Jul 30, 2014

Leetsdale Plans Crackdown on Snowy, Icy Sidewalks

Leetsdale Council reminds residents that snow-removal violators can face a range of penalties including jail time under the borough code.

Leetsdale Plans Crackdown on Snowy, Icy Sidewalks

Be warned. Leetsdale borough plans to crack down on residents who don’t clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowfall.

The warning came Thursday at the council meeting the same day officials said a woman was hurt after falling outside the Midnight Auto car dealership on Ohio River Boulevard. The woman filed a police report, officials said. 

“We have people out there who are 80 and 85 years old trying to make their way down to Giant Eagle...or other stores down there," Council President Joseph McGurk said. "If these people fall they are so fragile that somebody could die. I think we all need to take this serious.” 

McGurk said the borough gave out 30 snow-removal warnings on Jan. 4 to residents following the most recent snowfall. Despite being notified, he said some of those same sidewalks remained icy days later. 

Leetsdale’s ordinance requires residents to clear the snow within 24 hours. Penalties for convicted violators include fines of up to $600 and up to 30 days in jail. The law also gives the borough authority to remove snow and collect costs. 

Leetsdale Police Chief James Santucci said the fine is based on a sliding scale ranging from $25 to $600, and can quickly accrue depending on the length of the offense.

“Every day that it’s not done you get another citation,” Santucci said.

Councilman Wes James said borough officials also understand that sometimes it's too difficult for the elderly or disabled to clear their entire walkways. Officials said a path large enough for someone to pass safely is acceptable. 

McGurk said he became frustrated after seeing elderly residents with canes walking in the street trying to reach Giant Eagle. He said they also waited at the Village Drive bus stop for a ride to the high rise rather than risk the slippery trek back home, McGurk said.

McGurk encouraged residents to call the borough if neighbors aren't complying.


Responsibilities for removal

The owner, occupant or tenant of every property fronting upon or alongside of any of the streets in the Borough of Leetsdale, is hereby required to remove or cause to be removed from all of the sidewalks in front of or alongside such property, all snow and ice thereon fallen or formed, within 24 hours after the same shall have ceased to fall or to be formed. Provided: The owner of a property shall be responsible for conforming to the requirements of this section where such property is occupied by such owner, is unoccupied or vacant, or is a multi-business or multiple-dwelling property, occupied by more than one tenant or occupant; the tenant or occupant of every single-unit property, occupied by such occupant or tenant only, shall be responsible for conforming to the requirements of this section.

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