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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.


Comments

>>In future sidewalk injury cases, the property owner’s insurance would have to handle the legal defense for both city and the landowner.<< ----- Nope. Doesn't work that way. The city can charge adjacent landowners for maintenance and repairs if the lanowners don't do it themselves, but they can't pass off their responsibility. They can pass laws till the cows come home, and they will remain liable for sidewalk injuries caused by defects in the walks.

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Didn't the city just plant new trees in the those same areas which will have the disruptive have roots which they now want the abutting landowners to be responsible to maintain? What a great revenue idea! Think of all the building permits and filing fees that they will now be rolling just to protect the City. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just cut the trees down now?

I thought The Chamber endorsed Measure K? How quickly they turn.


The Chamber of Commerce, which is about as useful as a broken 20 quarter machine at a laundry mat, gets a chuck of cash from the City each year.

Raising the sales tax would have helped the COC realize it's primary objective which is self perpetuation. What else exactly does the COC do? Why are we paying them anything?

Can anybody tell me what the COC does other than ask me to pay them money? As far as I can tell, they use the same scam as the BBB. Pay them and they will say nice things about you.

My sister made the same observation about the trees that were planted last summer. Installing trees that will destroy the sidewalks sound like how things are done around here. Sort of like building a bike path right next to a 10 foot wide shoulder and but not bothering to mark the hazards that it created. Better to baffle 'em with BS and then to name the BS after the bafflers.


Municipalities CAN legislate to hold adjacent property owners responsible for the cost of repairs to sidewalks. There are limits to that, however. If the legislators believe they can hold the property owners responsible for damage or defects THAT THE CITY CAUSES - like damage from trees that the city plants, they are living in a dream world. Won't happen. The saddest part is that they probably won't learn until after they have wasted many dollars defending a losing lawsuit --- again.


Reminds me of the young entrepreneur that set up a stand in front of his house. He gave away free sandwiches, but made a bloody fortune selling tooth brushes and tooth paste.

The free sandwiches were made from defecation slapped between two slices of bread.


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