With snow season’s arrival this year, the City of Iowa City reminds residents of the snow removal ordinance requiring sidewalks to be cleared within 24 hours after a one-inch or more snowfall, or after any accumulation of ice has ended.

Sidewalk policy 

Property owners are responsible for the removal of snow and ice from all sidewalks that abut their private property. The entire width of the sidewalk must be cleared down to concrete. Renters should check their leases to see if their landlord has transferred the responsibility of snow and ice removal to them.

Reporting snowy or icy sidewalks 

Those who wish to report a property where the adjacent public sidewalk has not been cleared can contact the City’s Neighborhood & Development Services office via:

  • ICGovXpress mobile app on their smart phone (visit www.icgov.org/?id=2253 to download the free app – search for it under “GORequest”);
  • ICGovXpress on the City’s website at www.icgov.org/icgovxpress or click on the “Report a Concern” button on the home page at www.icgov.org
  • Complaint hotline at 319-356-5152

Complaints must be specific and include an actual address for staff to respond. Residents can view a digital map of properties that are being investigated by Neighborhood & Development Services due to complaints from the public.

If a complaint is received about an unshoveled property, an inspector will visit the address to verify the violation, and leave a notification tag at the property if a violation exists. A Notice of Violation will also be mailed to the property owner and an additional 24 hours will be given to remove the snow and/or ice. If not completed by the deadline, the City will hire a private contractor to shovel, and the property owner will be billed those costs plus a $100 administrative fee. Only one notification will be given per snow season. Subsequent violations at the property will be cleared without further notification.

Clearing curb ramps and crosswalks

Please be a good neighbor and keep curb ramps clear. Snow and ice free curb ramps are needed to keep sidewalks accessible to everyone, especially for pedestrians with limited mobility.

Snow and ice that is shoveled or that accumulates in crosswalks makes it difficult and dangerous for many of our residents, especially the elderly, people in wheelchairs or who are mobility-impaired, and children on their way to and from school. When you get to the end of your sidewalk, please shovel a few extra feet to clear the crosswalks and curb ramps if you are able.

Staff Contact 

Residents are asked to be considerate of pedestrians this winter by keeping their sidewalks clear and safe. For more information, contact Stan Laverman, Senior Housing Inspector, at 319-356-5135 or e-mail stan-laverman@iowa-city.org.

The video below demonstrates the impact that an uncleared pathway can have: 

Date of publication

Friday, December 09, 2016