Bill No.                21-14                        

Concerning: Streets and Roads – Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan                                 

Revised:  October 21, 2014 Draft No. 3 

Introduced:      April 22, 2014                

Enacted:         October 21, 2014           

Executive:       Returned unsigned         

Effective:        February 3, 2015            

Sunset Date:  None                             

Ch.   33    , Laws of Mont. Co.    2014    


County Council

For Montgomery County, Maryland


By: Councilmembers Riemer and Navarro


AN ACT to:

(1)        require the Executive to develop a Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan; and

(2)        generally amend the law concerning the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks and pedestrian crossings in the County.


By amending

            Montgomery County Code

            Chapter 49,  Streets and Roads

            Section 49-17



Boldface                                             Heading or defined term.

Underlining                                          Added to existing law by original bill.

[Single boldface brackets]                  Deleted from existing law by original bill.

Double underlining                              Added by amendment.

[[Double boldface brackets]]              Deleted from existing law or the bill by amendment.

*   *   *                                                  Existing law unaffected by bill.








The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:

          Sec. 1.  Section 49-17 is amended as follows:

49-17. Accumulation of snow and ice on property prohibited.

(a)     (1)     A person is responsible for removing snow and ice on any sidewalk, other walkway, shared use path, or parking area on or adjacent to property that the person owns, leases, or manages, including any walkway in the public right-of- way, to provide a pathway wide enough for safe pedestrian and wheelchair use.  For purposes of this Section, commonly owned property between a single-family residential lot and a common walkway is considered part of the lot if the intervening common property includes a walkway or driveway that serves only that lot.

(2)     Except as provided in paragraph (4), each owner, tenant, or manager is jointly and severally responsible for clearing snow and ice from the property and complying with Section 31-26A(d).

(3)     The requirements of this Section do not apply to:

(A)    an unpaved walkway;

(B)     a private walkway or parking area on the property of a single-family residence;

(C)     a public walkway behind a single-family residence that is not directly accessible from the owner’s property; or

(D)    a walkway that:

(i)      is at least 25 feet from vehicular traffic;

(ii)     serves only pedestrian destinations that are also accessible by another walkway that this Section requires to be cleared;

(iii)    was not routinely cleared of snow and ice after August 1999; and

(iv)    is not the primary route for pedestrian access to a winter recreational facility open to the public.

(4)     (A)    An individual who lives in a multi-family residential property is not responsible for removing snow and ice from a common walkway or parking area.

(B)     A homeowners’ association, as that term is used in State law, is not responsible for removing snow and ice from a walkway adjacent to a single-family residential lot, if the lot owner is responsible under paragraph (1) for removing snow and ice from that walkway.

(b)     If ice or hardpacked snow is impossible or unreasonably difficult to remove, the person is responsible for applying sufficient sand, other abrasives, or salt to provide safe pedestrian use.

(c)      The person is responsible for removing snow and ice within 24 hours after the end of the precipitation that caused the condition.  If a snowplow redeposits snow or ice on a sidewalk or other walkway after a person has complied with this Section, the person is not responsible for clearing the walkway until 24 hours after the snowplow redeposited the snow or ice.

(d)     The County Executive must designate a department to enforce this Section and may designate other County employees or contractors to enforce this Section.

(e)      The Executive may order a different deadline or conditions for removing snow and ice during or immediately after a severe or unusual storm or other public-safety condition.

(f)      In addition to any other remedy or penalty for a violation of this Section, the County may clear the snow and ice and charge the responsible property owner for the cost, which the County may collect in the same manner as property taxes.

(g)     A violation of this Section is a class C violation. A person authorized to enforce this Section must not issue a citation for a violation unless the violation still exists 24 hours after a notice of violation.  An authorized enforcement officer may issue the notice of violation to any person responsible under subsection (a) for clearing the snow or ice, or post the notice in a conspicuous place on the property where the violation exists.  Each day a violation continues to exist is a separate violation, except for a violation on or adjacent to a single-family residential property.

(h)     Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan.  The Executive must develop, update, and publish on the County internet site a sidewalk snow removal plan allocating available resources in a fair and equitable manner throughout the County that includes a:

(1)     digital map of the County that shows who is responsible for clearing snow and ice on each sidewalk in the County;

(2)     “major storm event” communications plan that addresses notice to County residents of a major storm event and the sidewalk snow and ice removal requirements in this Section;

(3)     targeted public education campaign about sidewalk snow and ice removal for owners of property in the County;

(4)     designation of pedestrian priority routes for targeted education and increased snow and ice removal enforcement;

(5)     public education campaign about how to request enforcement of this Section;

(6)     plan to provide extended hours for County personnel who receive snow and ice removal complaints during a major storm event;

(7)     plan for removal of snow and ice on publicly owned property:

(A)    at bus-stops and Metro stations;

(B)     near schools;

(C)     along State highways;

(D)    along the highest priority pedestrian routes;

(E)     in urban districts; and

(F)     used for hiker-biker trails; and

(8)     plan for trash removal during a major storm event.