Boston property owners reminded to clear snow and ice

This month has already secured its position as one of the top 10 snowiest Februaries on record. While snow can be beautiful to look at and fun to play it, it also poses a hazard and risk of liability for Boston residents and property owners.

Recently, Boston officials reminded property owners that snow and ice needs to be taken care of following winter storms. They said property and business owners have three hours after a snowstorm ends to clear sidewalks and handicap ramps, making pathways at least 42 inches wide.

Not doing so, the officials warned, can lead to fines of $200 per day for commercial properties, $100 per day for residential properties with more than 16 units and $50 for residential property with 16 or fewer units.

They said if a winter storm ends during the night, property owners have three hours from sunrise to clear their property. Additionally, Boston officials want property owners to know that simply moving the snow into the street or other sidewalks is not allowed.

They said property owners who shovel, plow or throw snow, slush or ice onto city streets or sidewalks can also face fines. Putting more than one cubic yard of snow, slush or ice onto city property is illegal and can result in fines of $200 if the snow came from a commercial property, $150 if it came from a residential property with more than 16 units and $100 if it came from a residential property with 16 or fewer units.

The statement from the city’s Inspectional Services Department said the reason the city takes snow and ice removal seriously is because it poses a major safety hazard for passersby.

Boston property owners should know that they not only face the risk of fines for not clearing snow and ice from their property, they could also face civil liability if someone is injured on their property.

Source: Boston Globe, “Boston reminded to properly shovel sidewalks to avoid fines,” Matt Rocheleau, Feb. 8, 2013