NORWALK, Conn. — A Norwalk ordinance requires property owners to clear their sidewalks of snow but as many pedestrians know, it’s not necessarily happening.
Here’s a set of photos of sidewalks left impassable after the Feb. 7-8 storm. According to Norwalk Communications Manager Josh Morgan, the ordinance’s enforcement was stepped up under the recent reorganization of top City administrative positions “to have a specific focus on neighborhoods.”
“There are now two full time positions part of a Neighborhood Improvement Team with Bill Ireland in the Building and Code Department. They report to Jessica Vonashek (Casey) as part of the overall Economic and Community Development Department,” Morgan wrote.
“We follow up on snow covered sidewalk complaints when we receive them. We also do proactive enforcement in commercial zones, highly traveled areas, within school zones, and along residential corridors. It is important for issues to be submitted via Customer Service. It is also important for residents to leave their names and contact information so we can follow up if we have questions or to provide updates. While we do our best to monitor Facebook and Twitter, social media is not the place to report an issue to the City.
“We sent over 125 notices from the last storm and then had follow up phone calls and in-person visits with those who had not cleared their sidewalks. While a good portion of homeowners and property owners resolved issues in a timely manner, one area in particular, the Walmart Plaza on Connecticut Avenue, was nonresponsive to multiple notices. We will be issuing them a fine. It is important to note that icy and snowy sidewalks are a health and safety concern. It is the property owner’s responsibility to clear the sidewalks in all cases.
“There has been a lack of significant snowfall the last few years and folks may need reminding. We will continue to remind property owners in a proactive manner of their responsibilities to clear sidewalks. The enforcement team has been well received, and property owners appreciate the reminders. For example, the first storm of the year there were numerous areas in the Flax Hill Neighborhood that did not have cleared sidewalks, and for this second storm there were no issues. These efforts work.”
The fine for not removing snow is $250 a day.