116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Property owners in Cedar Rapids have a reduced time frame to clear their sidewalks after snow falls.
The City Council in July approved municipal code changes amending the guidelines for property owners to clear snow, shortening the time frame for removal and establishing a new civil citation and appeal process.
Property owners now have 24 hours instead of 48 hours after a storm ends to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice.
According to a city news release, maintaining clear sidewalks and sidewalk ramps is important to ensure that residents can access their sidewalks, bus stops or routes to businesses. Property owners are responsible for their sidewalk and adjacent sidewalk ramps at intersections.
If the city receives a report of sidewalks with lingering snow and ice, an inspector may arrive as soon as 48 hours after a storm — down from 96 hours.
If the sidewalk is out of compliance, the property owner will be assessed a $35 civil citation. There previously was no citation fee during the inspection process. A citation notice will be affixed to the front door of the property. Residents may go through a formal process to appeal the citation.
The ordinance has new language that specifies property owners must clear the entire width of abutting public sidewalks and pedestrian curb ramps.
The initial abatement fee, however, has not changed. If a sidewalk is inspected and found to be out of compliance, a crew will arrive the next day to clear the sidewalk. If the city needs to remove snow and/or ice, the initial fee remains $313, subject to the scope of work performed.
To help residents remove snow, Cedar Rapids launched a volunteer program this year. The Snow Buddies program operates on a first-come, first-served basis. It is intended to help residents who are not physically able to remove snow and do not have other resources to help, such as neighbors, friends or a hired service.
The 2021 client application sign-up is closed, but the city continues to solicit Snow Hero volunteers. Heroes must be at least 18 years old and provide their own snow removal equipment. To find more information or sign up, visit www.CityofCR.com/SnowBuddies.
Residents who wish to report snow or ice accumulations 24 hours after a snow event may use the city’s My CR online reporting tool. Residents also may contact the Solid Waste and Recycling Division directly at (319) 286-5897 or Solid-Waste-Recycling@cedar-rapids.org. The city asks that residents note the address of the property in violation.
Public works snow response
After Tuesday’s snowfall, city crews are clearing roads and will be plowing throughout the day. Routes are prioritized based on traffic volume. A map of prioritized routes and more information about snow and ice control is available at www.CityofCR.com/Snow.
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