Snow Removal Ordinance Rules and Explanation
State and local ordinances inform one about their legal duty to remove snow from their property and the immediate area around it to maintain public safety. Given below are a few state-wise snow removal ordinances. We have included some (not all) local ordinances as well.
Florida has no state or municipal snow removal ordinance.
According to the Illinois (745 ILCS 75/) Snow and Ice Removal Act, the owners or any other occupants of a residential property are required to clear the snow off the sidewalks around their property. This is the public policy of the state. Also, anyone removing the snow or ice will not be held responsible for any damages caused when doing this unless the damage was intentional.
According to Section 2 of this Act, no owner, property agent, or any other person responsible for the residential property will be held liable for any alleged personal injuries caused while clearing snow unless a clear intention to cause harm is seen.
According to the Municipal Code of Chicago (4-4-310 & 10-8-180), the homeowners, occupants, businesses and other property owners in Chicago are responsible for removing snow and ice off sidewalks. Snow that falls between 7:00 am to 7:00 pm should be cleared by 10:00 pm at the latest, and snow that falls between 7:00 pm to 7:00 am should be cleared by 10:00 am. The people of Chicago are supposed to remove snow all seven days of the week. The snow must be removed to a width of at least 5 feet on all sidewalks abutting one’s property.
According to MGL c. 85, § 7B, nobody apart from an employee representing the state of Massachusetts or any subdivision of it or an independent contractor employed by the state is allowed to push, pile or plow snow onto a state highway in a way that obstructs the flow of traffic. If anyone is found doing so, a fine of $150 will be imposed.
According to the Massachusetts Regulations for Safe Condition (410.452), the owner of a property is responsible to keep all modes of access to the property in a safe and operable condition at all times. This includes keeping exterior stairways, fire escapes, egress balconies and bridges free of snow and ice. If the property has an independent means of access and not a shared one, the occupant is solely responsible for keeping it clear of snow and ice.
According to Section 257.677a of the Michigan Vehicle Code, when clearing snow, ice or slush, a person is not supposed to pile it or push it to the shoulder of a roadway in a way that obstructs the vision of a driver who might be using that road. Also, the person is not supposed to push or pile the snow or ice onto a roadway or highway.
According to the 2021 Minnesota Statutes Section 160.2715 RIGHT-OF-WAY USE; MISDEMEANORS, part (a)(1), unless it is due to the contracted or lawful actions of road authorities or any of their agents, employees and utilities, obstructing a highway or depositing snow on it is illegal.
Under Subdivision 1 of Section 160.21 SNOW REMOVAL, road authorities of the state and cities may form contracts with each other to remove snow from the highways under their jurisdiction.
There are no statewide regulations concerning snow removal for the state of New York. However, there are some city ordinances.
New York City
According to the New York City Administrative Code, every owner, tenant or any other person responsible for the property is required to clear the snow off the sidewalks adjacent to their property. This is within their snow removal responsibilities.
The period for snow removal are as follows
- If the snow stops falling between 7:00 am and 4:59 pm, it should be cleared within 4 hours.
- If the snow stops falling between 5:00 pm to 8:59 pm, you have fourteen hours to remove it.
- If the snow stops falling between 9:00 pm to 6:59 pm, it must be cleared before 11:00 am.
In Queens, the property owner is only supposed to start clearing the snow before the four-hour deadline.
Under the premises liability law of New York City and many Long Island Communities, the property owners and tenants are responsible for keeping their property free from any potential risks that could injure a visitor.
The state of Ohio does not have any specific statewide regulations regarding the removal of snow from sidewalks. However, several individual city ordinances govern snow removal.
According to the City Code, the City of Cleveland requires all property owners, occupants or property managers to clear the sidewalks adjacent to their property by 9 am every morning.
In Cleveland Heights, according to Section 521.04 (f), every owner and occupant is responsible for keeping the area abutting their property free of snow, ice or any other nuisance.
Snow removal laws are stricter in the city of Parma, which is the Cleveland area’s largest suburb. According to Section 660.05 (a), all property owners and occupants are required to keep the sidewalks, curbs and gutters adjacent to their property free of snow and ice. Any accumulated snow must be removed within a reasonable time of 12 hours after any storm.
Pennsylvania has a unique law concerning snow and ice removal. It is called the Hills and Ridges Doctrine. Under this, the property owner or occupant is responsible for the removal of snow and ice around the property when the accumulation reaches a point where it obstructs safe travel.
According to the City Code of Philadelphia, Section 10-720, the property owner, tenant or agent is responsible for clearing snow up to a width of 36 inches on any sidewalks or curbs adjacent to their property within 6 hours after the snow has stopped falling. The snow that is removed from their property, driveways and sidewalks must not be piled on the street.
There are no specific statewide laws governing snow removal practices in Wisconsin. The state allows municipalities and other governing bodies to make ordinances and laws for regions under their jurisdiction.
According to the snow removal ordinances in Milwaukee, the property owners and occupants are responsible for clearing snow off the sidewalks abutting their property within 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling. The cleared snow must not be pushed, shoveled or blown onto the streets.
Various cities in the state of Ontario have specific by-laws governing the removal of snow from sidewalks.
According to Section 5 of the City of Hamilton By-law 03-296, home and business owners or property occupants are required to clear snow and ice from public sidewalks and walkways, including access ramps located at street corners, within 24 hours of accumulation. This removed snow must not be placed in the street or in a way that restricts access to a fire hydrant.
The city’s Municipal Code Chapter 719 holds residential and business property owners responsible for clearing snow and ice off all walkways adjacent to their properties. This should be completed within 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling.
If you require professional snow removal services in any of the states mentioned above, you can contact Edenapp. We provide both residential snow removal services and commercial snow removal services while following all the state laws.