight hours of the end of the snow event. That means everything should have been cleared by Sunday morning. In Montgomery County, business owners and owners of multi-family dwellings must clear sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of snowfall or face a $50 citation; single-family homeowners are not subject to the fine. In Prince George's County, the fine is higher--$100--but the timeline is more lenient, 48 hours after snowfall, which means property owners have til this evening to get their acts together (and the law in the county covers all property owners, including homeowners.)
In Virginia, as you might expect, the state doesn't nanny your snow shoveling activities. Fairfax County urges homeowners to shovel their walks, but there's no legal obligation to do so.
Thanks very much and happy shoveling.
| December 21, 2009; 10:52 AM ET
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