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City of Bend: Shovel snow off sidewalk, or you could get a ticket

City says they have sent out at least 2,000 warning letters in past years

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend homeowners have 24 hours to clear snow off their sidewalks after the snowfall stops, or they could receive a citation, the city warns. Businesses have less time -- within six hours of daylight after the snowfall.

The city says property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their property. According to the city of Bend, city workers do not shovel sidewalks for private property owners.

The city code says failure to maintain sidewalks could subject businesses to penalties up to $400. Homeowners could face a maximum civil penalty of $200, after one warning.

With the first snowstorm of the season approaching, David Abbas, the director of streets and operations with the city, said Monday it's not too early to bring out your snow shovels.

"Our code enforcement has the ability to cite for folks that aren’t taking care of their sidewalk," Abbas said. "Same goes for our staff as well. After our staff is done plowing snow (during the work day), they've got to go home and do their sidewalk as well."

The city provides the following tips for removing snow off the sidewalks:

  • Make sure to shovel the snow off the sidewalk on your property and not into the street
  • If city workers happen to plow snow back onto the sidewalk while clearing the street, it’s still your responsibility to clear the sidewalk (though they try not to do that whenever possible). 
  • If an elderly person or other neighbor in need may need help shoveling, please consider doing it for them.
  • You can also hire a licensed contractor for snow removal.

For more information: https://www.bendoregon.gov/government/departments/community-development/code-enforcement-division/sidewalk-snow-and-ice-removal

Central Oregon / Government / News / Top Stories / Weather

Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

Comments

51 Comments

  1. Good thing for homeowners that bends lax development code means most residential properties still dont have sidewalks, well over a century after walking was invented

    1. Interesting perspective. You mean well over a century since the car has been invented. Before that, people just walked on the road. You must be from the suburbs somewhere in the western US. Now you demand developers get the pesky pedestrians out of your way because you choose to use a car and shouldn’t have to compensate the stupid pedestrians! And yes, the development code requires your new suburban subdivisions to build sidewalks to keep pedestrians out of your way so you can speed while texting through the neighborhood. Congratulations.

      1. All your whining clearly still hasnt made the older pedestrian friendly neighborhoods safe for pedestrians, oddly enough… no point in new developments having sidewalks if theyre five miles from the nearest store or school or park… bend doesnt build safe infrastructure for walkers or bikers or drivers, and they dont even require it (still) because of the heavy property developer/flipper influence throughout local .government

        1. It’s the drivers in the US stupid. Your claim of total road ownership is the problem. (Except for when it snows it’s the governments problem so they can get taxpayer pedestrians to help keep your road clear). It’s quite comical that the new neighborhoods miles from groceries have unused sidewalks and the residents speed through the older neighborhoods to find food. Then they blame the darkness when they run over a pedestrian as they text while out driving their obnoxious headlights.

    1. I think the bend city council just made a ruling on that last year claiming while the city owns the side streets its the homeowners responsibility to plow them. since they collect taxes for road maintenance it sounds like their shirking their responsibilities to fund something else. if you’re in city limits it should’nt be up to homeowners to fix/maintain roads

  2. Time for people to watch the city, the county and the state properties within city limits and file complaints. Check what time official sunrise is, then start the clock for 6 hours on them. The bad thing is, they will not hold themselves responsible at the same level as their subjects, err I mean the citizens. Now, the next question is, what about renters and people who lease? This story says “Homeowners” and seeing as how specific the city is for timing, is the wording in the ordinance specific as to “homeowner” or person in control of the property?

      1. “Our code enforcement has the ability to cite for folks that aren’t taking care of their sidewalk”. Well, if it’s “Their sidewalk” they’re allowed to tear it up and haul the concrete away so “they” don’t have one to clean, right?

        1. Things used to be really different. Even further back than the 90’s, they would run graders down the major streets instead of the small dump trucks with plows that they use a lot these days. They still use graders but not as much as they used to.

  3. So, we clean our sidewalks and then the city comes along and pushes the snow from the street onto them and then wants us to clean them off again (assuming that they clean their (our?) streets at all.

  4. Last year in our area they plowed around several cars that hadn’t moved
    for quite awhile, all winter long. I guess if a person doesn’t live on
    the streets they deem important, and they rarely if ever plow, we can just
    deduct some off the yearly tax bill to compensate for the lack of service…

    I wonder how long it will be before someone that is shoveling while on the actual
    street, sues the city if they fall and get hurt or have a heart attack ?

  5. Listen to all the whining and I don’t even see any snow on the ground yet. Pity you Barney for having to put up with all the usual complainers about nearly everything. When and if it snows, get your shovel out and move it. Fines or not, it is the civil thing to do! The city does the best it can with it’s resources, we should all do the same. AND, if necessary, help your neighbor.

    1. I agree with everything you said, except that the city does the best job they can.
      Over the years I’ve seen a lot of redundancy, wasted time and materials, but in all
      fairness, it’s a big job and they can’t please everyone…

      People should help those that aren’t able because of age or medical conditions.
      We have an elderly lady that lives a couple houses from us that still comes out
      and rakes up her pine needles and keeps her place looking nice, even though she doesn’t walk very good and obviously has severe osteoporosis, but when the snow hits, I go over and do it for her. She doesn’t need to be outside when it’s 10 degrees and windy trying to shovel snow. Too many people end up having heart attacks, or fall and break something doing that.

    2. Where I live the county takes at least a week to get around to plowing our roads, then leaves berms three feet high at the end of folks driveways. All of us with tractors or quads take care of our neighbors that don’t. Best of all, we don’t have to shovel our sidewalks, because, what’s a sidewalk? ;^)

  6. fining people is stupid, but we believe $$$ is the everything…

    – was a time when people felt it was their duty to facilitate the movement of their fellows – “i do what i want” has taken over and the word “community” is just a chamber of commerce advertising stunt

  7. As a senior I take issue with this. Luckily I have nice neighbors that will shovel my walk because they know i am disabled. But what about those that have no family or have jerks for neighbors so they have to hire someone to shovel their walk? When you are on a limited income ANY extra money you have to pay can be a problem. Especially since I have seen that most places charge $50 to shovel a walk.

    1. Unfortunately people and society have changed. I’m not a senior yet, I’m 58,
      but years ago it was something people didn’t think about. Neighbors knew who
      needed help and they helped. It was just how life was and nobody gave it a
      second thought. People were good in general. Of course there have always been
      some who are basically worthless, there always will be. But it seems that
      there are a lot of people now who live in the ‘All about me” world’…
      There are still plenty of good, caring people and I’m glad you have neighbors who
      are willing to help you.

      1. I do agree. I have seen that change all too often in this world now. We were raised to respect your elders and help your fellow man. I find myself thinking the following sentence more often than I would like to “If I acted like that then I was younger boy would I get it!”

        1. Absolutely true… Our youngest son is 23, and he was also raised from a very young age with the old values of respecting elders and helping others that I was raised with.
          I can’t tell you how many times over the years we have been complimented at stores about having a very polite, and nice son, and how rare it is. I think it embarrasses him, but we are very proud of him…

  8. Bend69 semes as the City is quick to site folks for not shoveling snow What about the snowflakes that park the wrong direction of flow of traffic or park on or across sidewalks or put Trash cans on sidewalks they don’t fine them it’s against State laws & Bend City codes you even have businesses blocking Handicapped parking like ACE Hard Ware WalMart car lot’s on 3 rd Street It blocks Wheel Chair bound & Sight impaired when blocking sidewalks also The Handicapped parking with pallets like ACE Hardware & WalMart have done But shoveling sidewalks is a priority Whats wrong with this situation Someone isn’t doing their job The City of Bend Code Dept & Bend P.D.

  9. Here is some Helpful Hints for Snow Removal and phone numbers.

    All commercial properties must remove snow and ice from the sidewalk within six hours of daylight after the snow has fallen
    All residential properties have 24 hours to remove snow after it has fallen.
    When shoveling snow, be sure to keep all of the snow on your property. Snow cannot be moved from the sidewalk into the street.
    The City of Bend’s street crews do their best to keep from plowing snow back up onto the sidewalk however, it may still occur. If the snow plow causes more snow to accumulate on your sidewalk, it is still your responsibility to keep the sidewalk clear.
    If you know of an elderly neighbor or individual who may need help shoveling their sidewalk, please consider doing it for them. Many of our Neighborhood Associations participate in the Good Samaritan Program where an elderly person or person with limited mobility, are adopted for the winter. If you know of someone who might be a great candidate for this program, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (541) 388-5579.
    Code Enforcement has compiled a small list of licensed contractors who a property owner can hire for snow removal maintenance. Please contact Teresa Stovall at (541) 312-7968 or at tstovall@bendoregon.gov for more information.
    Read about City of Bend’s Street Department snow removal operations.
    If you have a complaint regarding snow removal, please fill out and return the code enforcement complaint form.

  10. One more reason not to live in Bend. In our neighborhood, the County doesn’t threaten us with fines and plows our road within a day or two, if one of our neighbors doesn’t do it first. The days of waiting a week or more for the city to plow are over.

    1. I’m just glad I live in the outskirts of Redmond. We take care of our own, don’t have sidewalks to whine about, and those of us who can, take care of our neighbors who can’t. Maybe I’m just an old fossil, but what’s hard to understand about taking care of your neighbors?

  11. the annual threat article, care of our awful city council.
    loved last year especially when my neighborhood was plowed about 3 times.
    they can’t do their job, but fine us if we don’t do ours.
    aren’t they here to serve us – not the other way around???

  12. Last year the plows deposited 2ft of solid heavy snow up on my sidewalks. It couldn’t be removed with shovel or snowblower. So let’s see hire a tractor or pay the ticket? Guess which is cheaper!

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