TITLE VI PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
CHAPTER 7 SIDEWALK REGULATIONS
6-7-1 – Purpose
6-7-2 – Definitions
6-7-3 – Cleaning Snow, Ice, and Accumulations
6-7-4 – Maintenance Responsibility
6-7-5 – Liability of Abutting Owner
6-7-6 – Ordering Sidewalk Improvements
6-7-7 – Repairing Defective Sidewalks
6-7-8 – Notice of Inability to Repair or Barricade
6-7-9 – Standard Sidewalk Specifications
6-7-10 – Permits for Construction or Removal
6-7-11 – Failure to Obtain Permit; Remedies
6-7-12 – Inspection and Approval
6-7-13 – Barricades and Warning Lights
6-7-14 – Interference with Sidewalk Improvements
6-7-15 – Special Assessments for Construction and Repair
6-7-16 – Notice of Assessment for Repair or Cleaning Costs
6-7-17 – Hearing and Assessment
6-7-18 – Billing and Certifying to County
6-7-19 – ADAAG Compliance
The purpose of this chapter is to improve and maintain sidewalks in a safe condition,
to require owners of abutting property to maintain, repair, replace, construct or reconstruct sidewalks.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have these meanings:
- Defective Sidewalk. Any public sidewalk exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics:
- vertical separations equal to three-fourths (3/4) inch or more.
- horizontal separations equal to three-fourths (3/4) inch or more.
- holes or depressions equal to three-fourths (3/4) inch or more and at least four (4) inches in diameter.
- spalling over fifty(50)percent of the surface of a single square of the sidewalk with one or more depressions equal to one-half (1/2) inch or more.
- spalling over less than fifty (50) percent of a single square of the sidewalk with one or more depressions equal to three- fourths (3/4) inch or more.
- a single square of sidewalk cracked in such a manner that no part thereof has a piece greater than one square foot.
- a sidewalk with any part thereof missing to the full depth.
- a change from design or construction grade equal to or greater than three-fourths(3/4)inch per foot.
- Sidewalk Improvements. The construction, reconstruction, repair, replacement, or removal of a public sidewalk or the excavating, filling, or depositing of material in the public right-of-way in connection therewith.
- Owner. The person owning the fee title or the contract purchaser for purposes of notification required herein. For all other purposes, “owner” shall include the lessee, or person in possession.
It shall be the duty of the owner to keep sidewalks abutting the owner’s property clear of the natural accumulations of snow or ice. If the owner fails to do so within twenty four (24) hours after deposit of accumulation, the Mayor may have the natural accumulations of snow or ice removed without notice to the property owner. The Mayor shall give the Council an itemized and verified statement of the removal costs and a legal description of the property at the next regular Council meeting. The costs shall be reviewed by the Council, and if found correct, shall be assessed against the property as taxes. The City Clerk shall be directed to certify the costs to the County Auditor for collection as provided in Section 364.12 of the Code of Iowa.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12(2b) and (2e))
The abutting property owner or owners shall be responsible for the repair, replacement or reconstruction of all broken or defective sidewalks to a safe condition and to maintain in a safe condition all sidewalks in the abutting street right-of-way.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12(2c))
As provided in Section 364.14, Code of Iowa, in the event the owner of property abutting any public sidewalk fails or refuses to perform any act required of them by this Ordinance and in the event an action is brought against the City for personal injuries alleged to have been caused by a defect in or the condition of said sidewalk, the City may notify in writing the said abutting owner that it claims the injury was caused by their negligence and/or their failure to repair the defect or eliminate the condition complained of. The notice shall state the pendency of the action, the name of the plaintiff, the name and location of the court where the action is pending, a brief statement of the alleged facts from which the cause arose, that the City believes that the person notified is liable to it for any judgment rendered against the City, and asking the person to appear and defend.
A judgment obtained in the suit is conclusive in any action by the City against any person so notified, as to the existence of the defect or condition or other cause of the injury or damage, as to the liability of the City to the plaintiff in the first named action, and as to the amount of the damage or injury. The City may maintain an action against the person notified to recover the amount of the judgment together with all the expenses incurred by the City in the suit.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.14)
The City Council may order the construction, reconstruction, repair, or replacement of permanent sidewalks upon any street or court. Notice of this order shall be sent to the owner by certified mail. The notice shall include the fact that the owner may request a hearing by the Council within fifteen (15) days or receipt of the notice.
It shall be the duty of the abutting property owner at any time, or upon receipt of thirty (30) days’ notice from the City, to repair, replace, or reconstruct all broken or defective sidewalks in the abutting street right-of-way. If, after the expiration of the thirty (30) days as provided in the notice, the required work has not been done or is not in the process of completion, the Mayor shall order the work to proceed to repair, replace, or reconstruct the sidewalk. Upon completion of the work, the Mayor shall submit to the Council an itemized and verified statement of expenditures for material and labor, and the legal description of the property abutting the sidewalk on which work has been performed. These costs shall be assessed to the property as taxes. The City Clerk shall be directed to certify the costs to the County Treasurer for collection as provided in Section 364.12 of the Code of Iowa.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12(e))
It shall be the duty of the owner of the property abutting the sidewalk, or of the contractor or agent of the owner, to notify the City immediately in the event the owner is unable to make necessary sidewalk improvements or to install or erect warnings and barricades as required by this chapter.
Sidewalks constructed, repaired, or replaced under the provisions of this chapter shall be of the following construction and meet the following standards:
1. Portland cement concrete shall be the only material used in the construction and repair of sidewalks unless otherwise authorized by the City Council.
2. Sidewalks shall be on one-course construction.
3. Concrete may be placed directly on compact and well-drained soil. Where soil is not well drained, a four (4) inch sub-base of compact, clean, coarse gravel, sand, or cinders shall be laid. The adequacy of the soil drainage is to be determined by the Superintendent of Public Works.
4. The sidewalk bed shall be graded to the established grade.
5. Residential sidewalks shall be at least four (4) feet wide, or match existing sidewalks, and four (4) inches thick, and each section shall be no more than four (4) feet in length. In the central business district, sidewalks shall extend from the property line to the curb unless the Council shall establish a different distance due to the circumstances. Each section shall be four (4) inches thick and no more than six (6) feet in length and width. All driveway areas shall not be less than six (6) inches in thickness.
6. Residential sidewalks shall be located with the inner edge (edge nearest the abutting private property) on the property line, unless the Council shall establish a different distance due to the circumstances. 122
7. All elevations of sidewalks are to be established by the City Council with assistance from the Superintendent of Public Works on a case-by-case basis.
8. All sidewalks shall slope at least one-quarter (1/4) inch per foot toward the curb, but in no event more than one-half (½) inch per foot toward the curb.
9. All sidewalks shall have a steel trowel finish followed by a “broom” or a “wood float” finish.
10. Ramps for the disabled. There shall not be less than two (2) curb cuts or ramps per lineal block which shall be located on or near the cross-walks at intersections. Each curb cut or ramp shall be at last thirty (30) inches wide, shall be sloped at not greater than one inch of rise per twelve (12) inches lineal distance, except that a slope no greater than one inch of rise per eight (8) inches lineal distance may be used where necessary, shall have a nonskid surface, and shall otherwise by so constructed as to allow reasonable access to the crosswalk for physically disabled persons using the sidewalk.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 216C.9)
11. All sidewalk improvements on public property, whether performed by the owner of the abutting property or by the City, shall be performed under the supervision and inspection of the City Superintendent of Public Works, and in accordance with the standard sidewalk specifications set forth in this chapter.
No person shall make any sidewalk improvements unless such person shall obtain a permit from the City Clerk. The permit shall state that the person will comply with the Ordinances of the City and with the specifications for sidewalks adopted by the City. The permit also shall state that the work will be done under the direction and approval of the City Superintendent of Public Works. All such permits shall be issued without charge and a copy thereof, with the application, shall be filed and preserved in the office of the City Clerk. The permit shall state when the work is to be commenced and when the work is to be completed. The time of completion for the sidewalk improvements may be extended by the City Council. All permits for sidewalk improvements not ordered by resolution of the City Council shall be issued in compliance with this chapter. The City Council may withhold the issuance of any permit for any sidewalk improvements for a sufficient period to determine the necessity for the proposed improvements or when weather conditions will adversely affect the sidewalk improvements.
Whenever any sidewalk improvements are made that do not conform to the provisions of this chapter and with the specifications, or when any sidewalk improvements are made without a permit, the Mayor shall serve notice to obtain a permit upon the property owner and upon the contractor doing the work. If the sidewalk is in the course of construction, the notice shall order the work to stop until a permit is obtained and the work is corrected to comply with the specifications. If the sidewalk work has been completed, the owner shall obtain a permit immediately and perform any needed corrections within five (5) days from receipt of the permit. If the owner fails to comply with this notice, the Mayor shall have the work completed and the costs assessed to the property owner as provided in this chapter.
Upon final completion, the Superintendent of Public Works shall inspect the work and may order corrections if the work does not meet specifications. When the work does meet all requirements of this chapter, the specifications, and the permit, the Superintendent of Public Works shall indicate this on both copies of the permit.
Proper warning lights and barricades shall be placed to protect persons from materials, equipment, and dangerous conditions. Placement and maintenance of adequate warnings is the responsibility of the constructor, the owner, and the lessee of the property. Any warning lights and barricades shall be operated from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise.
No person shall knowingly or willfully drive any vehicle upon any portion of any sidewalk or approach thereto while it is in the process of being improved, or upon any portion of any completed sidewalk or approach thereto, or shall remove or destroy any part or all of any sidewalk or approach thereto, or shall remove, destroy, mar, or deface any sidewalk at any time or destroy, mar, remove, or deface any notice or warning device provided by this chapter.
SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR. The City Council may assess the cost of initial construction, improvements, and/or repair of sidewalks in the City according to the special assessment procedures established in Chapter 384, division IV, Code of Iowa.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.38)
When the Mayor submits a bill for sidewalk improvements or for removal of accumulations as provided in this chapter, the City Clerk shall send a notice of such facts to the owner of the abutting property. The notice may be given either by personal service or by certified mail to the last known address of the owner. The notice shall contain a statement of the work performed, the cost of the work that is being assessed, a description of the property affected, and the fact that the person may pay the amount assessed within thirty (30) days without interest or penalty. The notice also shall indicate that the person may object to such assessment and given the place and time at which Council will hear such objections. The time set for hearing shall be at least fifteen (15) days after the service or mailing of the notice.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.50)
At the time and place designed in the Notice, the Council shall consider all objections to the assessment, correct all errors or omissions, and adopt a corrected list as the amounts to be assessed against the property.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.51)
Thirty (30) days after the Council’s decision, the City Clerk shall certify any unpaid amounts to the County Treasurer. The unpaid assessments shall constitute a lien against the property and shall be collected by the County Treasurer in the same manner as other taxes. Any assessment that exceeds $100 may be paid in installments as set by Council, not exceeding ten, in the same manner and at the same interest rates as for special assessments under Chapter 384, division IV, Code of Iowa. No interest shall be charged for assessments, or parts thereof, paid within thirty (30) days of the time the Council determined the final amounts.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.60)
All construction, repair, and maintenance of sidewalks shall comply with Americans with Disabilities Guidelines (ADAAG).