What is the Sidewalk Repair Program?
As with many municipalities, San Rafael addresses sidewalk maintenance and repairs in accordance with California State Streets and Highways Code Section 5610, which states that sidewalk maintenance and repair is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. San Rafael’s sidewalk maintenance policy is also addressed in our local municipal code as Chapter 11.60, which states that the adjacent property owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in a nonhazardous condition and may also be liable for injuries caused as a result of failure to maintain the sidewalk.
In 2016, the City Council called for the development of the Sidewalk Repair Program which attempts to 1) assist property owners with the cost of sidewalk repair and 2) streamline and consolidate sidewalk repairs throughout the City.
Under the program, the City will:
- Split the cost of sidewalk replacement 50-50 with property owners (up to a maximum of $1,000 in City contribution)
- Fully incur the cost of sidewalk offset "shaving" - e.g. when a sidewalk displacement is <1.5" and does not require fully replacement
- Fully incur the cost of curb and gutter replacement (up to a maximum of $4,000 City contribution)
- Fully incur the cost of street tree work removal and replacement (including root trimming, stump grinding, removal/ replacement)
Please note, for sidewalk and curb and gutter construction, the Sidewalk Repair Program has a maximum City contribution for residential properties of $5,000 per property, and a maximum City contribution for commercial properties of $2,000 per property.
How is this program funded?
Public funding in the program is supported by funding made available through Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, signed into law on April 28, 2017. Senate Bill 1 generates $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and safety. San Rafael is utilizing it's Senate Bill 1 funding towards new roadway projects in the City, thereby freeing up local funds for the Sidewalk Repair Program.
As a part of the pre-construction inspection conducted by the City...
The City will inspect your property and any sidewalk that is deemed to be a tripping hazard will be marked for replacement and indicated as such on the pre-construction inspection survey. Participants at minimum must repair all sidewalks, curb and gutter identified by the City but may choose to replace more at full cost to the property owner.
All work performed will need to comply with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Standards
The City will note in your sidewalk pre-construction inspection form that all work must be ADA compliant (slope of sidewalk, grade, etc.). If the sidewalk repair involves a corner where an ADA ramp is not in place, one will need to be installed. In the event of an ADA curb-ramp installation, the City will bear full cost of the ramp.
The City arborist will make all determinations about trees involved
The City arborist will determine if a tree can survive root trimming (as a part of the sidewalk replacement) or if it must be removed in order to replace the sidewalk. The arborist may also recommend removal of the tree in the case where the roots may be trimmed, but it is anticipated that the tree would uplift the sidewalk again within several years. In the case that...
- A tree cannot survive a root trimming, and must be removed in order to replace the sidewalk
The property owner will be notified prior to removal of the tree in order to proceed with repairs
- A tree can survive a root trimming
Root trimming will occur per City arborist recommendations
If your tree is removed as a part of the sidewalk repair...
In order to minimize future sidewalk damage and encourage the roots to go deep into the soil away from paved surfaces, all new trees planted must be watered by the property owner to City specifications. This will be coordinated between the property once the sidewalk repairs are complete.