Saskatchewan

Regina residents may be required to clear sidewalks in future

A pair of Regina city councillors want to change a city bylaw which currently does not require that sidewalks in residential areas be cleared after snowfall.

Residential areas not required to clear sidewalks after snowfall under current bylaw

The proposed system would see inspections conducted after a complaint is filed, and then a follow up. If the sidewalk is still not cleared, the property owner would be billed for the clean up by having costs added to their property taxes. (@sidewalksofyqr/Twitter)

Two Regina city councillors are looking to change a city bylaw which currently does not mandate that sidewalks in residential areas be cleared after a snowfall. 

Andrew Stevens, councillor for Ward 3 which includes Regina's downtown, the Cathedral neighbourhood and the General Hospital area, said he receives frequent complaints from residents that sidewalks are a concern after snowfall.

The proposed amendment to the city's Clean Property Bylaw, from Stevens and Ward 4 councillor Lori Bresciani, would see possible clean up work on a complaint-based system, similar to Saskatoon's bylaw. 

Residential sidewalks would need to be cleared within 48 hours of a snowfall.

It would be up to residents to file a complaint about a hazardous sidewalk, which would then prompt a city inspection and a notice to the property owner.

Upon a follow up inspection, if the sidewalks are still not cleared, the city could bring in a private contractor to clean and then move the costs to the owner's property taxes.

Forty-four properties have been cleared at the owner's expense in Saskatoon since 2015 under the proposed system.

"The main reason we're bringing this forward is hearing the concerns of residents who confront mobility challenges and in some cases are forced to remain in-doors when neighbours don't bother to clear their sidewalks," Stevens wrote on his website

"I think we can do better as a community."

The motion, which will be read at a city council meeting in February, notes there are approximately 257 kilometres of sidewalks not being cleared, according to a 2012/2013 survey.

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