Public Hearing For Snow Removal Ordinance Set For Dec. 5
Council seeks public comment on policy that would fine commercial properties for failing to clear sidewalks
Business owners could face up to $250 a day in fines for failing to clear snow from around their property this winter, under a new ordinance being reviewed by the Vienna Town Council.
A public hearing for the ordinance has been set for Dec. 5.
The town does not currently require commercial property owners to remove snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property, said Public Information Officer Kirstyn Barr. It does send out a notice at the beginning of each winter season, asking business owners to clear the area surrounding their stores so patrons and other residents can safely pass through the area.
While many Vienna businesses comply with the request, there are some which consistently fail to do so, Barr said, and until now, the town has not had a way to enforce the practice.
The proposed ordinance would require the commercial property owner to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property within a specific time period: 12 hours of "actual notice by the Town to the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of the property or premises," or, within 24 hours of the snowfall stopping.
The notice would be delivered both to the property owner and the tenants of the building, Barr said.
A court would decide an amount for each specific violation, Barr said, but it would not exceed $250. The violation is a class four misdemeanor. For each day the snow is not cleared, a business would incur another violation.
It's not yet clear which town department would be responsible for enforcing the ordinance, Barr said.