Time Requirements for Property Owners to Remove Snow From Sidewalks in Boroughs and Townships in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Time Requirements for Property Owners to Remove Snow From Sidewalks in Boroughs and Townships in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Posted By Law Offices of Thomas J. Murphy || 14-Feb-2011

Slip and falls on snow and ice is a very serious hazard in the Philadelphia area during the winter months. The time period to remove snow and ice from sidewalks varies from township to township in the Greater Philadelphia area. The majority of Townships and Boroughs require the sidewalks to be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours after the precipitation has ceased. However, some Townships and Boroughs require their sidewalks to be cleared of snow and ice sooner.

The majority of Townships and Boroughs have language similar to the Borough of Media's code language, which is as follows:

§ 253-43 Snow Removal; Terminology

A. Every owner, occupant and/or tenant of any property which abuts a sidewalk or public walkway in the Borough of Media shall remove or cause to be removed all snow from that sidewalk or walkway within 24 hours after the national or local weather service determines that the major accumulation of a storm has ended. The pathway shall be cleared and create a pathway with a minimum width of three feet. If the owner, occupant or tenant chooses to not personally clear the sidewalk or walkway, he or she shall contract another party to clear it for them meeting any and all requirements of this article.

B. An "owner, occupant and/or tenant" are defined for the purposes of this article as any or all of the following, but limited to an individual, person, partnership, business, municipality, and/or a corporation, and the term "he/she" shall be applicable to all such terms.

While not an exhaustive list, the following Townships and Boroughs require all snow and ice to be removed from sidewalks and walkways within 24 hours:

Borough of Landowne, Code §294-1
Borough of Media, Code §253-43
Borough of West Chester, Code §95-18
Borough of Yeadon, Code §680.04
Municipality of Norristown, Code §270-1
Haverford Township, Code §138-3
Newtown Township (Newtown Square), Code §145-12
Radnor Township, Code §250
Springfield Township, Code §120.6
Thornbury Township (Delaware County), Code §21-201
Upper Darby Township (including Drexel Hill)

However, as stated above, several Townships and Boroughs require snow and ice removal from all sidewalks and walkways sooner than 24 hours. The Borough of Darby requires snow and ice removal within 12 hours, pursuant to its Code §122-1. Likewise, Marple Township requires snow and ice removal within 12 hours, pursuant to its Code §261-32. The most restrictive suburban Township or Borough appears to be the Borough of Doylestown, which requires snow and ice removal within 10 hours, pursuant to its Code §21-251.

If your Borough or Township is not listed above, you can go to your Borough or Township's website to locate the Code or Ordinance that determines the time period in which snow and ice must be removed from all sidewalks and walkways. But from the above, it is clear that no Borough or Township permits its residents and business owners to go more than 24 hours before they must remove all snow and ice from their sidewalks and walkways and your Borough or Township may require removal sooner.

If you or someone you care about slips and falls and is injured due to a property owner or tenant's negligent failure to timely shovel and/or salt their sidewalk to remove snow and ice from their sidewalk, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you discuss your injury claim with the sidewalk owner's insurance company. The consultation is always free at this law office.