Courtesy letters were recently sent to businesses from Center to Moonlight regarding clearing sidewalks of snow and debris.
“These were courtesy letters to help educate first rather than enforce and penalize anyone,” said Daneeka Marshall-Oquendo, public information officer. The letters refer to Ordinance 12.40.030 with regard to obstructing sidewalks with snow, debris or vehicles.
“While we do understand that there is a pandemic occurring, it is still the city’s responsibility to respond to complaints to protect the health and safety of the community and ask our property owners to do the same,” she said.
Due to COVID-19, Governor Laura Kelly issued a stay-at-home order in March and requested all but “essential” businesses close.
“After connecting with our Codes Compliance Officer,” Marshall-Oquendo said, “I was informed that the city received a legitimate complaint from a member of the community. In response, she sent out two types of letters. One was sent directly to the property owners with snow and ice on their sidewalk, and the other was sent to every address on Main Street, from Center to Moonlight.”
The letters are dated April 5, 2020, and according to 12.40.020, If any owner or occupant of any lot or lots shall refuse or neglect to clean or remove from the entire width of the public sidewalks abutting the lot or lots all snow and ice within the time specified, after a second offense the city can remove the snow and ice and the cost assessed against the owner.
According to Ordinance 12.40.030, “Any person who shall leave or allow to be left any obstructions, including vehicles, that prohibit the use of sidewalks by the public or other public ways of this city longer than is necessary for loading or unloading shall be in violation of this code.”
The penalty for violation, if found guilty, is $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $75 for any subsequent offense.