|Sidewalk Complaints / Snow Removal||Code Enforcement, 769-2390|
|ADA Questions||Pam MacDonald, 769-2203|
|ADA Hazard Abatement Program||Streets Dept., 769-2235|
|Sidewalk Installation||Engineering Dept., 769-2283|
SIDEWALK REPAIRS . . . DOES YOUR SIDEWALK HAVE A PROBLEM?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why are city sidewalks suddenly so much in the news?
Repairing our deteriorated sidewalks is a venture worth our attention, and it is a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Failure to meet ADA mandates can result in potentially severe penalties. Most of the City of Coeur d'Alene's 220 miles of streets are lined by sidewalks. Sidewalks are vital for getting people to school, work, or wherever they may wish to travel. Unfortunately, many miles of our sidewalks are in poor condition. Safe, unobstructed sidewalks are valuable to a pedestrian-friendly city and they are a critical asset to every citizen - particularly those with mobility challenges.
How is the City of Coeur d'Alene meeting the ADA mandate?
The City Council has adopted a goal of bringing city sidewalks into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With the passage of the 2008-2009 budget, the City Council created a new "ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement Program" that will support systematic sidewalk repairs. Tied to foregone taxes, the ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement Program is budgeted at $200,000/year, and this will produce approximately 5,000 lineal feet of sidewalk repairs annually, based on a five-year plan.
Am I still responsible for the sidewalk abutting my property?
Yes, the homeowner is still responsible for sidewalk repair and maintenance in accordance with Municipal Code Chapter 12.20. The city's five year plan is a systematic approach to meeting ADA standards; however, it may take over 15 years to complete the entire city. Code enforcement complaints may still be enforced as well as Municipal Code 12.24.010, which requires property owners to remove snow, filth, dirt, and obstructions. Additionally, it is the City's policy to require compliance with all codes when a building permit is pulled. Specifically, Municipal Code 12.20.100, states "It shall be the duty of the owner of all property within the city to maintain sidewalks abutting his property at all times in a safe and proper condition whether or not he has received a notice from the city as provided in this chapter."
Who will perform the work?
Within the five-year plan area, work will be accomplished primarily by the Street Maintenance Department. One reason is that the city anticipates sidewalk repairs to pose some of the same challenges as pedestrian ramps, with which city street crews are already familiar. They've learned that every corner in town is unique just as every sidewalk repair will have its distinct features. Another reason to perform the work in-house is that our Street Maintenance Department is short two staff members. The most noticeable time this shortage appears is in the winter. So, the same two people hired to support pedestrian ramps and sidewalk repairs in temperate weather, will be on board to meet the city's peak winter needs. A private contractor or developer with the appropriate permit may do work outside of the five-year plan areas.
How will work on deteriorated sidewalks be prioritized?
This ADA Sidewalk Hazard Abatement account will fund repairs for ADA sidewalk deficiencies that are included in a 5-Year Priority Plan that will be updated and approved by the City Council on a yearly basis. The city met with citizens representing the disabled population and discussed how to prioritize the needs for the next five years.
What is the 5-Year Plan?
The 5-Year Priority Plan will be updated each year and presented to Council. In general, the ADA guides us to prioritze repairs first in civic areas, followed by commercial areas, then residential areas. The first 5-year plan focuses on "catch up" work necessary to make an accessible route to connect the investment already made in the 300+ pedestrian ramps constructed on 3rd Street, 4th Street, Lakeside Avenue, Best Avenue, and Harrison Avenue. By completing these areas first, the pedestrian ramp costs already invested would provide a complete and usable ADA route. In general, they are also in high traffic, civic corridors with some residential and commercial benefit.
|2008-09||3rd Street - Harrison to Lakeside (Eastside)|
|2009-10||Lakeside Avenue - 8th to 15th (Northside)
Government Way - Harrison to N.W. Blvd. (Westside)
|2010-11||7th Street - Harrison to Lakeside Avenue (east and west sides)|
|2011-12||15th Street - Harrison to Sherman (Westside)|
|2015-16||4th Street Harrison to I-90|
Suppose I want to repair my sidewalk more quickly than the current 5-year priority plan has it scheduled?
To complement the work that will be accomplished under the ADA sidewalk Abatement Account that lies within the 5-Year Priority Plan, the city has established a sidewalk incentive program. The program provides that the city will reimburse documented residential property owner expenditures for sidewalk removal and replacement, including city encroachment permit fees, up to a maximum of $500 per property per year. Expenditures are eligible for reimbursement provided they meet the following conditions:
- An application for reimbursement is completed and an encroachment permit is obtained prior to any work being done. A satisfactory final approval by the city must be obtained.
- The property is residential (single family, duplex, or multi-family).
- The sidewalk replaced must meet the city's replacement guidelines. This must be verified by the city prior to submittal for reimbursement.
- The work was not required as a condition of issuance of a building permit or any other discretionary approval by the city.
Reimbursement will be made on a first-come first-served basis. The City Council will establish the annual budget for the reimbursement account. Once the funds are expended, eligible requests will be replaced on a waiting list for the next budget year or until additional funds become available. For more information regarding the incentive program application, contact Shane Roberts at 769-2283.