LANSING – Neglecting to plow snow leads residents to being fined up to $200.
With recent snowstorms resulting in almost a foot of snow, Lansing Township residents are not happy with having to have it all cleared in a certain period of time. City of Lansing Operation and Maintenance rules and regulations state, within 24 hours after the snow has fallen, residents must have their sidewalks cleared or will suffer the repercussions of being fined.
Lansing property owners are responsible for clearing the sidewalks adjacent to their property in order to keep the community safe and walkable for residents following major snowfalls. Property owners include not only homeowners but business owners, landlords, renters and any other owners of property as well.
Ordinance 1326 gives a time frame for property and homeowners to clear snow and ice on sidewalks adjacent to their property after a major snow event. The Ordinance states, “Snow that accumulates before noon on a sidewalk must be cleared by midnight the same day and snow that accumulates after noon on a sidewalk must be cleared by midnight of the following day.”
Each day a home or business owner fails to maintain their sidewalk in accordance to Ordinance 1326 constitutes as a separate offense.
Julie Mathis was outraged to see an envelope posted on her door with a $200 fine inside of it.
“It’s very preposterous they only give us one day to clear all of that snow.” Mathis, who lives alone, says it hard to find time to shovel her snow. “I work every single day, after I get off I’m usually too tired to actually go and shovel snow. I usually come home cook dinner and I’m off to bed to start the day again.”
James Dustin, Lansing Township resident, is another victim of being fined for not plowing his snow in a timely manner.
Dustin has been a resident in Lansing Township for over 20 years. “ In all my time of living here, in this same house, I have never been fined for not plowing my snow in enough time.” Dustin lives on the corner house, meaning he has more sidewalks to tend to then most people. “You would think the city of Lansing would be more lenient being that there was such a huge snow storm but they weren’t. Its very unnecessary and petty.”
Dustin received an $86 fine for not having all the sidewalks surrounding his home plowed. “I plan on going to the District Court to fight the ticket,” said Dustin.
Many Lansing Township residents are often unaware of all of the rules and regulations that come along with snow plowing.
There are over 20 regulations stated in Ordinance 1326. That vary from “Vacations or other planned absences do not absolve residents of snow/ice removal responsibility, so alternate arrangements should be made,” to “Snow placed in driveways or on sidewalks by City plows is the resident’s/owner’s responsibility to remove.”
“When we know a snow storm is coming we either shovel the snow ourselves or call a company to take care of for us,” said Josh Hull, manager at Kalamazoo Vapor. “ We make sure snow is plowed to avoid being fined and to be sure customers can walk safely.”
It is controversial whether the regulations stated in Ordinance 1326 are simple to abide by or not.