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Sound off: Shoveling snow

How can the city force the adjacent property owner to shovel the snow off a sidewalk since the a sidewalk is city-owned property?

State law states: “[i]t shall be the duty of the owner of the abutting property to keep the sidewalk in repair … .” K.S.A. 12-1808. The City Code has a similar provision, requiring owners of property adjacent to a sidewalk to maintain the sidewalk and keep it free from hazards (Sec. 16-105). Since it is the duty of the owner of the abutting property to maintain the sidewalk in good repair and to keep it free from hazards, and because the accumulation of snow and ice on a sidewalk creates a hazard, it is the duty of the owner of property abutting a sidewalk to remove any snow or ice accumulating on the sidewalk (Sec. 16-115). Under state law, the city has the right to enforce that duty for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of Lawrence citizens.

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