Snow Removal is Property Owner’s Responsibility
Where’s the snow supposed to go? Even though every effort is made by city snowplows to keep snow off sidewalks during street clearing operations, there are times when snow ends up on sidewalks, especially when the city experiences large snow events. Residents and business owners are encouraged to shovel snow from sidewalks and driveway openings back onto their property instead of the streets.
City Code Enforcement handles complaints from pedestrians having difficulty trudging across snow-covered sidewalks and from travelers stuck in snow berms from residents plowing snow across streets from their driveways and parking areas.
The Owner's Responsibility
The City of Billings wants to remind property owners they are responsible for removing snow on sidewalks in front or adjacent to their properties. According to City Code (Section 22-406), owners or their agents are required to remove all snow, ice, or slush within 24 hours after the storm event. When a complaint is received, the property is inspected and the owners are notified to remove the snow if they haven’t done so already. Complaints can be submitted to the Code Enforcement Division by calling the Code Enforcement Clerk at 406-237-6146 or online at City of Billings, MT - Official Website - Report a Violation.
Before filing a complaint with the Code Enforcement Division, check with your neighbor and offer assistance if they are unable to shovel their walk. Often times there are health or age-related reasons why people are unable to clear their sidewalks right away.
City Code 22-406 also prohibits moving snow from private property on to public sidewalks, streets or alleys. If you notice someone moving snow from a private driveway or parking lot into or across a public road or sidewalk, please call the Code Enforcement Division Clerk, 406-237-6146, or the City’s non-emergency line, 406-657-8200, to report the activity. It is difficult to enforce this provision after-the-fact.
The City prides itself on being friendly, safe and walkable. During these rare snow events, the City and its residents have the responsibility to clear the snow from the public right-of-way.