Scottville businesses could face tickets for not clearing sidewalks.

January 4, 2016
The sidewalk next to the Scottville Shell gas station remains full of snow, in violation of the city ordinance.

The sidewalk next to the Scottville Shell gas station remains full of snow, in violation of the city ordinance.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — Business or property owners in downtown Scottville could face a minimum $100 ticket if they do not clear their sidewalks of snow this winter. In December, the Scottville City Commission passed an amendment to the city ordinance regulating sidewalks in the Central Business District. Among the provisions is a requirement of building occupants to clear snow from sidewalks within 24 hours following a snow event. Several days after last week’s snow fall, some occupants have yet to comply, however the majority of sidewalks are clear.

City Manager Amy Williams said notices were sent to all business owners (or owners of buildings that are vacant) after the commission passed the ordinance informing them of the change. Previously, the city’s sidewalk ordinance was unenforceable because it covered the entire city. Since some areas of the city do not have sidewalks, City Attorney Tracy Thompson ruled that the ordinance is not equitable. However, since a specific district of the city has been identified, such as the zoned Central Business District, there can be enforcement with the ordinance change.

The ordinance states: “The occupant of any lot adjacent to and abutting a sidewalk shall clear and keep clear the sidewalk from snow and ice so that less than one inch of snow and ice remain the entire width of the sidewalk within 24 hours following a snow event, and the use of an ice solvent is also required. Any remaining snow on the sidewalk shall be of an even surface that is safe for pedestrians and wheeled devices like wheelchairs and strollers. Snow shall be moved into the street in a manner that does not impede traffic (i.e. moved into parking zones). Violation of this section shall be a municipal civil infraction as set forth in section 95.99.”

A civil infraction, according to Scottville’s city ordinance, is not less than $100 plus costs, expenses and other sanctions, for each violation, such as the cost of city crews to remove the snow and ice.

 

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