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Commercial properties to face increased fines for snow violations under Mayor Walsh proposal

March 2, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today filed a Home Rule Petition to raise the amount of fines that can be levied for snow infractions against property owners, and increase the cap on fines for these offenses to be from $300 to $1,500. Under the petition, unpaid fines will be added to property tax bills if they go unpaid.  If the state grants this authority, the Mayor will file an Ordinance updating the City’s snow fine structure. The potential change would consider both commercial and residential property owners.

“Illegally dumping snow onto public roads severely worsens an already challenging snow removal process, compounds our workload, raises our costs and increases safety risks for drivers. Failing to remove snow from a sidewalk puts lives at danger. It’s a problem for every pedestrian, but it is especially difficult for our children, for the disabled, and for the elderly to face deep, unshoveled sidewalks, and be forced to walk in the road,” said Mayor Walsh. “I urge the City Council and state officials to move this legislation which grants us the authority to deter these violations, hold accountable those who are guilty, and recoup some of the added costs that these violations create. Snow clean up has to be a team and community effort, and we need to work together."

City Snow Regulations:

  • Commercial entities and residents must not plow or shovel snow onto the roads at any point.
  • Remove snow, slush, and ice from sidewalks and curb ramps abutting your property within 3 hours of snowfall ending (or 3 hours from sunrise if snow falls overnight) as required by law. Violators will be fined.
  • Remove snow, slush, and ice from the full paved width of the sidewalk and curb ramp or a minimum path of 42 inches wide. Narrow paths encumber carriages and wheelchairs, and properly cleared pathways ensure flow and safety of pedestrian traffic.
  • Remove ice to bare pavement or make as level as possible and treat with sand, sawdust or similar material.
  • Please clear any snow that may be blocking handicapped ramps, fire hydrants or catch basins.

A Home Rule Petition is necessary because cities and towns may only impose fines of not more than $300.00 unless special authority is granted by the legislature.