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Important Changes to Snow-Clearing Requirements for Sidewalks Take Effect in Cedar Rapids this Winter

Important Changes to Snow-Clearing Requirements for Sidewalks Take Effect in Cedar Rapids this Winter

December 28, 2021

During the winter months, it is important to maintain clear and safe sidewalks and sidewalk ramps in order to ensure that residents can access their sidewalk, bus stop, or routes to businesses. Property owners and private businesses are responsible for their sidewalk and adjacent sidewalk ramps at intersections.

Cedar Rapids Municipal Code was amended in July 2021 to provide new guidelines and additional clarity for property owners:

  • Reduced timeframe for snow clearance.
    After a storm ends, property owners have 24 hours to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice accumulations. This is reduced from the previous 48 hour timeframe in effect last year.

  • New civil citation and formal appeal process.
    If the City receives a report of sidewalks with lingering snow and ice, an inspector may arrive as soon as 48 hours after a snow or ice storm. This is down from 96 hours. If the sidewalk is out of compliance, a new $35 civil citation will be assessed. Previously, there was no citation fee during the inspection process. A formal process is available for residents to appeal the citation. A citation notice will be affixed to the front door of the property.

  • New language.
    The ordinance specifies property owners must clear the entire width of abutting public sidewalks and pedestrian curb ramps.

  • The initial abatement fee is unchanged.
    The abatement fee is unchanged from previous years. If a sidewalk is out of compliance upon inspection, a snow-removal crew will arrive the next day to clear the sidewalk. If the sidewalk remains out of compliance and the City needs to remove snow and/or ice, the initial fee remains $313, subject to the scope of work performed.

  • New volunteer program.
    The City is piloting a snow-removal volunteer program this year. Learn more about Snow Buddies. The program operates on a first come, first-served basis. While the 2021 client application signup is closed at this time, we continue to solicit snow hero volunteers.

Residents who wish to report snow or ice accumulations 24 hours after a snow event may use My CR. Residents may also contact the Solid Waste and Recycling Division directly at 319-286-5897 or Solid-Waste-Recycling@cedar-rapids.org. Be sure to note the address of the property in violation.

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