How long homeowners and businesses have to remove snow from sidewalks

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Following the winter storm, some sidewalks and driveways still haven’t been shoveled; however, a Colorado Springs city ordinance says you have to do it.

The rules vary for homeowners, renters, and businesses. FOX21 spoke with city code enforcement about who should be making sure walkways are shoveled and what happens if they don’t.

“It’s hit or miss. I would say about 75 percent are cleared,” said Jessica Roma.

She lives in a neighborhood near downtown where she spends a lot of time walking her dog Zoey and whether or not someone shovels their sidewalk affects the safety of their stroll.

“It definitely steers where we walk.” Roma said, “Hopefully I won’t fall because she runs because she doesn’t like the snow on her feet so I’m quickly like ‘Eeeh!’ behind her.”

The city code requires homeowners to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours of the last snowfall.

Mitch Hammes, Colorado Springs Neighborhood Services Manager said, “It is a slip and fall issue for them if they do slip and fall on the sidewalk. It’s not a good situation. We also have young school kids that are moving back and forth across the sidewalk. It’s just a good neighborly thing to do.”

When it comes to apartments, managers are responsible for clearing common areas of the complex. But for rental homes, it’s a civil matter between the tenant and renter which should be made clear in the leasing agreement.

In that case, who is liable for an injury depends on the circumstances.

Colorado Springs code enforcement says businesses have until 5 p.m. the day following the last snowfall to get it removed.

If someone does slip and fall on your property, you are liable but if you see a sidewalk isn’t getting cleared, call the city’s code enforcement department to make a report.

“We’ll go out we’ll try to knock on the door, talk to people,” said Hammes. “If they are not home we leave a nice courtesy door hanger just letting them know why it’s important to remove it.”

While the code does have punitive measures, Mitch says educating people is most effective. That way Roma and Zoey and anyone else who uses the sidewalk doesn’t have to worry about potentially cold paws or even worse, getting hurt.

If you have neighbors who are elderly or perhaps disabled or anyone who might have difficulty removing their snow, Hammes also says it might be nice to get out and give them a hand.

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