|City looks to lighten cost, risks for sidewalks|
An ordinance that would put greater responsibility on homeowners and businesses to maintain their nearby sidewalks will be considered by the Half Moon Bay City Council on Tuesday.
The proposed law would require property owners to provide clear pathways along their adjacent sidewalks and ensure that plant roots aren’t making the walkways crooked or hazardous. If property owners neglect their sidewalks, city work crews could step in to do the work and charge the landowner for the time.
Taking a cue from similar laws passed by other Bay Area cities, Half Moon Bay leaders say the new ordinance could lessen the city’s liability and maintenance costs.
Personal injury cases resulting from people tripping on bumpy sidewalks account for a large chunk of the city’s liability insurance costs. In October, the city settled one such lawsuit, involving a Modesto woman who tripped over a crack section of sidewalk on Main Street. The city agreed to paid $32,500 to the woman, who suffered various unspecified injuries from the tumble.
In future sidewalk injury cases, the property owner’s insurance would have to handle the legal defense for both city and the landowner.
Council members will vote on the ordinance during their next public meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1 at the Ted Adcock Community / Senior Center.