Agenda Item 6C
December 13,2016
Action
MEMORANDUM
December 9, 2016
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
County Council
Josh Hamlin, Legislative Attorne
Action:
Expedited Bill 46-16, Streets an Roads - Snow Removal- Violations
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee recommendation:
(2-1, Councilmember Floreen opposed):
Enact Expedited Bill 46-16 with amendment
Expedited Bill 46-16, Streets and Roads - Snow Removal- Violations, sponsored by Lead Sponsor
Counci1member Riemer and Co-Sponsor Councilmember Berliner, was introduced on November
15, 2016. A public hearing was held on November 29 and a Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy
and Environment Committee worksession was held on December 1.
Expedited Bill 46-16 would provide for higher penalties for violations ofthe law requiring removal
of snow and ice on commercial property. Section 49-17 of the County Code provides that "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." A violation of §49-17 is a class C violation, but is not subject to a citation unless
the violation still exists 24 hours after a notice of violation.
Expedited Bill 46-16 would make a violation of §49-l7 on or adjacent to commercial property a
class A violation, while a violation on or adjacent to residential property would remain a class C
violation. Under the Bill, "commercial property" would mean real property that either is not
designed for or intended for human habitation, or contains a multi-family dwelling of four or more
units. "Residential property" under the Bill would mean real property containing either a single­
family dwelling or a multi-family dwelling of three or fewer units. Civil penalties for class A
violations are 10 times those of class C violations: a maximum of $500 for the first offense and
$750 for repeat offenses.
A memorandum from the Bill's sponsor is at ©6.
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Public Hearing and Correspondence
A public hearing was held on November 29, at which there were three speakers. Seth
Morgan, Chair of the Commission on People with Disabilities spoke in support of the Bill. Dr.
Morgan highlighted the importance of clear sidewalks to the independence of people with
disabilities, and asserted that there is a need for a greater fine than the current $50 to be "persuasive
to a commercial property owner" (see ©7). Darrel Drobnich, Chair of the Pedestrian, Bicycle, and
Traffic Safety Committee also spoke in support of the Bill, stating his belief that "more needs to
be done to encourage all property owners, and especially commercial property owners," to clear
the sidewalks for which they are responsible (see ©8). Richard Hoye spoke in opposition to the
Bill, indicating that commercial property owners are not the issue, and that a larger problem results
from road-clearing plows pushing snow on to sidewalks.
Mr.
Hoye said that a stakeholder group
is needed to address the problem of snow removal.
In addition to the speakers, the Council has received written correspondence, both in
support and in opposition to the Bill. Tracey Johnstone ofthe Action Committee for Transit wrote
in support of the Bill, citing the importance of clear sidewalks as pedestrian traffic increases,
particularly in light of the substantial number of significant snowfalls in recent years. Carl Custer
categorized sidewalk snow clearing as a public safety issue, and cited the importance of
enforcement, concluding that "fines should get folks' attention."
Marilyn Balcombe of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce expressed
opposition to the Bill (see ©9). While supporting the need for restoring mobility, she asserted that
increasing fine amounts for commercial property owners will not resolve the issue. Ms. Balcombe
also referenced the problem with plows pushing snow onto sidewalks, and said that better
coordination between street crews and sidewalk crews is needed. Jane Redicker of the Greater
Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce also wrote in opposition to the Bill, questioning the need for
the legislation (see ©10-11). Ms. Redicker referenced a Department of Housing and Community
Affairs (DHCA) memorandum which indicated that only two citations were issued in the winter
of2015-2016, and both were dismissed in District Court.
Issues/Committee Recommendation
Will increasing fines for commercial properties increase compliance?
DHCA handles enforcement for sidewalk snow removal. When complaints are received
on commercial, multi-family, and repeat single-family properties, DHCA staff visits the sites
within a day of the complaint being filed. For first-time complaints on single-family properties,
DHCA sends out an educational letter informing the owner of their legal responsibilities for
clearing ofthe sidewalks. DHCA issues a "Notice ofViolation" (NOV) for commercial and multi­
family properties, requiring corrective action within 24 hours. The NOV is intended to encourage
compliance with the law, and failure to correct the violation within 24 results in a citation that,
under current law carries a $50 fine.
DHCA provided a table showing the number of complaints, site visits, and citations issued
over the last three winter seasons (©12). As referenced by Marilyn Balcombe and Jane Redicker
2
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in their letters to the Council in opposition to the Bill, only two citations, one for residential, one
for commercial, were issued
in
winter 2015-2016. The citation numbers were identical in winter
2014-2015, and in winter 2013-2014, there were no citations issued at all. These numbers would
appear to indicate the limited utility of increasing fines for commercial properties; conversely, the
numbers indicate that under the current enforcement process, would not likely represent an
extreme burden to commercial property owners.
It
is unclear whether the threat of an increased
fine would provide DHCA with needed leverage to encourage compliance on commercial
properties. An increased fine for these properties would, however, potentially offer a more
effective "tool in the toolbox" should more aggressive enforcement be deemed necessary.
Is a penalty of $500 to punitive?
When the Bill was introduced, Councilmember Katz expressed concern that a $500 fine ­
10 times that ofthe fine for residential properties - is too punitive. Under Section 1-19 of the Code
13), the Executive may, by method (1) regulation provide for amounts lower than the maximums
of $500 and $750. The Committee discussed this issue and recommended amending the Bill to
keep the violation as class A, but expressly provide that the penalty for a first offense is $250, with
subsequent violations subject to penalties provided in Section 1-19.
Committee recommendation (2-1, Councilmember Floreen opposed):
Amend lines 55-57 as
follows:
ill}
on or adjacent to commercial property,
~
class A violation
subject to a civil penalty of$250 for an initial offense. with
penalties for repeat offenses according to Section 1-19.
This packet contains:
Expedited Bill 46-16
Legislative Request Report
Councilmember Riemer memo
Public Hearing Testimony
Seth Morgan
Darrel Drobnich
Selected Correspondence
Marilyn Balcombe
Jane Redicker
DHCA Table, Winter 2014 - Winter 2016
Montgomery County Code Section 1-19
Fiscal and Economic Impact statement
Circle #
1
5
6
7
8
9
10
12
13
14
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Expedited Bill No. --'4=6--'-1=6_ _ _ __
Concerning: Streets and Roads - Snow
Removal - Violations
Revised: December 1. 2016 Draft No.
..1
Introduced:
November 15.2016
Expires:
May 15. 2018
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
---'-!N~onC!::e'___
_ _ _ _ __
ChI _ _ Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
I
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsor: Councilmember Riemer
Co-Sponsor: Councilmember Berliner
AN EXPEDITED ACT
to:
(1 )
provide for penalties for violations of the law requiring removal of snow and ice on
certain property; and
(3)
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
Article I, In General
Section 49-17
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedjrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedjrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 46-16
1
Sec. 1. Section 49-17 is amended as follows:
49-17. Accumulation of snow and ice on property prohibited.
(
a)
2
3
4
5
(1 )
In this Section:
(A)
Commercial property
means real property that either:
ill
(ii)
is not designed for or intended for human
habitation; or
contains
units.
~
6
7
8
9
10
11
multi-family dwelling of four or more
ill}
Residential property
means real property containing
either:
ill
ill
A
~
single family dwelling; or
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
(ii)
~
multifamily dwelling of three or fewer units.
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 ofthis 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)]
ill
19
20
21
22
23
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).
24
25
26
27
[(3)]ffi
The requirements of this Section do not apply to:
(A) an unpaved walkway;
Q
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1646 streets and roads -snow removal - violations\bill 4.docx
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ExPEDITED BILL
No. 46-16
28
(B)
a private walkway or parking area on the property of a
single-family residence;
29
30
31
(C)
a public walkway behind a single-family residence that is
not directly accessible from the owner's property; or
32
33
34
35
(D)
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
(iv)
is not the primary route for pedestrian access to a
winter recreational facility open to the public.
36
37
38
39
40
41
[(4)](i)
(A)
An
individual who lives m a multi-family
42
43
44
45
[residential property] dwelling is not responsible for
removmg 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.
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
*
(g)
Violations.
*
*
ill
A violation of this Section is:
CA)
on or adjacent to residential property, a class
C
violation~
and
{3J
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streets and roads -snow removal- violations\bill4.docx
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EXPEDITED BILL
No.
46-16
55
56
ill}
on or adjacent to commercial property,
~
class A violation
subject to a civil penalty of$250 for an initial offense. with
penalties for repeat offenses according to Section 1-19.
57
58
ill
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.
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
ill
Each day a violation continues to exist is a separate violation,
except for a violation on or adjacent to a single-family residential
property.
66
67
68
*
*
*
Sec.2. Expedited Effective Date:
The Council declares that this legislation is
necessary for the immediate protection of the public interest. This Act takes effect on
the date on which it becomes law.
Approved:
69
70
71
72
Roger Berliner, President, County Council
Date
73
Approved:
74
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
75
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
76
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
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1646 streets and roads -snow removal - violations\bill 4.docx
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Expedited Bill 46-16
Streets and Roads
-
Snow Removal
-
Violations
DESCRIPTION:
Expedited Bill 46-16 would make a violation of the County's sidewalk
snow removal law on or adjacent to commercial property a class A
violation, while a violation on or adjacent to residential property would
remain a class C violation.
The current fine structure has little deterrent effect on larger properties,
for whom snow-clearing may be quite expensive.
Create an increased incentive for commercial property owners to
comply with the County's sidewalk snow removal law by increasing
fines for violations.
Department of Transportation
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Josh Hamlin, Legislative Attorney
To be researched.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Class C violation (residential) and class A violation (commercial)
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MONTGOM ERY COUNTY COUNCIL
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
HANS RIEMER
COUNCILMEMBER AT-LARGE
To:
From:
Date:
Re:
Councilmembers
Hans Riemer
November 8, 2016
Sidewalk Snow Fines: Residential and Commercial
Colleagues, on Tuesday, November 15 I will be introducing a bill that strengthens sidewalk snow
removal legislation by establishing a higher compliance fine on commercial property, by making
commercial property owners subject to a Class A violation (with a fine up to $500) ifthey are found in
violation of the sidewalk snow clearing law. Residential property owners would remain subject to a Class
C violation (with a fine up to $50).
While a $50 fine seems adequate for residential properties, it has very little, if any, deterrent effect on
commercial property owners. Clearing commercial property can be more expensive, but it is no less
important. The fine needs to be larger to enable code enforcers to more effectively deal with the
problem actors, which are few but have a large impact.
While I still believe our current "light touch" and flexible approach to enforcement is generally the right
way to go, the larger fine will be an effective tool in code enforcement's toolbox. Restoring mobility for
every mode-including motorists, transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists-should be the County's priority
after snow events. This legislation helps us do just that.
I respectfully request your support of the bill.
100
MARYLAND
AVENUE,
6
TH
FLOOR,
ROCKVILLE,
MARYLAND
20850
240/777·7964
-
TTY
240/777·7914
-
FAX
2401777·7989
-
COUNCILMEMBER.RIEMER@MONTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV
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\
COMMISSION ON PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Testimony on Bill 46-16 Street and Roads - Snow Removal- Violations
November 29, 2016
My name is Seth Morgan. I am chair of the Commission on People with Disabilities and am speaking in
favor of Bill 46-16, Streets and Roads - Snow Removal- Violations.
A basic unifying theme of many of the concerns affecting people with disabilities is the issue of
independence. People with disabilities are in basic ways no different from all members of society. We
want the autonomy of self-determination in deciding our life choices; where we live, the schools we go
to, the jobs we apply for, and so on. Part of that ability requires that barriers to independence be
eliminated. Great advances along these lines have been made as a result ofthe Americans with
Disabilities Act and the laws enacted by our forward thinking local legislators aimed at creating
inclusiveness.
A recurring concern that threatens this independence is that of how local jurisdictions address the issue
of snow removal when it is needed. Roads are cleared promptly and efficiently as most members of
society use cars or public transportation to get to work, buy staples, and so on.
However, the need to clear sidewalks is not given a similar degree of attention and urgency. Those who
become de facto prisoners of their homes because they need clear sidewalks, wheelchair ramps,
crosswalks and disability parking are often forgotten with all the attendant dangers that isolation brings.
Not only are snow blocked sidewalks a danger to people with disabilities but also endanger our aging
residents and everyone else as well. You may want to include in the bill that the width ofthe path of
travel to be shoveled should be at minimum 36" wide.
The Council has passed laws about the responsibilities of home owners to clear the sidewalks in front of
their homes. Understanding that not all residents will comprehend the need for these laws, a fine of
$50 is used to encourage homeowner compliance.
A concern of many commissioners is for people who are physically unable to shovel snow. We know it's
the responsibility of the homeowner to remove snow. However, we are hoping that the County will be a
resource in coordinating volunteers, like the City of Rockville to assist those who are unable to do it.
But, what is clear is that a fine that results in action by a homeowner to clear their sidewalks will not
necessarily be as persuasive to a commercial property owner. Thus, a more severe fine of $500 is
needed to achieve compliance.
It is unfortunate that fines are needed at all but until all property owners comply because that is the
right thing to do, we will need fines that are more than a slap on the hand in order to get attention and
action.
Department of Health and Human Services
401 Hungerford Drive' Rockville, Maryland 20850 • 240-777-1246 • 240-777-1288 FAX
www.montgomerycountymd.govlbhs
montgomerycountymd.gov/311
..
.~
..
-3'
.
~~"
301-251-4850 TTY
(j)
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Public Hearing on Expedited Bill 46-16,
Streets and Roads - Snow Removal- Violations
Testimony of Darrel Drobnich
Chair of the Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Traffic Safety Committee
2700 Blaine Drive
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Summary:
Support for Expedited Bill 46-16, Streets and Roads - Snow Removal Violations.
Good Afternoon.
I'm Darrel Drobnich, a resident of Chevy Chase and Chairman ofthe Montgomery County
Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee. I am here today in support of Bill
46-16, Snow Removal Violations.
The Advisory Committee is a 17-member body appointed by the County Executive and
confirmed by the Council. As you know, we share your commitment to improve pedestrian,
bicycle and traffic safety as well as accessibility for everyone... and remain dedicated to
assisting you to achieve the County's goal of making Montgomery County a model walkable and
rideable community.
Over the last few years the Committee has heard numerous complaints from citizens, especially
those with mobility issues, about the lack of snow removal and inability to use sidewalks or get
to bus stops during large snowfalls. As a result, in 2014, the Committee supported Bill 21-14,
Streets and Roads Snow Removal Plan. We hope this this plan eventually is fully funded.
Last fall, the Committee held a "Walk-About" event in Gaithersburg with senior citizens and
members of the disabilities community. Council members Berliner and Katz joined us as we all
experienced what people with mobility issues face everyday trying to get to the store, a
doctor's appointment, or to a bus stop. These trips become a nightmare or simply impossible
during snowstorms and for many days after in many parts ofthe County.
I firmly believe that more needs to be done to encourage all property owners, and especially
commercial property owners, as this bill addresses, to clear any sidewalk, other walkway,
shared use path, or parking area of ice and snow for pedestrians and wheelchair users to safely
get to where they need to go. Appropriate fines need to given to business owners who don't
take their responsibility seriously.
Thank you for your attention and your ongoing commitment to protect the health and safety of
ou r citizens.
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rtJ[tI
[1[1
Gaithersburg-Germantown
Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
Marilyn Balcombe
November 22, 2016
910 Clopper Road, Suite 20SN, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878 (301) 840-1400, Fax (301) 963-3918
Expedited Bill
46-16,
Streets and Roads - Snow Removal- Violations
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Bill 46-16 which will increase the compliance fine on
commercial property, by making commercial property owners subject to a Class A violation (with a fine
up to $500) if they are found in violation ofthe sidewalk snow clearing law.
We thank Councilmember Reimer for asking for input from our commercial property owners prior to
submitting the proposed legislation. We also support the need for "restoring mobility" after a snow
event. However, we do not think this bill will have the desired impact. Increasing the fine from $50 to
$500 does not help resolve the very issue impacting most commercial property owners from complying
with the law in the first place.
We oppose the increased fines primarily because commercial property owners often do not have
control over clearing their sidewalks due to the lack of control over when the abutting streets will be
cleared. As our commercial property owners report, and
code enforcers concur,
one ofthe major
problems with snow clearing is that after a commercial property owner clears their sidewalk, snow­
plows come along and push snow back onto the walk way. Commercial property owners are left with
the choice of clearing their sidewalks twice or waiting until the adjacent road is clear and risking a fine
for non-compliance.
Based on data from the Code Enforcement Section of Housing and Community Affairs, there were NO
fines issued for the winter of 2015-2016. Ofthe 888 total reported complaints, 719 were single family
properties that received an educational letter with no further follow up. The remaining 169 properties
were visited by code staff with only 2 citations for non-compliance. Both cases were dismissed in District
Court. Increasing the fine from $50 to $500 will not have the desired impact of "restoring mobility".
If restoring mobility is the ultimate goal, there needs to be better coordination between the street crews
and sidewalk crews. If there are "problem actors" out there who continually flout the law, perhaps the
legislation can specifically target repeat offenders.
We do not believe this legislation is the answer. Thank you.
1
(j)
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CHAMBER
OF
COMMERCE
I~~~
E.
GREATER
SILVIR
SPRING
November 22, 2016
Council President Nancy Floreen
and Members of the Council
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20854
RE: Expedited Bill 46-16 - Streets and Roads - Snow Removal Violation - OPPOSE
Dear Council President Floreen and Members of the Council:
On behalf of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, I am submitting this letter in lieu of testimony to
express the Chamber's opposition to Bill 46-16. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on this legislation,
which will increase by tenfold the compliance fine on commercial property, by making commercial property
owners subject to a Class A violation (with a fine up to $500) if they are found in violation of the sidewalk snow
clearing law.
Fundamentally, we question the very need for this legislation. According to a memo from the Department of
Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA), the agency responsible for enforcement of current snow removal
laws:
"The numbers for the winter of20l5-20l6 include the creation of888 cases. Of these, 169 properties were
visited by code staff and 719 first-time SF [single family] properties were sent the above mentioned educational
letter. We issued 2 citations for non-compliance. The cases were sent to the District Court where the citations
were dismissed in court."
The memo went on to further state:
"One issue we have when enforcing the sidewalk shoveling requirement is that many times the snow-plows have
not completed the road clearing adjacent to the sidewalk in question. Taking immediate action in such cases
would not be productive before the streets are cleared completely because the snowplows often push snow back
onto the sidewalk. There have been several instances where the property owner has shoveled to comply with the
law, only to have the sidewalk re-covered with snow by the snowplow."
Based on this information, it seems to us that the current level of enforcement and fine structure does not need to
be changed, and imposing a higher fine on commercial property owners will do nothing to "restore mobility,"
the stated goal of the bill's sponsor.
We agree with the sponsor that the County's "current "light touch" and flexible approach to enforcement is
generally the right way to go ..." The Chamber member property and business owners with whom we discussed
this bill told us that they do their best to get out and get the sidewalks around their properties cleared as soon as
possible. It's in their best interests. Business and property owners want to get back to work and open and
accessible for their customers.
The problem, as so well stated in the memo from County's enforcement officials, is that property owners'
efforts to clear their sidewalks are often directly dependent on the County's and State's success in clearing the
adjacent roadways. Further, it seems counter-productive, and a threat to individual safety, to have a law that
requires that sidewalks be cleared at the same time that the County's Department of Transportation (OOT) is
8601 Georgia Avenue, Suite 203, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Phone: 301-565-3777
Fax: 301-565-3377
info@gsscc.org
www.gsscc.org
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often telling citizens (who include business and property-owners) to stay home until DOT crews can clear the
roads.
It
also forces DHCA inspectors, who have not been designated as "essential personnel," to be out when
County officials have told our residents to stay home. Despite these admonitions, many property owners do
venture out to clear their sidewalks because they want to get their businesses open again. But even more
counter-productive is spending the time and money to clear your sidewalk, only to have
it
recovered (and in
worse shape) when the snowplows come through to clear the road.
The County's enforcement personnel indicate that they also receive "repeat single-family complaints." If
drastically increasing the fine (tenfold) for commercial property owners will have a "deterrent effect," then why
would it not do the same for repeat residential offenders? Unfortunately, this just seems to reinforce the
perception that Council is simply interested in going after big bad business, no matter how big or small the
business.
Ifindeed the goal of this legislation is to "restore mobility," after snowfall in our area, and to change the bad
behavior of a few "problem actors," then perhaps a system that punishes only the repeat offenders - both
commercial and residential- would be more appropriate. Or better, the County should consider a broader
public education campaign that urges everyone to be a good neighbor in a snow event, and also encourages
realistic expectations about the timing of all efforts to "restore mobility."
For these reasons, we oppose Expedited Bill 46-16 and ask you to reject its enactment:
~~
Jane Redicker
President
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WINTER
SEASON
TOTAL
CASES
TOTAL SITE
VISITS
COMliNlMF
RESIDENTIAL
EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL
MAILED {1st REPORT}
CITATIONS
RESIDENTIAL
CITATIONS
COMMERCIAL
2014
2015
2016
450
718
885
42
146
169
32
113
132
10
33
37
408
572
716
0
1
1
0
1
1
*
Winter Season is noted as December to March
®
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY CODE
Sec. 1-19. Fines and penalties.
Any violation of County law that is identified as a Class A, B, or C violation may be
punished as a misdemeanor by a fine of not more than the amount shown below, or by
confinement in the County jail for not longer than the time shown below, or by both the fine and
confinement, in the discretion of the court, in which the violator is convicted. Any violation may,
in the alternative and at the discretion of the enforcing agency, be punishable as a civil violation
under Section 1-18. The civil penalty must be in the amount shown below, unless a lower
amount for a specific violation is set by an executive regulation adopted under method (1).
Criminal Violation
Civil Violation
Maximum Penalty
Initial
Offense
$500
$100
$50
Class
Maximum
Fine
$1000
$200
$50
Maximum
Jail Term
6 months
30 days
None if fine is paid;
10 days otherwise
Repeat
Offense
$750
$150
$75
A
B
C
If no penalty is specified for taking any action prohibited by County law or failing to take
any action required by County law, that action or failure to act is a Class A violation. (1983
L.M.C., ch, 22, § 2; 1984 L.M.C., ch. 24, § 1A; 1984 L.M.C., ch. 27, § 3; FY 1991 L.M.C., ch.
10, § 2; CY 1991, ch. 18, §
1.)
Editor's note--The above section is cited in DeReggi Construction Company v. Mate,
130 Md.App. 648, 747 A.2d 743 (2000) and Jakanna Woodworks, Inc. v. Montgomery County
344 Md. 584, 689 A.2d 65 (1997).
See County Attorney Opinion dated
1116/02
discussing the circumstances in which the
Inspector General may access personnel records without the employee's consent.
1
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ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
December 2, 2016
TO:
Nancy Floreen, President, County Council
Jennifer
A.
Alexandre A. Esplllosa,
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Hu~~s, Dire~~or~Mariagem~ntand~dget
Dl:~~:rtment
of
mancr~
f
FEIS for Expedite-d Bi 1146-16, Streets
aJ1d
Roads ­
Snow
Removal - Violations
Pleaset'ind attached the fiscal and economic impact statements
forthe
a,bove­
referenced legislations.
JAH:fz
cc: Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Lisa Austin, Offices of tile County Executive
Joy
Nurmi, Special Assistant to
the
County Executive
Patrick Lacefield, Director, Public Information Office
Clarence
J.
Snuggs, Director, Department of I-lousing and Community Affairs
DavldJ>latt, Department
of
Finance
Dennis Hetman. Department
Of
Finance
Pofen Salem, Office of Management 8mfBudget
Naeem Mia, Office of Management and Budget
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Fiscal Impact
Statement
Expedited Bill 46-16
Streets and Roads - Snow Removal- Violations
1. Legislative Summary
Expedited
Bill
46-16 provides for higher penalties fbr violations of the law requiring removal
of snow
and
ice on commercial property. It would make a violatiori. of Section 49-17 of the
County Code on or adjacent to CODm1ercial property a class A violation
(with
a·fine up to
$500), while a violation on or adjacent
to
residential property would remain a class C
violation
(with
a fine up
to
$50).
2. An estimate
Of
changes in County revenues and expenditures regardless ofwhether the
revenues or expenditures are assumed in the recommended or approved budget. Includes
source of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
Expedited BiU 46-16 would slightly increase revenues. It would not impact expenditures, as
it would not impact DHCA's enforcement of Section 49-17 ofthe
County
Code.
DRCA' s current practices for snow removal involve the following stepS:
• After a weather event, DHCA sends houSing cOde ehforcementstaffto investigate
complaints received on commercial, multi-family, and repeat single..
family
complaints within 24 hours of the complaint being filed.
• Complaints
fi
led for single family properties for the first time, DRCA sends out an
educational letter infonning the O'Wiler oftheir responsibilities for clearing of the
sidewalks as outlined in the law.
• For commercial, multifamily and repeat
single~family
properties, staff issues a notice
of violation (NOV) requiring corrective action within 24 hours. Failure to correct in
that timeframe results in a citation that carries a
$50.00
fine. The NOVs are intended
to encourage compliance
with
the law.
Expedited Bill 46-16 would not impact this practice. It would increase citation revenue
generated on commercial citations. Based on the annual number
of
snow removal citations
issued in the
2015 - 2016
winter season,
the
total revenue was relatively low
($100
=1
residential citation x
$50
and 1 commercial citation x
$50).
Under Bill 46-16, this revenue
would increase to $550 (1 residential citation x $50 and 1 commercial citation x $500).
3. Revenue and expenditUre eStimateS coveting at least the next 6 fiscaJ yeats;
See response in #2. There is
I1()
impact ori expenditures but the revenue estimates
wi
11
increase
to
$3,300 over the next six fiscal years.
15
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4. An actuarial analysis through the entire amortization period for each bill that w"Ould affect
retiree pension or group insurance costs.
.
Not
Applicable.
5.
An estimate of
expenditur~s
related to County's information technology
(IT)
systems,
including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system!?_
Not Applicable.
.
6.
Later actions that
may
affect future revenue and expenditures
jf
the bilI authorizes future
spending.
Not Applicable.
7. An
estimate of
the
staff time needed
to
implement
the
bill.
Not Applicable.
This Bill
does not impact
DHCA's
current practices.
8.
An
explanation of how the addition ofnew
staff
responsibilities
would
affect other duties.
Not
Applicable.
9, An
estimate of
costs
when an additional appropriation
is
needed.
Additional appropriation is not neeaed to implemental Expedited
Bill 46-16.
10.
A
description of
any
variable that could a·ffect revenue
and
cost estimates.
Not Applicable.
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] 1. Ranges ofrevenue or expenditures that
are
uncertain or difficult to project.
Not
Applicable.
12. If a bill is likely
to
have no fiscal impact, why that is the case.
Not Applicable,
as
indicated in #2.
13.
Other fiscal impacts
or
comments.
Not Applicable.
14. The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis:
Clarence Snuggs. Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Dan McHugh, DHCA
Tim Goetzinger; DHCA
.Pofen Salem, Office of Management and Budget
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill
46-16
Streets and Roads - Snow Removal- Violations
Background:
Bill 46-16 would make
a
violation
of
the County's sidewalk snow removal law on or adjacent to
commercial property a class A violation, \\lhile a violation on or adjacent to residential property
would remain a class
C
violation. The
Bill's
intent is to create an increased incentive
for
commercial
property owners to comply
with
the County's sidewalk snow removal
law
by
increasing fines for
violations. Class
A
violations carry fines up to $500 while class
C
violations cannot exceed $50.
1. The sources of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
The Department ofHousing and Community Affairs and the Office of Management and Budget note
in the fiscal impact statement for the Bill that only one commercial citation was issued during the
winter seasons of2015 and 2016, and none in 2014.
2. A description of any variable that could affect the economic impact estimates.
There are no variables under
this
legislation that could have
a
substantive economic impact on the
County. The primary driver of fines would
be
the number of snow events requiring removal which
is
difficult to predict
with
precision. According to the Department of Trartsportation. an average of20
weather events occurred over the last 6 years that required treatment
for
snow and ice removal.
3. The Bill's positive or negative effect, if any on employment, spending, savings, investment,
incomes, and property values in the County.
The Bill's intent is to clear sidewalk arteries of transportation adjacent to commercial properties to
enable safer pedestrian and wheelchair use in the event
of
considerable Snow fan. While quickly
restoring mobil
ity
will
benefit residents during periods of snow,
the
Bill
will
have no tangible
economic impact on the County's employment, spending.
s~wings,
investment, incomes, and property
values.
.
4.
If
a Bill is likely to have no economic impact, why is that the case?
Please
see
the answer
to
question
3.
5. The following contributed
to
or. concurred with this analysis:
David Platt, Dennis Hetman,and Robert Hagedoorn, Finance.
,~,~~~"--------....~
Alexandre A. Espinosa, Director
Department of Finance
1?111?-&tL
Date
/8