WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A proposed bill in D.C. that would fine property owners for not shoveling their sidewalks was reintroduced by Councilmember Mary Cheh.
The Winter Sidewalk Safety Amendment Act would enable the District to impose a $25 fine on residential property owners and a $125 on commercial property owners.
Under current law, property owners are required to remove snow from sidewalks adjoining their property within 8 daylight hours following a snowstorm, but the enforcement process is impractical, according to a news release from Cheh's office.
Department of Public Works must remove the snow, calculate the cost of removal, provide the Attorney General with the cost removal information, and then have the Attorney General bring suit in Superior Court against the property owner.
The bill would provide a means for easily enforcing the removal law.
The bill would require the Mayor to give all property owners one warning before penalties begin to be assessed, according to a news release from Cheh's office. Additionally, to ease the burden on seniors and the disabled, Cheh's bill would direct the Mayor to implement an exemption policy for those individuals, and encourage neighbors to assist those unable to remove the snow from their sidewalks.
"Maintaining an accessible, safe, and snow free urban infrastructure is an important aspect of the District's transportation planning, especially given the large number of people who use our sidewalks as their primary method of getting around our city," Cheh said in a statement.