Bill Introduced Will Seek Higher Penalties For Businesses That Fail To Clear Sidewalks

Council Member Justin Brannan. Image Credit: NY City Council.

While many are still shoveling snow from the fourth nor’easter of the year, a new bill looks to increase penalties on chain business owners who fail to clear sidewalks. On March 7, 2018, Council Member Justin Brannan introduced a bill that will amend the Department of Sanitation section of the administrative code by increase the penalties for chain business owners who fail to properly remove snow, ice, and dirt from sidewalks following a snowfall. Council member Brannan hopes these changes will encourage increased enforcement by property owners with larger stretches of icy sidewalks that pose serious hazards to local residents while preventing smaller independent stores with less square footage and sidewalk space from being penalized unnecessarily.

Chain businesses under this rule include any establishment that is part of a group of establishments that share a common owner or principal who owns at least 30 percent of each establishment. The bill will not affect businesses that have under ten locations.

Currently, the penalties for failure to remove the snow are $100-$150 for a first offense and up to $350 for a third and subsequent offense. The bill will increase these penalties to $500-$1000 for the first violation, $1000-$3000 for second violation within any twelve-month period, $3000-$5000 for third or subsequent violations within any twelve-month period.

Council Member Brannan said: “Trying to navigate the city streets after a snowstorm is bad enough without the added danger of snow drifts and ice. Failing to shovel your sidewalk creates a dangerous situation that puts pedestrians at risk, especially our many senior citizens. If these large national retailers and banks aren’t responsible enough to do their jobs as property owners, then the city needs to take steps to increase penalties and enforcement.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, which is chaired by Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

3 thoughts on “Bill Introduced Will Seek Higher Penalties For Businesses That Fail To Clear Sidewalks

  1. what really roils me is that the City looks to run businesses out of the City with fees and penalties while City Agencies get a free pass time after time, my meaning? Has anyone seen a bus stop in the outer boroughs shoveled b4 the snow is actually melted? The plows actually pile up the snow in these areas and it just sits there so taking a bus is taking your life in your hands when you are SUPPOSED to take Public Transportation at times like this, or how about in any street scape space owned by parks in an outer borough, every business is out there shoveling away to protect their customers and where’s the City? looking for workers 2 days after the snow event, the City should be made to hold themselves to their own standard b4 they point even one finger to the fair taxpayers of this once great City!

  2. Exactly what does the admin code say about time from end of snowfall or start-of-business day(doors open) and when the walkway must be cleared? Saturday/Sunday/Holidays?

    This suggests an opportunity for Business Improvement Districts to provide this service from the fees their members are taxed for by the City, especially for impaired landlords and tenants.

    Justin, relax. You have to “make the punishment fit the crime”.

  3. The bill sounds like a good idea, but it isn’t. Why penalize large chains.
    The focus should be enforcement of current law to have every store, large or small, clear the sidewalk after a snowfall.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.