City of Cohoes, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 3-27-2001 by L.L. No. 3-2001]
A. 
It shall be the duty of the owner of any premises, lot or piece of land to keep the sidewalks on or running along the street row adjoining the property in reasonably good and safe repair for users thereof, and said owner shall be responsible for all necessary preventative and corrective maintenance to accomplish such result.
B. 
Defective sidewalks.
(1) 
A defective sidewalk that is not in accordance with the standards set forth in Subsection A shall mean any sidewalk which has any or all or the following conditions:
(a) 
Unacceptable quality of sidewalk surface, including but not limited to, holes, depressions, breaks or projections.
(b) 
Ridges or gaps between adjoining sidewalk blocks.
(c) 
Differences in elevation of the surface or of adjoining sidewalk blocks.
(d) 
Peeling or crumbling of the surface of the sidewalk.
(e) 
Tilting of sidewalk or sidewalk blocks except in the case of handicap ramps, driveway approaches or other similar situations.
(f) 
Missing portions of surface.
(2) 
The above shall be applicable regardless of the type of sidewalk that exists, whether or not flagstone, brick, concrete, blacktop, or any other material.
(3) 
All defective sidewalks within the terms stated above are hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
C. 
The Commissioner of Public Works or his designee shall have authority to order the repair of a defective sidewalk and to take remedial action to make the surface in good repair pursuant to this article.
D. 
Upon receipt of information in writing that a sidewalk may be defective, the Commissioner shall make an inspection of the sidewalk and keep a report on file in his/her office.
E. 
If the Commissioner's report shall confirm the existence of a defective sidewalk as defined in this article, the Commissioner shall cause a notice to be served upon the owner or his or her agent, either personally or by certified mail, addressed to the last known address of said owner as said address is shown on the records of the Assessor, or to the business address of said owner's agent. If the name of the owner or place of residence cannot be ascertained, notice may be served by posting in a conspicuous place upon the premises.
F. 
The notice shall contain the following:
(1) 
Description of the premises upon which the sidewalk is located.
(2) 
A statement of the particulars in which the sidewalk is defective.
(3) 
A designation of the area in which repair or replacement is to be made.
(4) 
An order that the repair or correction of the defective portion of the sidewalk shall commence within 30 days of service.
(5) 
A procedure to schedule a hearing before the Commissioner of Public Works in accordance with rules promulgated by the Board of Managers to effectuate same, should the owner not agree with the findings of the Commissioner, which hearing shall be scheduled not less than 20 days from the date of service of written notice.
(6) 
A statement that in the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to repair or replace the defective sidewalk, the Commissioner of Public Works, after 30 days, is authorized to provide that the sidewalk be secured and repaired and that all expenses thereof be assessed against the land in which the sidewalk is located or abuts, including related necessary or incidental expenses.
G. 
The Commissioner may expand time requirements for good cause and in writing and upon reasonable terms and conditions.
H. 
The property owner and his or her contractor are responsible for the quality of the finished sidewalk. A representative of the Department of Public Works will inspect the project from time to time and may require the owner to remove and replace new construction that does not meet construction standards as set forth below and as may be modified from time to time.
I. 
Before engaging upon sidewalk repair or construction, the contractor, on behalf of the owner, must first obtain a permit from the Commissioner of Public Works or the Director of Code Enforcement and pay any applicable fee. No permit shall be issued to a contractor until he has filed with the Code Enforcement Director or City Clerk a certificate showing that he carries workers' compensation for all his employees together with such other insurance as the Code Enforcement Director's regulations require. Said permit shall be available from the persons performing the work for inspection by the Code Enforcement Officers or the Commissioner of Public Works.
J. 
No person shall repair or reconstruct a sidewalk unless the same shall be in accordance with the grade established and obtained from the Department of Public Works.
K. 
All replacement sidewalks shall be made of concrete. The exception shall be those sidewalks in the Historic District, which shall be replaced in accordance with this article as modified by the city's Historic Commission.
L. 
All sidewalk repairs or construction are to be performed in accordance with rules and regulations prepared by the Commissioner of Public Works and approved by the Board of Managers, which shall be filed in the Office of the City Clerk. Said rules and regulations shall include:
(1) 
Minimum dimensions of width and depth of sidewalk blocks in residential and business areas.
(2) 
Excavation and subbase requirements.
(3) 
Forming and reinforcement.
(4) 
Concrete mixture specifications.
(5) 
Fine and coarse aggregate specifications.
(6) 
Water quality.
(7) 
Mixing of concrete ingredients.
(8) 
Joints.
(9) 
Finishing.
(10) 
Protection of wet concrete.
(11) 
Construction safeguards.
(12) 
Any other matter or items that the Commissioner deems necessary, appropriate or desirable.
M. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not interested in the property affected by this article, to hinder or obstruct the Department of Public Works or any person acting on its behalf, including any contractor not performing the work pursuant to this article.
N. 
Sidewalk repair or replacement work performed by the city because of the neglect, refusal or failure of the owner to agree to the work shall make such work ineligible for any city sidewalk repair or construction reimbursement plan. Nothing in this subsection shall have any impact on the New York State CHIPS program.
O. 
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any provisions of this § 244-13 shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $250 or a sentence of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, or both. Such penalties may be in addition to any other remedies or actions that may be taken by the city either as provided herein or as may otherwise be permitted by law.
P. 
In the event of neglect or refusal to comply with the order to repair or replace the defective sidewalk, the Commissioner of Public Works, after 30 days, is authorized to provide that the sidewalk be secured and repaired and the necessary work performed by the City or its designee. The City shall be reimbursed for the cost of the work performed or services rendered as provided in this section by assessment against and collection from the lots or parcels of land where, or adjacent to where, such work was performed or services rendered, for so much of the actual and complete cost as incurred upon or adjacent to and from each lot or lots, and which, if unpaid within the prescribed time period, and the property owner having had an opportunity to be heard at a hearing convened by the Commissioner of Public Works, in accordance with rules promulgated by the Board of Managers to effectuate same, shall remain a lien against such property and be collected by the City from the owner of such property in the same manner as taxes are collected. In no event shall such charge be less than $75.
[Amended 1-13-2009 by L.L. No. 5-2009]
It shall be the duty of the owner and occupant, jointly, of every parcel of real estate adjoining a public sidewalk, whether the parcel of real estate is occupied by a structure or not, to keep such sidewalks adjoining such property free from snow and ice for the full paved width of such sidewalk.
A. 
Snow and ice shall be removed within 24 hours after the end of the snowfall or within four hours after notice by the Commissioner of Public Works. In addition, sidewalks in front of commercial establishments and commercial parking lots shall be kept free of snow and ice at all times between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
B. 
In case snow and ice on any sidewalk shall be frozen so hard that it cannot be removed without injury to the sidewalk, it shall, within the time specified in Subsection A, be strewn and kept strewn with ashes, sand, sawdust or other suitable material, so as not to be dangerous. As soon as is practicable thereafter. the sidewalk shall be completely cleared of snow and ice.
C. 
Where there has been a failure to comply with the requirements of this section, the Commissioner of Public Works or his designee may, in the Commissioner's discretion, cause the sidewalk to be cleared of snow and ice. The city shall be reimbursed for the cost of the work performed or services rendered as provided in this section by assessment against and collection from the lots or parcels of land where, or adjacent to where, such work was performed or services rendered, for so much of the actual and complete cost as incurred upon or adjacent to and from each lot or lots, and which, if unpaid within the prescribed time period, and the property owner having had an opportunity to be heard at a hearing convened by the Commissioner of Public Works in accordance with rules promulgated by the Board of Managers to effectuate same, shall remain a lien against such property and be collected by the city from the owner of such property in the same manner as taxes are collected. In no event shall such charge be less than $50.
D. 
The owners or occupants of buildings adjacent to public sidewalks shall take measures to protect the public from the falling snow, ice, or water from such buildings.
E. 
No person, firm, corporation, property owner or occupant shall remove snow or ice from any parcel of real estate and place, throw or cause to be deposited such snow or ice upon any street, avenue or roadway within the City of Cohoes, nor shall such snow or ice be placed or caused to be deposited upon another parcel of real estate without the express permission of the owner of the parcel of real estate upon which the snow or ice is to be placed.
F. 
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any provisions of this § 244-14 shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $100 or a sentence of community service not to exceed 50 hours, or both. Such penalties may be in addition to any other remedies or actions that may be taken by the city, either as provided herein or as may otherwise be permitted by law. Each day that a violation continues may be charged as a separate offense.
In the event that personal injury or property damage shall result from the failure of any owner or occupant to comply with the provisions of this article, the owner and the occupant shall be liable to all persons injured or whose property is damaged directly or indirectly thereby and shall be liable to the City of Cohoes to the extent that the City of Cohoes is required by law or by any court to respond in damages to any injured party.