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Village of Cassopolis, MI
Cass County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II)]
The purpose of this article is to protect the health and safety of persons using sidewalks located within the Village and to enhance the value of property located in the Village, by establishing standards for the construction and maintenance of the sidewalks.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A person shall be defined as an individual or any entity, including but not limited to a corporation, partnership or LLC, which is recognized by the laws of the State of Michigan.
For the purposes of this article, an owner shall be any of the following:
The person who holds the title to the property;
The person to whom real property is assessed on the Village tax roll;
The tenant of occupant of the property;
The person in the process of developing property for residential use and constructing sidewalks as a part of common improvements to the development and who has not released the responsibility of maintenance of those improvements to an established homeowner;
The association of homeowners have the responsibility for the maintenance and repair of common areas of a residential development;
The portion of the street right-of-way designed and improved for pedestrian and nonmotorized travel, as well as those areas located above the right-of-way which are reasonably necessary to allow for travel on the designated portion of the right-of-way.
No person shall construct, rebuild or repair any sidewalk without first obtaining a written permit from the Department of Public Works. All sidewalk improvements shall be in accordance with the line, grade, slope and specifications established by the Village Department of Public Works Superintendent. The written permit shall be prominently displayed on the construction site. The fee for such permit shall be set by resolution of the Village Council.
The Department of Public Works Superintendent shall approve line and grade stakes as may be necessary for proper control of work under this article.
Sidewalks shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the standards and specifications as established by the Department of Public Works Superintendent and approved by the Council. The Superintendent may revoke any permit issued under the terms of this article for incompetency or failure to comply with the terms of this article or the rules, regulations, plans and specifications established by the Village.
The owner and/or occupant of every lot or premises adjoining any street shall clear and keep all sidewalks adjoining such lot or premises from any obstructions including, but not limited to, snow and ice, structures, vehicles, materials, debris, vegetation or other items. The owner and/or occupant shall also keep clear the area which is located directly over the sidewalk in a manner which will allow reasonable travel without interference from obstructions as defined above.
No person shall permit any sidewalk which adjoins property owned by such person to fall into a state of disrepair or to be unsafe. Owner shall be responsible to make the necessary repairs to sidewalk if it is found to be unsafe or in a state of disrepair upon notice by the Village.
The Village shall retain the right to repair any sidewalk or portion thereof that are adjacent to Village property and shall do so at Village expense. The Village retains the right to examine sidewalk and determine if a deficiency exists and shall notice the owner of said deficiencies and a time period in which the owner shall correct said deficiencies at owner's expense. Once the areas have been repaired in a manner which conforms to this article, the owner shall be notified in writing. All responsibility for further maintenance shall rest with the owner. If owner fails to make repairs as identified by the Village, the Village shall make said repairs and bill the owner. If owner fails to reimburse the Village, Village retains the right to place said bill on the next tax roll in addition to an administrative fee as established by the Village Council.
Whenever the Department of Public Works Superintendent determines that a sidewalk is unsafe for use, notice may be given to the owner of the lot or premises adjacent to and abutting upon such sidewalk of the Superintendent's determination. Such notice shall be given in accordance with Subsection C. It shall then be the duty of the owner to place the sidewalk in a safe condition. Such notice shall specify a reasonable time, not less than 10 days, within which such work shall be completed with due diligence.
If the owner of such lot or premises refuses or neglects to repair the sidewalk within the time described above, or in a manner otherwise than in accordance with this article, the Village Manager shall order to have said sidewalk repaired and the owner will be billed accordingly. If the Village Manager determines that the condition of the sidewalk is such that immediate repair is necessary to protect the public, he may dispense with the notice and institute the repairs immediately. In any event, the cost of repairs under this section shall be charged against the premises which adjoins the sidewalk and shall be paid by the owner of the premises. If not paid, the cost of repairs shall be added to the tax roll for the property.
Notice regarding sidewalk repairs shall be served in the following manner:
By delivering the notice to the owner personally or by leaving the same at the owner's residence, office or place of business with some person of suitable age and discretion;
By mailing the notice by certified or registered mail to such owner at his or her last known address; or
If the owner is unknown, by posting the notice in some conspicuous place on the premises at least 15 days before the required work shall be completed. No person shall interfere with, obstruct, mutilate, conceal or tear down any official notice or placard posted by any Village official, unless permission is given by such officer to remove the notice.
The occupant or occupants of every property within the Village, or the owner or owners of the property, shall clear any accumulation of ice or snow from the public sidewalks adjoining such property within 24 hours of the accumulation or placement of snow or ice on said sidewalks.
If the occupant or occupants or the owner or owners fail to remove said ice and snow from said sidewalks within 48 hours of being notified by the Village of such violation, the Village may cause such ice and snow to be removed.
In any action to enforce the provisions of Subsection B of this section, the Village shall be required to show that the occupant or occupants, or owner of owners, were given notice of the requirement of this section by any one of the following means: in person, by telephone, by mail, or by written notice left at the property. If notice is by mail, it shall be deemed received two mail delivery days after deposit in the United States Mail.
If the Village shall cause the removal of any snow and/or ice pursuant to the provisions of Subsection B of this section, the cost of such removal plus an administrative fee shall be assessed against the occupant(s) or owner(s) of the property. Such administrative fee shall be established from time to time by the Village Manager. The cost of snow and/or ice removal shall be determined by the Village Manager for said removal by the Village. All costs and fees assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be a personal debt owed to the Village by the occupant(s) or owner(s) of the property and will be added to the tax roll for the property.
Any owner who believes the actions of the Village Manager pursuant to this article are improper may appeal the decision of the Village Manager to the Council, provided such appeal is filed with the Village Clerk's office within 10 days of receipt or positing of a notice to repair under this article. The appeal shall be in writing and shall state in clear and concise language the reasons for the appeal.
The timely filing of an appeal shall stay all proceedings related thereto pending the outcome of the appeal.
The Village Clerk shall immediately deliver a copy of the appeal to the Village Manager and shall place the appeal hearing on the agenda of the next available Council meeting.
At the conclusion of the appeal hearing, the Council may affirm, modify or rescind the decision of the Manager. The decision of Council shall be final.
Any person who shall violate any section of this article shall be responsible for a civil infraction and shall pay a fine not to exceed $500. Each day a violation exists may be considered a separate violation and a fine so imposed.