T&E Item 4
October 6, 2014
Worksession
MEMORANDUM
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and
Enviro~
Committee
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
Worksession:
Bi1l21-14, Streets and Roads
(':ik:J
Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan
Expected Attendees:
Art
Holmes, Director, Department of Transportation, (DOT)
Al Roshdieh, Deputy Director, Department of Transportation
R. Keith Compton, Chief, Division of Highway Services, DOT
Bonny Kirkland, ACAO, Office of County Executive
Other representatives from DCHA, DGS and DTS.
Bill 21-14, Streets and Roads
Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan, sponsored by
Councilmembers Riemer and Navarro, was introduced on April 22. A public hearing was held on
July 8.
Background
Bill 21-14 would require the Executive to develop a Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan.
Although property owners are already required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks that are
contiguous to their property within 24 hours after precipitation ends, winter snow storms have
left County sidewalks covered with snow and ice for many days after a winter weather event. In
addition, a sidewalk that is not adjacent to privately owned property is not covered by this law.
Currently, the County takes primary responsibility for clearing snow and ice from County roads,
but does not clear snow and ice from sidewalks along these roads. The Bill would require the
Executive to develop a sidewalk snow removal plan that incluc,les a:
(1)
(2)
digital map of the County that shows who is responsible for clearing snow and ice
on each sidewalk in the County;
"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;
targeted public education campaign about sidewalk snow and ice removal for
owners of property in the County;
designation of pedestrian priority routes for targeted education and increased
snow and ice removal enforcement;
public education campaign about how to request enforcement of this Section;
(3)
(4)
(5)
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(6)
(7)
(8)
plan to provide extended hours for County personnel who receive snow and ice
removal complaints during a major storm event;
plan for removal of snow and ice on publicly owned property; and
plan for trash removal during a major storm event.
Public Hearing
Carl S. Custer, the lone speaker at the public hearing, supported the Bill. (©25)
Mr.
Custer pointed out that a sidewalk covered with snow and ice is a public safety hazard for
pedestrians and that the County has not been enforcing the law requiring a property owner to
clear snow and ice from the sidewalk adjacent to the property.
Issues
1.
What is the fiscal and economic impact of the Bill?
OMB estimated that creating an inventory of County sidewalks and adding this
information to the County GIS system would have a one-time cost of $350,000. See ©7-21.
After the fIrst year, each annual update on the GIS system would cost $8,000. OMB estimated
that a one-time public information campaign about the responsibility of property owners to clear
snow and ice from sidewalks with direct mail would cost $100,000.
The bulk of the cost would be mobilizing County forces or contractors to clear the
sidewalks that are not adjacent to private property. The Department of Transportation (DOT)
estimated that there are 600 miles of sidewalk in the County that would have to be cleared by
County forces. This estimate excludes sidewalks adjacent to private property and sidewalks
adjacent to Federal, State, and local government facilities. The County Department of General
Services already clears sidewalks adjacent to County facilities. DOT estimated that it would cost
approximately $300,000 per winter weather event to clear 600 miles of sidewalks. Using the 10­
year average of 20 snow/ice weather events each year (last year we had 31 events), OMB
estimated the annual cost to clear all sidewalks at $6 million.
The OffIce of Legislative Oversight reviewed this Fiscal Impact Statement as part of the
OLO FY15 Work Program Project. The OLO review memorandum is at ©22-24. OLO pointed
out that the Executive's fIscal analysis assumes that all publicly owned sidewalks would have to
be cleared in each winter weather event. As OLO pointed out, the Bill simply requires the
Executive to develop a plan to clear sidewalks. The plan may include a lower standard for action
on sidewalks than on clearing roads and may require clearing only pedestrian priority sidewalks.
OLO produced a chart of alternative fIscal impacts based upon different assumptions of number
of winter weather events and the number of miles of sidewalks to be cleared.
Once the sidewalk inventory is done, the estimate of annual costs can be more precise.
In
addition, the annual cost would depend upon the number of winter weather events that occur
each year and the substance of the plan. OMB and DOT representatives will be present at the
worksession to answer the Committee's questions about these estimates.
2
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2. Would this Bill be a prudent expenditure of County funds?
This Bill is likely to result
in
significant annual costs. DOT does not have an inventory
of sidewalks in the County. DOT representatives told Council staff that a sidewalk inventory
may be useful for purposes other than snow removal. A public outreach campaign to better
infonn property owners of their responsibility for sidewalk snow removal would bolster the
effectiveness of the current law. A longstanding accumulation of snow and ice on sidewalks is a
public safety hazard. Although the Bill would simply require the Executive to develop a plan to
clear the sidewalks in the County, the purpose of the Bill is to implement that plan to the extent
practicable and improve pedestrian safety after winter weather events.
The Bill raises a classic costlbenefit question that should be resolved by the Council
during its budget deliberations. Once the Executive has developed a Plan to clear sidewalks of
snow and ice after winter weather events, the Council can detennine the scope of the Plan to be
implemented based upon available resources during the annual adoption of the operating budget.
The Bill would require the Executive to include planning to remove snow and ice from sidewalks
along with planning to remove snow and ice from roadways.
3. Does the Americans with Disabilities Act require the County to clear snow and ice from
all publicly owned sidewalks?
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides that:
No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be
excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of services, programs, or
activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.
Although the implementing regulations do not expressly state that a local government
must remove snow and ice from sidewalks to pennit access by persons with a disability, the
Federal Highway Administration has declared that the ADA requires local governments to use
"reasonable" efforts to remove snow and ice from sidewalks. According to the County
Attorney's Office, the County may have agreed to this FHA reasonableness standard as part of
the agreement with the Justice Department governing sidewalk accessibility. See the County
Attorney email opinion at ©26-28. This reasonableness standard is consistent with the
requirement in Bill 21-14 to develop a plan to remove snow and ice from sidewalks. Prioritizing
sidewalk snow removal based upon available resources is reasonable. The Bill would require the
Executive to do the work necessary to detennine what is reasonable.
This packet contains:
Bill 21-14
Legislative Request Report
Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement
OLO FIS Review Memorandum
Testimony of Carl S. Custer
County Attorney Email about the ADA
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6
7
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25
26
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Bill No.
21-14
Concerning: Streets and Roads ­
Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan
Revised: April 16. 2014 Draft No.
-2­
Introduced:
April 22. 2014
Expires:
October 22. 2015
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
--!..!N~on~e~
_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Councilmembers Riemer and Navarro
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
require the Executive to develop a Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan; and
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
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface bracketsll
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law
by
original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unqffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No.
21-14
1
Sec.
1.
Section 49-17 is amended as follows:
49-17. Accumulation of snow and ice on property prohibited.
2
3
4
5
6
7
(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.
8
9
10
11
12
13
(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).
14
15
16
(3)
The requirements of this Section do not apply to:
(A)
(B)
an unpaved walkway;
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)
17
18
19
20
21
a walkway that:
(i)
(ii)
is at least 25 feet from vehicular traffic;
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
22
23
24
25
26
27
D
c;~
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BILL
No. 21-14
28
29
30
31
32
(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
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
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
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
Section, the County may clear the snow and ice and charge the
@
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Bill No. 21-14
55
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)
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan.
The Executive must develop, update,
and publish on the County internet site
that includes a:
~
66
67
sidewalk snow removal plan
68
ill
digital map of the County that shows who is responsible for
clearing snow and ice on each sidewalk in the County;
69
70
71
ill
"major storm event" communications plan that addresses notice
to County residents of
~
major storm event and the sidewalk
72
73
74
75
76
77
snow and ice removal requirements in this Section;
ill
targeted public education campaign about sidewalk snow and ice
removal for owners of property in the County;
ill
ill
@
designation of pedestrian priority routes for targeted education
and increased snow and ice removal enforcement;
public education campaign about how to request enforcement of
this Section;
plan to provide extended hours for County personnel who receive
snow and ice removal complaints during
~
major storm event;
78
79
80
81
m
plan for removal of snow and ice on publicly owned property:
8
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BILL
No.
21-14
82
83
84
85
(A)
@)
{Q
at bus-stops and Metro stations;
near schools;
along State highways;
along the highest priority pedestrian routes;
in
urban districts; and
(D)
86
87
88
89
90
®
.cD
([}
Approved:
used for hiker-biker trails; and
plan for trash removal during
~
major storm event.
Craig
L.
Rice, President, County Council
Date
91
Approved:
92
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
93
94
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council
Date
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 21-14
Streets and Roads
­
Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan
DESCRIPTION:
PROBLEM:
Bill 21-14 would require the Executive to develop a Sidewalk Snow
Removal Plan.
Although property owners are already required to remove snow and
ice from sidewalks that are contiguous to their property within 24
hours after precipitation ends, recent snow storms have left County
sidewalks covered with snow and ice for many days after a winter
weather event.
The goal of this Bill is to decrease the time sidewalks are covered
with snow and ice after a major winter weather event.
DOT, DPS, Police
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
To be researched.
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITIDN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Class C Violation
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ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
July 14,2014
TO:
FROM:
Craig Rice, President, County Council
Jennif~gh~
Office of Management and Budget
JOseU.B;~b,
....
D""'~r,
Department of Finance
Council Bill 21-14, Streets and Roads - Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan
SUBJECT:
Please find attached the fiscal and economic impact statements for
the
above­
referenced legislation.
JAH:fz
cc: Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant Cbief Administrative Officer
Lisa Austin, Offices of the County Executive
Joy Nunni, Special Assistant to the County Executive
Patrick Lacefield, Director. Public Infonnation Office
Joseph F. Beach, Director, Department of Finance
David Platt, Department ofFinance
Robert Hagedoom, Department of Finance
Arthur Holmes, Director, Department of Transportation
Naeem Mia, Office of Management and Budget
Alex Espinosa. Office ofManagement and Budget
Felicia Zhang. Office ofManagement and Budget
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Fiseal Impact Statement
Couneil
BiU 11-14,
Streets and Roads - Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan
1.
Legislative Summary.
Property owners
and
tenants are required under CUITent law
to
remo.ve snow
and
ice on
sidewalks that are contiguous
to
their property
within
24 hours after the end ofprecipitation
(with some exceptions).
The proposed bill requires the Executive Branch to develop, update,
and
publish
a
sidewalk
snow removal plan that includes
a:
I) Digital
map
ofthe County that shows who
is
responsible for clearing snow
and
ice on
each sidewalk
in
the
County;
2) "Major stonn event"
1
communications plan that addresses notice to County residents
of a major
storm
event and the sidewalk snow and ice removal requirements
in
County law;
3)
Targeted public education campaign about sidewalk snow and ice removal for owners
ofproperty
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 ofthe sidewalk snow
and ice removal requirements under County law;
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 ofsnow and ice on publicly-owned property, such
as:
• Bus stops
and
Metro stations;
• Near schools;
• Along State highways;
• Along the highest-priority pedestrian routes;·
• In
the urban districts; and
• Used for biker-biker
trails
8) Plan for trash removal during a "major storm event."
"Major storm event"
is
not defmed
in
the
proposed
legislation. "Snowlice weather event"
in
this analysis refers to
stonn events where snow and ice accumulation occur and trigger the requirements under
this
proposed
bill.
I
1
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1.
An
estimate of changes in County revenues and expenditures regardleu ofwhether the
revenues or expenditures are assumed
in
the recommended or approved budget.
Includes sources of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
The proposed bill
requires
the County
to
develop) implement, and enforce a sidewalk snow
removal pian; the County will incur two types of expenditures associated with the proposed
bill.
A) Development emenditures:
• Development of a sidewalk inventory to
identify
which sidewalks are
the
responsibility ofprivate property owners
to
clear ($200,000 one-time);
and.
• Development and publication of a
digital
map, which County residents and
other users can use to identify the party responsible for clearing snow and ice
from a specific section of sidewalk: ($150,000 one-time).
B) Compliance/enfOrcement expenditures:
• One-time cost of a public education campaign.
(via
paper mailings) about the
requirements ofthe bill ($100,000 one-time);
• Costs associated with clearing those sections of sidewalk under the
responsibility ofthe County ($300,000 per snowlice weather event);
• Costs associated with responding
to
and enforcing the provisions under
the
proposed bill (unknown
at
this time);
and
• Cost of updating the digital map
to
reflect current infonnation ($8,000 per
year).
General Assumptions:
• For the pmposes ofthis analysis, 20 snow/ice weather events are assumed to occur
annually.
• An average of 22 weather events per year occurred over the
last
6 years
that
required treatments for snow and ice removal?
• No revenues are expected to be generated from the proposed bill. However) the
County reserves the right under existing law
to
clear a section ofsidewalk and then
bill a property owner for the cost of clearing.
• The Department of Transportation (DOl) assumes it is responsible for the clearing of
snow and ice from public sidewalks that are not currently required
to
be cleared by
private property owners or other entities, including public walkways
that
are not
directly accessible from the private owner's property.
• Without a sidewalk inventory
to
determine the responsibility of clearing a
section ofsidewalk, DOT assumes
that
it will have
to
clear 600 miles of
sidewalk. See DOT-specific discussion further below on page 5.
2
Source:
Montgomery County Department ofTransportation
2
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• Only existing publicly-owned sidewalks are included
in
this fiscal analysis. Planned
or future sidewalks are not included.
• The Department of
General
Services (DGS) is currently responsible for clearing
public walkways at COWlty facilities - J}O incremental cost
will
be
incurred
by DGS
under the proposed legislation.
• Due to unavailable information,
the
following publicly-owned properties are
excluded
from this analysis:
• Clearing ofMetro stations are assumed to
be
under the
jurisdiction of
the
Washington
Area
Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA);
• Clearing at schools are assumed to
be
under the jurisdiction ofMontgomery
County Public Schools (MCPS);
• Clearing along State highways are assumed
to be
under the jurisdiction of the
State Highway Administration (SHA); and
• Clearing along hiker-biker trails assumed
to be
under
the
jurisdiction ofthe
Montgomery Couilty Parks Department.
Table 1: Summa!:! ofExgeaditure bI County Degartment
Pcmartment
Role
Source
One-
Time
Costs
Department of
Technology
Services (DTS)
Department of
Transportation
(DOT)
Develop and
~tain
digital map of
sidewalks
in
the
COWlty
Clear snow
and
ice
on publicly-owned
sidewalks
Recmring
Costs
$8,000 per
year
Annual
Costs
$8,000
i
Section 49­
17(hXI)
Section 49­
17(hX7)
$150,000
I
I
$200,000 . $300,000
per
snow/ice
weather
event
$6,000,000
Public
Infonnation
Office (PIO) and
MC311
Office
of
Targeted public
education campaign
about sidewalk snow
and ice removal
Section 49­
17(h)(3)
$100,000
None
None
I
None
None
None
Emergency
I
Management &
Homeland
Security
. (OEMHS)
Communications plan Section 49­
to
notify County
17(hX2)
residents of sidewalk
snow
and
ice removal
I
requirements
3
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Department of
Housing
&
Community
Affairs (DHCA)
Public education
campaign about how
to
request
enforcement for
sidewalk snow and
ice removal
Plan for
trash
removal during major
storm.
events
Section 49­
17(h)(5)
None
Unknown
Unknown
Department of
Environmental
Protection (DEP)
Section 49­
17(h)(8)
Section 49­
17(h)(7)(A)
None
None
None
Washington Area Clear snow
and
ice at
Metropolitan
.Metro stations
Transit Authority
(WMATA)
Montgomery
County Public
Schools
State Highway
Administration
(SHA)
Montgomery
County Parks
Department
Clear snow
and
ice
near schools
Clear snow and ice
along State highways
Clear snow and
ice
along trails which
are
under the jurisdiction
of the Parks
!
department
Not
included
Not.
included
Not
included
Section 49­
17(h)(7)(B)
Section 49­
17(hX7)(C)
Section 49­
17(hX7)(F)
Not
included
Not
included
Not
included
Not
included
Not
included
Not
included
Not
included
Not
included
Not
included
Department of Technology Services (DTS)
Under the proposed bill's section 49-17(h)(1), the County is required to develop, update, and
publish
a "digital
map" which shows the responsibility of
parties
for clearing snow
and
ice
on
each
sidewalk
in
the
County. The County does not currently have such a digital map.
time
expenditure ofapproximately $150,000, which
will
include
the
following activities:
3
DTS
estimates that
the
cost to develop, update, and publish the digital map will incur a one­
Creating individual work maps for Department of
TransPOrtatiOD;
Countywide data merging of individual work maps;
Integration with AroGIS Map Viewer;
• Entering
sidewalk
data
into
Geograpbic Information Systems (GIS) database;
based
on
the
standard D1'8 hourly
rate
oiSlOO per hour;
estimated
work-hours arc 1,400 hours for
all
tasks;
an additional $10,000
will
be
required for software licenses.
3
Cost
4
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• Enhancing ArcGIS
Map
Viewer to show sidewalk: and property-owner info;
• Developing web/mobile applications;
• Quality control checks of geographic information systems (GIS) data
and
web/mobile applications; and
• One (1) new license for ArcGIS for Desktop license for GIS
team;
In
addition, ongoing annual updates
to
the digital map are estimated to cost approximately
S8,000
per
year.
4
Total one-time cost to DTS:
Total ongoing cost
to
DTS:
Department of Transportation (DOD
S150,000
to
implement the digital map
$8.000
per
year for ongoing annual updates
Under the proposed bill's section 49-17(h)(7). DOT assumes that it
will
be
responsible for
clearing snow and ice on publicly-owned sidewalks (i.e., sidewalks which are not required to
be cleared by persons under
the
existing
provisions ofSection 49-17).
Note;
Without a sidewalk inventory to identify the responsibility of clearing a section of
sidewalk. this analysis assumes
that
all
sidewalk clearing requirements under the proposed
bill is
the
responsibility of the County Department of Transportation. Therefore, the ongoing
costs identified in Tables 2-B and 2-C represent
an upper limit
0/
costs to the County. It is
likely that the County's costs
0/
clearing sidewalks under the plan will decrease once a
sidewalk inventory is established
and
the true scope o/work is
known.
DOT estimates a one-time implementation cost of approximately $200,000 to develop an
inventory of
all
publicly-owned sidewalks within the County.
DOT also estimates
that
the
removal ofsnow and ice on public1y-owned sidewalks will incur
ongoing expenditures of S300,000 per snow/ice weather event, based on the following:
Base Assumptions for cost per snow/ice weather event:
Clean-up of public sidewalks will occur during any accumulation of snow/ice on
publicly-owned sidewalks - DOT does not currently clearltreat publicly-owned
. sidewalks which are not covered otherwise under existing legislation.
One (1) work crew will require two (2) hours to clear one
(1)
mile of sidewalk;
s
of$100 per hour; estimated worlc-hours are 80 hours per year to
update
4
Cost
bused
on
standard
DTS
hourly rate
the
digital
map.
, Work-crew costs assume the use ofcontractors and rental equipment.
5
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• DOT estimates that the Colmty
has
600 miles ofpublicly-owned sidewalk
6
that
would
require clearing under
the
proposed Section 49-17(hX7);
1
o DOT estimates that there
will
be
150 plow routes to clear all 600 miles;
o 50 work crews will
be
required (or 3 routes per work crew); and
o 1 inspector will be required to monitor
4
crews, for a total of 13 inspectors.
• Existing contract inspection staff for road clearing monitoring will be
unable to perform sidewalk inspections due to time constraints; road
inspectors generally follow road clearing crews on a time-constrained
schedijle.
J
Table 2-A: Resources Regnired to DeveloJ! Sidewalk Invento:a:
.Iasks
to
DeveloR Sidewalk: Iriventon:
IT Tech reviews and compiles routes for inventory
Inspectors perform fieldlvisual verification of sidewalks
Establishing whether sidewalk requires clearing under proposed bill
Administrative Staff/Overhead Costs (Division and Area Section Chief)
Total Costs for Sidewalk Inventory:
!
One-Time Cost
$60,400
8
$37.00~
$62,600
10
$40,000
11
5200,000
, Although the County does not currently have a sidewalk inventory, an estimate of600 miles ofsidewalk is based
on the following: DOT has 220 snow routes, ofwhich 150 have significant sections ofsidewalk. Ofthese
ISO
routes,
the
length
ofa sidewalk ranges from
1
to
9
miles, with an average of4 miles. Therefore, DOT assumes a
total of600 miles (4 miles x
1S0
routes) ofsidewalk:
that
will
need clearing.
7
DOT sampled approximately 3% oftbe
County
and State roads with sidewalks to derive an estimate of600 miles
of sidewalk to be cleared
by
the County under the provisions of
the
bill.
a Assumes 220 routes to be reviewed at 4 hours per
route
($6Slhour), plus 40 hours ofquality control
($801
hour).
!I
Assumes total
ISO
hours
required
for
inspection.
using
two teams
oftwo inspectors ($60lhour/inspector), plus
. $1,000
in
vehicle costs.
.
10
Assumes
that
150
routes
will
be assessed
by
IT tech
at
a
rate
of
4 hours
per
route (S6Slhour) and field
engineer
{f51bour) at a rate of2 hours per route. plus
$1,100
in
vehicle
costs.
.
Assumes
Division. Chief($20,OOO}
and Area
Section. Chief($20,OOO)
will
expend
25%
of
time
on.
developing the
sidewalk inventory.
6
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I
IllhlSi
2-D: Resources Reouired to Clear Sidewalks under Coun!!: Resgouibilitv
12
Work Crew Resources
Qwmtitt Hourly Rate
la
tal HourlX CQst
Snow-and-ice clearing crew:
a.
Operator
b. Laborers
c. Supervisor
Rental equipment:
a. Pick-up truck
with
trailer
b. Tractor/snow blower
Total hourly cost:
Total cost to clear 600 miles ofsidewalk:
4 persons
1
2
1
2 pieces
1
1
$35
$25
$40
$50
$50
$125
$35
$50
$40
$100
$50
$50
$225
$270,000
13
Table
2-C;
Resources Required to Qear Sidewalks under Coun!! Resgonsibilitv
Administrative StaffResources
14
Inspectors
Vehicles
Supervisors
Total Administrative Costs:
Total Work Crew Cost:
Total Administrative Cost:
I
Ouantity
13
15
2
Hourly Rate
$60
,
Total
Hoursts
24
24
24
Total Cost '
$18,720
$1,950
16
$3,840
$24,510
$270,000
$24,510
!
-
$80
Total cost to DOT per snowlice weather event:
(rounded
up):
$294,510
-5300,000
Labor rates are
based
on CUlTent DOT contracts and are a blend of
"high-demand"
rates and non-emergency rates.
13
$450 for two hours of work
per
woric-crew to clear one mile times 600 miles ofsidewalk.
14
Administrative
staff
costs assume the use ofcontractors.
IS
Assumes snow and ice must be cleared within 24 hours
after
the end of precipitation
(per
Section 49-17(c»
Hi
Vehicle cost
based
on current per-vehicle
contract
rate of$60
per
day plus $70 per
day
in fuel expenses
times
15
vehicles (or 1
vehicle
per
each
inspector
and
supervisor).
12
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Total one-time cost to DOT:
Total variable cost to DOT:
$200.000 for developing sidewalk: inventory
$300,000
per
snowlice weather event
Based on an average of 20 snowlice weather events
in
a given year, the total
ongoing annual
fiscal
!mPact
to
DOT to clear publicly-owned sidewalks is approximately $6,000,000 per
yearP
Public Infonnation Office (PIO) and
MOll
PIO estimates a one-time fiscal
impact
of approximately $100,000
18
for the cost of
printing
and
mailing
materials to
all
County property owners as part ofthe targeted public education
campaign.
MC311 estimates
that
there
are no
additional fiscal impacts under the proposed bill.
Total
one-time cost
to
PlO:
$100,000 for public education campaign
Qffice of Emergency Management
&
Homeland Security (OEMBS)
OEMHS estimates that there
are
no additional fiscal impacts from providing notice
to
County
residents of a major storm event
and
sidewalk snowlice removal requirements. OEMHS
assumes that notices of major storm events
and
snow and ice removal requirements
will
be
provided
at
negligible expense.
19
Department or Housing
&
Community Affairs (DRCA)
DHCA assumes that its enforcement staffwill
be
responding
to
increased complaints ofnon­
compliance with
the
proposed bill.
Without knowing how
many
requests for enforcements
will
occur for any given snowlice
weather event
in
any given year, DHCA and OMB cannot estimate a fiscal impact
at
this
time.
It
is likely
that
the number of enforcement actions will decrease over time as compliance
under this bill increases over time.
17
$300,000
per
snow/ice weather times
20
snow/ice weather events annually.
II
PIO
assumes
that
mailings
will
be
issued
once and there will be no
recwrlng
mailings
for
future
snow/ice weather
events.
be
provided through existing text messaging
and
email delivery
systems.
The incrementB1 cost of
adding
text
is negligible.
19
Notifications
to
8
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Department of Environmental Protection (PEP)
DEP estimates that there are no additional fiscal impacts from developing a trash removal
plan.
The
department already
has
a plan in place to address trash remov8J. during a major
storm event.
3. Revenue and expenditure estimates covering at least the next 6
fiscal
years.
Assuming there are
a!!
snow/ice weather events per year over
the
next 6 fiscal
years,
total
year costs are as follows:
Table 3: E!}!enditures over the next 6 fiscal lean
Department
Department of Technology
Services (DTS)
Department ofTransportation
(DOT)
Public Information Office (PlO)
and MC311
Office ofEmergency
Management
&
Homeland
Security (OBMHS)
Department of General Services
(DOS)
Department of Housing
&
Community
Affairs
(DHCA)
O"e·Iime Cost
in Fust Year
$150,000
$200,000
$100,000
None
Owroing
Cost
Per Year
$8,000
$6,000,000
None
None
Total
Costs
over the
next 6
fiscal
x.ears
$198,000
$36,200,000
$100.000
None
None
None
None
$450,000
I
!
None
Unknown
None
At least
$6,008,000 per
year
None
Unknown
None
At least 536,498,000
over 6 fIScal yean
Department ofEnvironmental
Protection (DEP)
Totals:
4. An
actuarial
analysis through the entire amortization period
for each bill
that would
affect retiree pension or group insurance costs.
Not applicable.
9
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5. Later aetions that may affect future revenue and expenditures
if
the
bill
authorizes
future spending.
Not applicable - the bill does not authorize future spending.
6. An estimate of the staff time needed to implement the
bill.
• 01'8
does not require any additional
staff
time to implement the proposed bill- both
development and ongoing updates
to
the map will
be
performed by contract
staff;
• DOT estimates that an additional 360 work-hours
will
be required per snow/ice
weather event;20
.
• OHCA cannot currently estimate additional work-hours required under the provisions
of this
bill
but anticipates an increase in work-hoW's due
to
increased requests for
enforcement;
and
• PIOIMC311, OEMHS. and OEP do not require any additional staff time
to
implement
the proposed bill.
7. An explanation of how the addition of new staff responsibilities would affect other
duties.
.
DHCA estimates that the timing of the required enforcement actions and the necessity for
immediate and ongoing compliance
at
the
time of each snowlice weather event may result in
shifting of priorities
and
workload adjustments which can delay other
code
enforcement
actions.
Other County departments report
that
the addition of new
staff
responsibilities
will
likely not
affect other duties on a regular basis since contract staff
will
likely
be
used for the additional
work under the proposed bill.
8. An estimate of costs when an additional appropriation
is
needed.
Asswning
20 snow/ice weather events per year,
at
least
$6,008,000
will
be
required on an
ongoing basis to cover recurring costs of snow/ice removal.
Another $450,000 will
be
required
in the fust year of the proposed bill's implementation for
DTS
and
DOT
to
develop and deploy
the
digital
map
and create a sidewalk inventory, as well
one-time costs
to
PIO for developing and issuing mailings for the public education
campaign
(see item #3 above).
:zo
24 hours x 13 FTEs (inspectors). plus 24 hours x 2 supervisors
=
360 worlc-hours (overtime)
10
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9. A descriptioll of uy variable that could affect revcllue alld cost estimates.
Cost estimates may be impacted by the following variables:
• The
miles of sidewalk. the County is responsible for clearing;
• The
number of enforcement actions to respond to complaints;
• The number of snow/ice weather events
that
occur in
any
year;
• The amOl.mt ofprecipitation that occurs for any given snowlice
weather
event;
• Labor costs (costs may increase during periods ofhigb demand);
and
• The
extent to which snowplows redeposit snow on sidewal.k:s. requiring additional
follow-up enforcement action
10. Rallges ofrevellue or expenditures that are ullcertain or difficult to project.
For DOT:
Expenditures for clearing publicly-owned sidewalks are difficult to project
because the number ofsnow/ice weather events
in
any given
year
is difficult
to
forecast.
• This analysis assumes an upper limit of600 miles of sidewalk: to
be
cleared by
the
County; the actual miles of sidewalk that the County is responsible for under the
sidewalk snow removal plan is likely
to
be lower.
• A sidewalk. inventory is necessary
in
order
to
determine
the
true scope of work for the
County.
For DHC..4.:
Total expenditures are difficult to project because enforcement is predicated on
non-compliance
and
the County cannot predict how many Notices ofViolation and
subsequent corrective actions will be required. Expenditures may decrease over time as the
compliance
rate
increases and enforcement actions decrease.
11.
If
a bill
is
Hkely to have no
fIScal
impact, why that is the case.
Not applicable.
12. Other fiscal impacts or comments.
This analysis assumes that the County will implement the sidewalk: snow removal plan
required under the proposed legislation and will incur
costs
for snow/ice removal events.
13. The followblg contributed to alld COllcUrred with this analysis:.
Keith Compton, Department ofTransportation
Richard Dorsey, Department ofTransportation
11
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leffrey Knutsen, Department
of
Transportation
Randy Paugh.
Department
of Transportation
Dieter Klinger,
Department
of
Tecbnology Services
Patrick
Lacefield,
Public
Information Office
Chris Voss, Office ofEmergency Management
&
Homeland Security
Tim
Goetzinger, Department
of
Housing &Community Affairs
Luann
Korona, Department of Housing
&
Community Affairs
Dan
McHugh, Department ofHousing & Community Affairs
Erika Lopez-Finn, Office ofManagement
&
Budget
Naeem
Mia,
Office of Management
&
Budget
led Millard,
Office
of
Management
&
Budget
. Matt Schaeffer, Office ofManagement
&
Budget
Date
12
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill 21-14, Streets and Roads - Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan
Backg:round:
This legislation would require the Executive to develop
a
Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan.
The plan would include:
• a digital map of the County that shows who is responsible for clearing snow
and ice from County sidewalks;
• a communications plan that
alerts
County residents of a major
winter
storm
event and reminds County residents of snow and ice removal requirement;
• a "targeted" public education
pro~;
• a public education program about enforcement of this Bill;
• designated pedestrian priority routes;
• a plan to provide extended hours for County personnel to respond to an
increase in complaints from County residents; and
• a plan to remove snow and ice
from publicly
owned property and for
trash
removal during a major storm event.
1. The sources of information, assumptions, and methodologies
used.
This
bill requires the Executive to develop a Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan.
Therefore, there
are
no sources of information, assumptions or methodologies used in
the development ofthe economic impact statement.
2. A
description of any variable tbat could affect the economic impact estimates.
Not applicable. See #1 above.
3.
The Bill's positive or negative effect,
if
any on employment, spending, saving,
investment,
incomes, and property
values
in the County.
Bill 21-14 requires the Executive to develop a Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan.
Although subsequent implementation ofthe Plan
may
have an economic impact, this
bill
has
no economic impact.
4.
If
a Bill
is
likely to have no economic impact, wby
is
that tbe case?
Not applicable, see
#3
above.
5.
The foDowing contributed to and concurred with this analysis: David
PIatt
and
Rob Hagedoom, Finance;
Page
1
of2
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill 21-14, Streets and Roads - Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan
Page 2 of2
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MEMORANDUM
September 4, 2014
TO:
FROM:
County Council
Craig Howard, Senior Legislative Analyst
Aron Trombka, Senior Legislative Analyst
Office of Legislative Oversight
SUBJECT: Implementation of OLO FY15 Work Program Project - Fiscal Impact Statements
The Council-approved FY15 Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) Work Program includes a project for
OLO to review fiscal impact statements submitted by the Executive Branch to the Council. Fiscal
impact statements are estimates of the fiscal consequences to County Government of implementing
pending legislation and Executive regulations. OLO will examine all fiscal impact statements and will
prepare supplemental fiscal analysis for certain bills and regulations.
This project will be a full fiscal year initiative that potentially can serve as a model for future work in
this area. Depending on the needs of the Council and the lessons learned from this project, future OLO
work programs may contain similar, expanded, or modified assignments.
OLO Plan for Review of Fiscal Impact Statements in FY15
Attached to this memo is an initial example of the type of analysisOLO will provide the Council as part of
this project. While the level of detail will likely vary based on the specifics of each bill, OLO will refine
the format and structure ofthe written analysis over the first part of the fiscal year based on feedback from
Councilmembers.
Going forward, OLO will review each fiscal impact statement the Council receives from the Executive
Branch during FY 15 and will determine which warrant further analysis for Council consideration. In
addition, OLO will also conduct an analysis of any fiscal impact statement based on the request of a
Councilmember and/or Council Central staff.
Beginning October 1
S
t,
OLO will prepare a monthly summary of all fiscal impact statements received by
the Council during the prior month and indicate which of those statements have been selected or requested
for additional analysis.
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OLO Review ofthe Fiscal Impact Statement for Bill 21-14,
Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan
Septemher 4, 2014
Summary of Fiscal Impact Statement
The Executive's fiscal impact statement for Bill 21-14 is attached to this review. The fiscal impact statement
provides a comprehensive summary ofthe potential costs associated with the bill, and as a result brings up
several important issues related
to
potential implementation of the bill. The fiscal impact statement includes two
primary costs components:
• $450,000 in one-time costs the first year of implementation to develop a sidewalk inventory, develop
a digital map of sidewalks in the County, and provide a targeted public information campaign about
sidewalk snow and ice removal requirements.
• $6 million per year in ongoing costs to clear snow and ice on publicly-owned sidewalks and maintain
the digital map. The primary assumptions used in developing the ongoing costs are that
600
miles of
publicly-owned sidewalks will need to be cleared and that 20 snow/ice events requiring clearing will
occur each year. DOT estimates costs of
$300,000
per snow/ice event.
Issues for Consideration Resulting from the Fiscal Impact Statement for Bill 21-14
OLO's review of the assumptions and methodology used to develop the fiscal impact statement indicate that the
yet undefined implementation standards of Bill 21-14 would playa large role in the actual fiscal impact. As a
result, there are five issues that the Council should consider related to the fiscal impact.
1. The Department of Transportation (DOT) currently does not have an inventory of publicly-owned
sidewalks. In its initial estimation, DOT assumed that
150
snow routes would have an average of four
miles of publicly-owned sidewalks, resulting in
600
miles of sidewalk falling under the bill's snow/ice
removal requirement. The fiscal impact statement acknowledges that the
600
mile assumption is an
"upper limit" and that the "actual miles of sidewalk that the County is responsible for under the
sidewalk removal plan is likely to be lower."
2. The fiscal impact statement assumes that all publicly-owned sidewalks would have to be cleared under
the legislation. However, the bill only requires a plan for clearing publicly-owned sidewalks 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. If the intent of Bill 21-14 is only
for a portion of the publicly-owned sidewalks to be cleared during snow/ice events, then the ongoing
costs may be substantially lower.
3. Executive branch staff noted that one reason all publicly-owned sidewalks were assumed to require
clearing is potential compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically, the
concern was that choosing not to clear specific sidewalks (and thus presumably leaving them
impassible) could be a violation of ADA accessibility requirements. This is an important policy/legal
question for the County to address.
4. The assumption of 20 snow/ice weather events per year is based on the average number of weather
events over the past six years in the County that required treatments for snow or ice removal on roads.
As a result, it assumes that sidewalk clearing under Bill 21-14 will be treated
to
the same standard as
roadways. The ongoing cost of the bill would differ from the fiscal impact statement estimate if the
implementation plan established a different standard for sidewalks than for roads.
5. The one-time costs associated with developing an inventory and digital map that creates a sidewalk
layer in the County's GIS system
($350,000
when excluding the projected expenditure for a public
infonnation campaign) may have future benefits outside the scope of Bill 21-14.
Page I of2
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Range of Potential Fiscal Impacts for Sidewalk Snow/lce Removal
The ongoing fiscal impact of Bill 21-14 is primarily a function of two assumptions: (1) the number of miles of
sidewalk subject to the snow/ice removal requirement; and (2) the number of snow/ice events per year that will
trigger the snow/ice removal requirement. A range of reasonable assumptions applies for both of these factors
depending on pending policy decisions and information gathering.
• Sidewalk Miles. As mentioned above, the Executive's fiscal impact statement indicates that the
assumption of 600 miles of pubJicly-owned sidewalks is an "upper limit." Completion of the sidewalk
inventory likely will result in a reduction in the amount of sidewalk miles subject to the provisions of
Bill 21-14. Moreover, identification ofthe "highest priority pedestrian routes" in the snow removal plan
could further lower the number of sidewalk miles covered by the bill. Last, when a winter weather
event affects only a portion of the County, the number of miles of actual sidewalk snow/ice removal will
be a subset of the total miles governed by the snow removal plan.
• Number of Snow/lce Events per Year. DOT has established a policy regarding when to treat roads
with salt and when to remove snow by plowing. DOT treats roads for events with less than three inches
of snow and plows roads when snow accumulation reaches three or more inches. If Bill 21-14 is
enacted, the standard for clearing sidewalks could differ than that for clearing roads and thus require
fewer clearings. For example, the standard for sidewalk snow removal could be linked to an
accumulation amount. In addition, the policy could provide an exemption when expected weather
conditions would result in significant melting within a specified period oftime.
The table below shows that annual cost of sidewalk snow/ice removal given alternative assumptions ofthe
number of snow events per year and the number of sidewalk miles. The calculations in the table use the
Executive's cost estimate of $500 per mile per snow/ice event.
Annual Cost of Sidewalk Snow/lce Removal
Based on Number of Snow Events per Year and Miles of Sidewalk
Number of Snow Events Per Year
5
200
250
==1
"C
....
00
10
$1,000,000
$1,250,000
$1,500,000
$1,750,000
$2,000,000
$2,250,000
$2,500,000
$2,750,000
$3,000,000
15
$1,500,000
$1,875,000
$2,250,000
$2,625,000
$3,000,000
$3,375,000
$3,750,000
$4,125,000
$4,500,000
20
$2,000,000
$2,500,000
1
$3,000,000
$3,500,000
$4,000,000
$4,500,000
$5,000,000
$5,500,000 :
$6,000,000
I
$500,000
$625,000
$750,000
$875,000
$1,000,000
$\,125,000
$1,250,000
$1,375,000
$1,500,000
300
350
400
450
~
Q,I
c...
Q
GIl
Q,I
==
~
i
500
550
I
600
Page 2 of2
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Council Public Hearing on Snow Removal
Tue
luI
8, 2014
Carl S. Custer
8605 Hartsdale Ave
Bethesda, MD 20817
Sidewalks covered with snow are a public safety hazard.
In the past decade, Montgomery County has failed to enforce their requirement for home and
business owners to clear their sidewalks of snow.
The Montgomery County Police have failed to enforce that requirement. *
The Montgomery County Government has failed to publicize to the public their need to clear
their sidewalks of snow. **
As a result, pedestrians, including students***, have been forced to walk in busy streets or over
icy walks of trodden snow.
.
The initiative of Council Member Hans Riemer and this Council meeting to strengthen the
requirement is refreshing.
It
is for public safety and the right thing to do.
Snow is not the only seasonal pedestrian impediment. In the fall, some homeowners and
landscaping companies blow leaves covering walkways thus, forcing pedestrians to walk in the
street. The best example is Fernwood south ofI-495. The walkway may appear to be a road
shoulder, but it is a pedestrian walk way. Leaves also clog gutters. Wet leaves are slick and a
hazard, especially to two wheeled vehicles. My letter to Council Member Nancy Floreen in 2007
yielded unsatisfactory results. A staff officer suggested educating landscapers and added some
lame excuses. A follow up letter countering the excuses went unanswered.
Enforcement ofthese requirements need not be onerous. I believe the first priority is publicizing
the need for snow to be removed and that leaves must be on the curb, not in the gutter or street
nor on the sidewalk or walkway. The dark green and dark red leaf collection flyers are poorly
legible. Use lighter colored paper.
For the commercial areas, parking enforcement can be tasked with enforcement.
For residential areas, police can call in addresses.
Publicity should reduce the need for enforcement.
Physically disabled homeowners can hire help to clear sidewalks as they do for mowing lawns,
clearing gutters, and raking leaves. Or, they can .enlist the aid of neighbors as happens in my
neighborhood.
*For example along Old Georgetown Road and Wisconsin Ave, where multiple police patrol cars
travel, sidewalks have remained uncleared for days after a snow.
** After calling in examples of unplowed walks last winter, Staff Officer Lynn McCreary called
back and said the owners were not aware of the requirement to clean walks.
*** An example is Montgomery Blair High School and the I 495 overpasses on University Blvd
and Colesville Road. Plows covered the sidewalks and the sidewalks remained covered for days.
Thus, children were forced to walk in the streets.
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Drummer, Bob
From:
Sent:
To:
Cc:
Subject:
Hansen, Marc P.
Tuesday, September
02,20145:09
PM
Drummer, Bob
Kirkland, Bonnie
FW:
Request for legal Support/Review
Bob
FYI.
Marc P. Hansen
County Attorney
Montgomery County, Maryland
240-777-6740
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The contents of this email may be confidential under the attorney-client
privilege, the work-product doctrine, or other applicable law.
If
you have received this email in error, you may
not copy, distribute, or use its contents, and you are requested to delete the email from your system immediately
and notify the sender at
240-777-6700.
Thank you .
From: Hansen, Marc P.
Sent:
Tuesday, September
02,20144:12
PM
To: Royalty, Clifford; Holmes, Arthur
Cc:
Kirkland, Bonnie; Compton, Keith; Windle, Anne; Greene, Nancy CDGS); Via, Patricia; Schroeder, Pamela
Subject:
RE: Request for Legal Support/Review
.
-------------------
Art,
I would add to Cliff s analysis that Bill
21-14
offers DOT an opportunity to establish a standard that establishes
a reasonable schedule of snow and ice removal from sidewalks that is doable given the County's resources. I
think a schedule could prioritize areas based on usage leaving the less traveled sidewalks to the end.
One concern, however, that should be addressed with risk management is the obligations of DOT to repair (or
otherwise warn the public) when a defect in a sidewalk is detected during snow removal. The County wins
many slip and fall cases because the plaintiff cannot show that the County was aware of the defect. This defense
will be harder to maintain
if
the County is removing the snow from a sidewalk with an open defect.
Marc P. Hansen
County Attorney
Montgomery County, Maryland
240-777-6740
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Thank
From: Royalty, Clifford
Sent:
Tuesday, September
02, 2014 2:46
PM
To: Holmes, Arthur
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Cc:
Kirkland, Bonnie; Hansen, Marc P.; Compton, Keith; Windle, Anne; Greene, Nancy (DGS)
Subject:
RE: Request for Legal Support/Review
Art,
I reviewed the applicable law and I agree with your observation that the ADA does not provide clear (or better
yet, any) guidance concerning snow and ice removal from public sidewalks. Title II of the ADA provides that
"no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or
be denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by
any such entity." The Rehabilitation Act contains a similar requirement. Neither Title II of the ADA, nor the
Rehabilitation Act, nor the implementing regulations for the former, specifically state that a sidewalk is a
service, program, or activity or that a local government is responsible for removing snow and ice from
sidewalks.
However, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) (which has been designated to enforce the ADA as to
right of way) has determined that sidewalks are covered by Title II and that local governments must employ
"reasonable" snow removal effOlts. The courts have generally been supportive of the FHA's position. The
County arguably acceded to the FHA position when it signed a settlement agreement witiI the Department of
Justice governing sidewalk accessibility (though the settlement agreement mainly addresses curb cuts). The
FHA reasonableness sumdard is not a real standard, but, unfortunately, it is the standard to which the County is
subject at present. The County could obviously challenge any FHA detemunation that the County has violated
the ADA, but I am not aware of any such detennination and I anl doubtful that the County is desirous of
litigating the issue.
I understand that DOT has concerns about Bill 21-14. Any policy concerns are not within my bailiwick, but the
Bill does not appear to violate tile ADA. In fact, the Bill seems to further the purposes of the ADA. Whether the
Bill expands the County's jurisdiction in a way that violates State law is a separate topic.
If
Anne or Nancy have a different take on this, I am inviting them to respond to this email.
Cliff
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privilege, the work-product doctrine, or other applicable law.
If
you have received this email in error, you may
not copy, distribute, or use its contents, and you are requested to delete the email from your system immediately
al1d
the sender at 240-777-6700. Thank
From:
Holmes, Arthur
Sent:
Friday, August 29,201410:22 AM
To:
Hansen, Marc P.; Compton, Keith
Subject:
Request for Legal Support/Review
Marc:
This is a request that the OCA review the Federal ADA Statute - The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 - as it relates
to our (Executive Branch) responsibility to remove snow and ice from sidewalks under our control.
I understand that that the current Montgomery County Code (Section 49-17) requires land owners to remove snow and
ice within 24-hours following the end of a storm. However, there are exceptions that place up to 600 miles of sidewalk ­
located in the public right-of-way - unassigned for snow and ice clearing/control. For example, the sidewalk along a long
portion of Shady Grove Road is located well behind the developed lots. The lots front interior subdivision streets and
back to Shady Grove Road. The existing law requires that those owners clear the sidewalks along the frontage of their
properties; but not the walkways situated behind the homes along Shady Grove Road. In these cases, as with many
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others. the rightful abutting owner is not required to address this particular walkway. As an aside, a pending Bill at
Council will assign this 600 miles to the Executive Branch.
Recently, MCDOT has been made aware of its responsibility to meet Federal ADA by providing accessible walkways,
notwithstanding snow coverage. A disabled individual complained to Department of Justice (DOJ) that their Civil Rights
were violated by access denial due to snow coverage on a sidewalk along Connecticut Avenue. DOJ handed the
complaint to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for investigation. Our folks met with FHWA at the request of State
Highway Administration (SHA) in as much as we are required to maintain sidewalks along State roads per COMAR. That
complaint is currently being investigated. I believe the sidewalk that is the subject of the complaint to DOJ is covered
under existing MC law. But, as noted above, approximately 600 miles (in our estimation) my fall to us to address.
Our review of Federal Law leads us to ADA Title II, Subpart B, §3S.133. However, ours is not a legal review and the
Federal ADA is somewhat voluminous; hence my request that OCA provides a comprehensive legal review to possibly
include case law that may set precedent locally. Our findings are noted below as copied from the Feds:
§
35.133 Maintenance of accessible features
• (a) A public entity shall maintain in operable working condition those features of facilities and equipment
that are required to be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities by the Act or this part.
• (b) This section does not prohibit isolated or temporary interruptions in service or access due to maintenance
or repairs.
• (c) If the 2010 Standards reduce the technical requirements or the number of required accessible elements
below the number required by the 1991 Standards, the technical requirements or the number of accessible
elements in a facility subject to this part may be reduced in accordance with the requirements of the 2010
Standards.
As you may be aware, Councilmember Riemer plans to introduce Bill 21-14 - Roads and Streets - Snow Removal on
Sidewalks. The T&E Committee will meet with Executive staff to discuss the Bill prior to going to full Council. I am asking
for this legal review and assistance because the Executive Branch must be clear as to its responsibilities with respect to
full compliance with Federal mandated ADA as pertains to snow and ice control on sidewalks. The Executive's position
with respect to Bill 21-14, and our dialog at Council, should be predicated on our knowledge of our requirements under
Federal Law. The Federal Law as we read it seems vague and ambiguous.
At present the T&E session is set for September 8 although we have asked Council staff to reschedule to allow time for
this requested legal review.
Keith Compton is our Point Person on this Bill and the related ADA issue. He has spoken with Cliff Royalty about this.
Cliff, as usual, was very helpful. Based upon Keith's conversation with Cliff, I believe Cliff world agree that this requires a
thorough legal review to be sure we're on the right track and good footing (no pun intended).
Please call me or KeithCompton with any questions or comments.
Arthur Holmes, Jr., Director
Department of Transportation
Montgomery County, Maryland
240-777-7170
arthur.holmes@montgomerycountymd.gov
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