Council considers changing snow rules

Recent severe bouts of weather prompted talks of amending the city’s snow removal ordinance at Tuesday’s East Lansing City Council work session.

Council members considered a proposal that would change requirements for cleaning snowfall off sidewalks. The ordinance would create specific rules for snow showers lasting several consecutive days.

The city currently requires snow removal on sidewalks by midnight on the day of the snowfall accumulated before noon, or midnight of the next day if the accumulation began later in the day.

According to City Manager George Lahanas, this has led to enforcement of the code being pushed back during continual snowfall.

Lahanas said he hopes this will lead to quicker removal in residential areas.

The proposed ordinance also would implement abatement, or removal, of all snow that is not cleared within 48 hours. City Attorney Tom Yeadon said the abatement will cost between $100 and $150 dollars if the owner fails to clean their sidewalks.

Yeadon said the fine would be an additional penalty to tickets already given with the current code. With the new ordinance, homeowners would be at risk of receiving two penalties; one for failing to clean the sidewalks, and the other to pay for the city to clean it for them.

To the council members and Lahanas, cleaning sidewalks is more than just safety, it’s the right thing to do.

“Its not a neighborly thing to have your sidewalk covered with snow,” said Lahanas.

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