Sidewalk Repair & Maintenance

October 2, 2017 City Council Meeting

On Monday, October 2, 2017, the City Council received a follow-up to the June 19th meeting from Public Works. City Council was presented with two key items on Monday night:

  1. Consideration of adoption of an ordinance clarifying (a) responsibility to maintain and repair sidewalks lies with adjacent property owner and (b) property owner may be held liable for failure to maintain.
  2. Detailed outline of a draft Sidewalk Repair Cost-Sharing Program including reimbursement amounts to property owners.

For the Ordinance, City staff spent considerable time reviewing how other jurisdictions have handled sidewalk repair and liability. San Rafael is in the minority of jurisdiction in that it does not have a municipal ordinance that states that property owners are responsible for the sidewalks adjacent to their property, and instead defers to the State Streets and Highway Code 5610. Staff recommended City Council move forward in adopting an ordinance, but also share the financial burden with property owners by developing a cost-sharing program.

The cost-sharing program presented is for necessary sidewalk repairs only, and is reimbursement based. For property owners accepted into the program , the City will split sidewalk repair and replacement work with property owners 50-50 up to $1,000 and will fully reimburse property owners for tree and curb and gutter work (up to maximum amounts indicated in program documents). In addition, there will be no fee associated with encroachment permits for sidewalk repairs. The City has also committed to managing a $50,000/year annual contract for Citywide sidewalk “shaving” for displacements <2″.

The staff report, proposed ordinance, and draft cost-sharing policy can be read in full online.  You may also view a recording of the meeting online and the PowerPoint presentation given by Public Works.

City Council passed the Ordinance to print and adopted the Resolution directing the City Manager to finalize and approve the cost-sharing program. The second and final reading of the ordinance will be October 16, 2017. Final details on the cost sharing program will be publish on the City website no later than December 15, 2017.

June 19, 2017 City Council Meeting

On Monday, June 19, 2017, the City Council accepted a report and provided direction to staff about a proposed plan for ensuring sidewalks in San Rafael are well-maintained. We’ve researched how other communities have addressed sidewalk repair and presented recommendations on next steps: including the the potential adoption of an ordinance and a repair cost-sharing program. After input from City Council and the community on the proposal, staff will return in July with a final plan. If you were unable to attend, check out the meeting online and view the presentation.

If you were unable to attend, check out the meeting online and view the presentation.

February 6, 2017 City Council Meeting

On Monday, February 6, 2017, the City Council considered developing a shared sidewalk and tree maintenance program whereby the City matches the funding provided by the adjacent property owner up to a maximum of $1000 per property per year, with an annual budget of $250,000. If you were unable to attend, check out the meeting online and view the presentation.

October 2016 Community Meetings

In October 2016 we sought input toward a solution to improve sidewalks. We held 3 community meetings to hear your thoughts on a potential Sidewalk Repair Program and surveyed residents for their opinions on potential funding sources. The survey is now closed, staff is reviewing the survey results so that a proposal may be drafted and presented to the City Council. If you were unable to attend the community meetings, you can still view the presentation from staff. 

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