March 4, 2013
The winter of 2009 and 2010 was the snowiest season Charlottesville has had to date. That snow season caused the city to enforce residents to clean up their sidewalks by issuing fines. It also allowed for Charlottesville to create a volunteer snow shoveling group.
It's been a couple of years since our last big snow storm, but with one looming in the near future, don't forget about Charlottesville's ordinance to keep sidewalks safe and clear of snow.
Miriam Dickler, The City of Charlottesville's Director of Communications, described the ordinance as, "The rule is 24 hours after the end of snowfall, sidewalks need to be clear of snow by the resident or property owner."
If you decide to keep the shovel in the garage, it could mean a fine from the city.
"The city will either contract or use city force to go out and clear a side walk," said Dickler. "There's not a standard fee but it will be billed to the property owner and if it's not paid it will be billed on their taxes."
With temperatures forecasted to be in the mid 40s on Thursday, you might not have to get your sidewalk shoveled within the 24 hour time frame after the last flake because Mother Nature might just melt this weeks snow away for you.
In the case that snow does stick around, what do the people who aren't able to shovel sidewalks for themselves?
Dickler said, "Obviously if you can't clear your sidewalk, that's a different issue and we want people to contact us."
Or you have the option to sign up with the cities volunteer shoveling group. It's a list of people who need help or can come to the aid of their neighbors. The only problem is, so far, nobody has signed up for either group this year!
Dickler, "We do ask people to sign up again every year because obviously we have people who live here and then move or who for some reason aren't able to help so if you have signed up in the past, we would ask you to sign up again just so we know you are still available."
Volunteering can be a group effort or a kind gesture for helping out on another.
Dickler said, "School groups, fraternities, churches, anyone who wants to get involved we'd love to have them participate. But, again, if you don't want to sign up but you do see a neighbor who might need help feel free to do that without asking our permission."
To volunteer for the city to shovel a neighbor's sidewalk, or to get on the list to have your sidewalk shoveled, go to this website.