[Adopted 10-25-1982, effective 11-15-1982; amended in its entirety 5-23-2016, effective 6-21-2016]
This article is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Sections 7-148, 7-152c, 7-163a and 14-289 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Except for sidewalks, walkways and bikeways actively maintained by the Town and connections from single- or two-family residential uses to a sidewalk, the owner, agent of the owner, or occupant of any building or land bordering upon any street, square or public place within the Town where there is a sidewalk, graded or paved, shall cause to be removed therefrom any and all snow, sleet and ice within eight hours after the same shall have fallen or been deposited or found, or within three hours after sunrise, when the same shall have fallen in the night season; and whenever any such sidewalk, or any part thereof, shall be covered with ice, the owner, agent, or occupant of the building or lot adjacent thereto shall, within the space of one hour thereafter, during the daytime, cause such sidewalk to be made safe and convenient by removing the ice therefrom, or by covering the same with sand or some other suitable substance.
If any sidewalk shall remain encumbered with snow, ice or sleet for two hours after the owner or person having the charge or care of the lot or building bordering on such sidewalk and legally liable to clear the same has been notified by the Town to remove the same, the Town shall cause the same to be cleared or sanded, as the case may be, and the Town shall collect the expense thereof from such owner or other persons.
The Town shall not be liable to any person injured in person or property caused by the presence of ice or snow on a public sidewalk unless the Town is the owner or person in possession and control of land abutting such sidewalk other than land used as a highway or street, or unless the Town has actively taken responsibility for maintaining the sidewalk, provided that the Town shall be liable for its affirmative acts with respect to such sidewalk. Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 7-163a, unless the Town has actively taken responsibility for maintaining the sidewalk, the owner or person in possession and control of land abutting a public sidewalk in the Town shall have the same duty of care with respect to the presence of ice or snow on such sidewalk toward the portion of the sidewalk abutting his or her property as the municipality had prior to the effective date of the snow and ice removal provisions of this article and shall be liable to persons or property where a breach of said duty is the proximate cause of said injury. The Town hereby adopts and incorporates said Section 7-163a herein.
It shall be the duty of the owner, agent of the owner, or occupant of any building on land bordering upon any street, square or public place within the Town where there is a sidewalk, paved or planked, to keep such sidewalk in good repair.
Whenever a sidewalk is found to be dangerous and unsafe to walk upon or in such condition that it is likely to cause or contribute to persons falling or stumbling thereon, the Town shall order the owner of property abutting said sidewalk to repair the same in accordance with specifications as shall be deemed reasonable by the Town. An order to make such repairs shall be in writing and may be given to the owner in person or by registered or certified mail addressed to him or her at his or her last known place of abode or business as set forth in the records of the Assessor's Office of the Town of Mansfield. Said order shall specify the date by which the repairs shall be made, which in no case shall be less than 30 days after service of said order on the abutting owner as prescribed herein.
Whenever said abutting owner fails, neglects or refuses to make repairs to a sidewalk ordered by the Town, it shall be the duty of the Town to repair the same at the expense of the abutting owner. The Town may cause the repairs to be made by Town employees or by private contractor and shall charge the abutting owner the actual cost thereof plus a sum equal to 20% thereof to help to defray administrative costs incurred to carry out the purposes of this article.
The ordinances, policies, and procedures of this chapter shall be enforced by local, state or University of Connecticut police. In addition, the Town Manager may designate in writing one or more Town officials or employees or agents empowered to take enforcement action authorized by Articles I and II of this chapter.
Any commission of a prohibited act or omission of required action as set forth in said Articles I and II shall be a violation of this chapter, authorizing any such Town official or employee or police officer to issue a written warning to the alleged violator providing notice of the violation and the citation and fine that will be imposed if the violation is continued or repeated beyond a reasonable deadline stated in the written warning and notice.
After said written notice and warning is delivered to the alleged violator, if the prohibited act is continued or repeated or the violator fails to take expressly required action to cure the violation, a citation may be issued calling for a fine of $100 for each separate act or omission of violation or for each day that any such violation continues after the deadline for acting in response to any such warning. Any such fine shall be payable within 10 calendar days of the date of issuance of the citation.
The citation shall also inform the alleged violator that if any such fine issued pursuant to this article is unpaid beyond the due date, the amount of the fine shall double, and the Town may initiate proceedings under the authority of Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-152c and Chapter 129 of this Code of the Town of Mansfield, the Hearing Procedure for Citations Ordinance, to collect the fine. The alleged violator must also be informed that he or she may appeal the citation and fine pursuant to § 129-10 of said Hearing Procedure for Citations Ordinance.
The Town Manager may authorize the Town department or agency with which the citation-issuing Town official, employee, or police officer is affiliated to negotiate, compromise or waive any fine that is assessed via a citation issued by such official, employee or officer, but only if compliance by the violator with the violated part of this article is secured in advance of any such action.
Nothing in this article shall limit the ability of the authorities to initiate and prosecute any criminal offense or the provisions of any other Town ordinance regarding any of the same circumstances resulting in the application of this article.