The clearing of snow and ice from sidewalks and other paved walkways after a storm involving subfreezing precipitation is an important safety and accessibility consideration for pedestrians, especially those who have ambulatory disabilities, young children and seniors. The obligation for clearing snow and ice accumulation from walkways adjacent to commercial and residential properties in Prince George’s County is based on the Abutter's Ordinance, Section 23-150 (PDF) of the County Road Ordinance which sets out the requirements for the timely removal of snow and ice from paved sidewalks throughout the County. This section of the Road Ordinance applies to owners, tenants and managers of commercial and residential properties which have paved sidewalks that are adjacent to their property, accessible to the public, and in close proximity to a public roadway. The focus of the program will be on:
• Adjacent to commercial establishments and apartment complexes – this is the main focus of the program
• Along roadways within 1.5 miles of a school
• Along State designated highways
• Along County primary roads
• Abutting major public gathering places
• In response to public complaints (311)
Prince George's County's Abutter's Ordinance
The Department of Permitting, Inspections & Enforcement (DPIE) is the County agency responsible for enforcing this Section of the County Road Ordinance, which requires responsible parties to remove accumulated snow and ice from abutting sidewalks within forty-eight (48) after snow has fallen or ice has accumulated to a depth of at least 2 inches as a result of inclement weather or runoff from abutting surfaces. Those responsible persons failing to clear their abutting sidewalks within 24 hours will be issued a Reminder Notice/Door Hanger by a DPIE inspector. If the responsible person fails to clear his/her sidewalk within 24 hours of being issued a Reminder Notice (or 48 hours from the end of the snow event), that person shall be issued a citation for a fine of $100. Another citation will be issued for each subsequent 24-hour period that the snow and ice accumulation continues to obstruct the sidewalk. The typical hours of operation for this program will be: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
Access this link for a copy of DPIE's Snow-Ice Removal Inspection Program Manual. Access this link for a copy of DPIE's Snow-Ice Removal Inspection Program SUMMARY.
Violators will be able to pay citation fines by mailing a check or money order to either the Inspections Division office or the Enforcement Division office. Violators will also be able to pay on-line by going to the appropriate County website listed near the bottom of the Violation Report. Cash will not be accepted for payment of citations. Hence all citation payments will be made remotely, without the need for the responsible parties to come to the DPIE offices.
The County has the authority to enforce these regulations for perpetual offenders by hiring private contractors to remove accumulated snow and treat ice on sidewalks not removed by the property owner or lessee in a timely manner. The resulting contractor costs will be added to the civil fine amount associated with the violation citations.