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The Complete Guide to Snow Removal Laws by State

snow-removal-lawsCity ordinances and local laws typically dictate your legal obligation to remove snow and ice from the public sidewalks and walkways adjacent to your property.

If you own a rental property in an areas with snow removal requirements make sure you know who will be responsible for snow removal – owner or tenant.

If you are a landlord or property manager you may be allowed to include snow removal requirements in the rental lease agreement that would make your tenant responsible for snow removal. This is typically the case for single-family rental properties. If you own or manage a multifamily property, the common areas and walkways may be solely your responsibility for clearing snow.

To learn more about a landlord’s duty to clear snow and ice from a rental property – Click Here.

Each state and the cities within have different ordinances that govern their snow and ice removal requirements for property owners and residents. Below is a list of all 50 states and snow removal laws from a city in that state.

Click on the links below to learn more about snow removal laws in your state.  If you have questions about your specific county or city ordinance on snow removal contact your city offices.  Or use the key word search “snow removal ordinance” along with your city or local municipality’s name.


Snow Removal Laws by State

Alabama: No state snow removal law.

Alaska: The Alaska Landlord Tenant Act says that the landlord must remove snow and ice from common areas ( Coburn v. Burton, 790 P.2d 1355 (Alaska 1990).)  The lease can require that a tenant is responsible for removing snow from private areas of the property.

Arizona: City ordinances about snow removal, like this one from Flagstaff, AZ where owners, lessees, or residents are required to remove snow from public walkways that border the property within 24-hours.

Arkansas: No statewide snow removal law. Owners may be liable if snow is cleared and an accident occurs.

California: The act of putting snow or other materials on a public right-of-way is a violation of CVC 23112 and Section 724 of the California Streets and Highways Code, and is a misdemeanor.

Colorado: The owners of buildings, stores and any other public places are responsible for removing snow and ice to allow safe access on their property.  They have an obligation to ensure areas accessible to the public is safe and free and clear of any dangerous accumulation of snow and ice.

Connecticut: Owner or resident is responsible for snow removal on adjacent  public walkways and public gutters. If an accident does occur, the injured can seek damages for injury from the owner within 2 years of the accident. Some cities require the owner also salt or sand the sidewalk and provide timeframes for when snow removal must occur.

Delaware: The state assumes responsibility for clearing sidewalks along public roadways, however property owners in some towns and counties will still need to meet local requirements for removing snow.

Florida: No state snow removal law

Georgia: No state snow removal requirements. However if anyone does shovel snow, it may not be placed in any public road, street, or walkway.

Hawaii: No state law.

Idaho:   The owner of a building (home, business, church, etc) is to keep their sidewalks clear of snow every day (Boise City Code 9-08-07).

Illinois: Residents and property owners are encouraged to remove snow from sidewalks and public walkways. Anyone who removes snow shall not be held liable for injuries that occur as a result of snow or snow removal.

Indiana: Property owners and residents cannot remove snow and leave it in a public roadway. If a property owner or resident removes snow from a public walkway or path, he may be found liable if someone experiences an injury as a result of the snow removal.

Iowa: In Iowa City, residents must remove snow from sidewalks with 24-hours of one inch of snow falling. The entire width of the sidewalk must be cleared down to the concrete.

Kansas: In Wichita, KS property owners must shovel snow and ice from public side walks for face a fine and a misdemeanor.

Kentucky: Property owners are responsible for removing snow from walkways within 4 hours after daylight and after falling snow has ceased in Lexington, KY.   

Louisiana: No state snow removal law.

Maine: Residents and property owners in Portland, MI have 24 hours to remove snow or ice after a storm has ended. Failure to comply will result in the city performing the task and billing the owner for the cost of snow removal.

Maryland: Depending on the city, residents have 12-72 hours to remove snow from public sidewalks.

Massachusetts: Supreme Judicial Court ruled that property owners and landlords are responsible for every inch of snow and ice on their property.

Michigan: City ordinances in Michigan ensure that snow, as well as ice, is removed from sidewalks in order to reduce the likelihood of injuries to pedestrians.

Minnesota: City ordinances like this one in Montgomery, MN, state that all snow and ice must be removed within 24 hours from public sidewalks.

Mississippi: No state regulation regarding snow removal from public sidewalks by owners, but some cities have a Snow Removal reimbursement program, for residents to get reimbursed for hiring contractors to remove snow from streets.

Missouri: Most Missouri cities require property owners to clear public sidewalks–those on the public streets alongside their property–within a reasonable time after snow or ice storms are over. Property owners who exercise ordinary care in clearing sidewalks and walkways are, in general, not any more liable for injuries than those who do nothing.

Montana: City ordinances require Montana residents to clear public walkways, driveways and sidewalks of snow and ice within 24 hours. The path should be 36 inches wide and an adequate amount of sand/ice melt should be left on ice.

Nebraska: In Omaha, property owners and occupants must remove snow and ice from public sidewalks and walkways that adjoin their property within 24 hours or face a fine. Owners must also clear the snow from mailboxes and fire hydrants on their property.

Nevada: Property owners need to understand that the burden is on them to keep their properties, and the adjoining public sidewalks, free and clear of snow, ice, and other dangerous conditions.  Failure to do so could result in significant liability exposure if a member of the public suffers injury as a result of a slip and fall.

New Hampshire: Sidewalks on public roads are maintained and cleared of snow and ice by the municipality at no additional cost to property owners. State v. Jackman, 69 N.H. 318 (1898)

New Jersey: Single-family homeowners have no duty to clear snow or ice from their property and will only be held liable to injury claims if they make the snow condition more dangerous than what occurs naturally. Multifamily property owners must clear snow and ice from public walkways and sidewalks on and in front of their property.

New Mexico: Property owners are responsible for shoveling their sidewalks after each snowstorm to ensure safe pedestrian access. Snow plows may have to make several passes in front of your home or business during continuous periods of snowfall. As a result, snow may be pushed onto sidewalks that already have been cleared, and the property owner is responsible to clear this as well in Santa Fe, NM.

New York: Property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from paved walkways and sidewalks outside their property in order to create a safe path for pedestrians. If a property owner has a bus stop or fire hydrant in front of his or her property, that owner is responsible for removing snow and ice from the sidewalks surrounding those areas.

North Carolina: Cities like Asheville, NC have a local ordinance that states property owners are required to clear the sidewalks abutting their property of ice before 10AM each day in which the temperature exceeds 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

North Dakota: In Fargo, ND, the Street Department maintains approximately 34 miles of City sidewalk and will clear sidewalk snow and ice following a storm. However, in Bismarck, ND residents are required to clear all snow and ice from their sidewalks and crosswalks.

Ohio: There is no official state law that requires homeowners remove snow but there are several local ordinances that require snow removal from public sidewalks by owners or residents.

Oklahoma: An ordinance in Tulsa, OK states that property owners and residents must remove snow from public sidewalks on their property within 24 hrs after snowfall.

Oregon: State law says the home or property owner is responsible if someone slips or falls and is injured on an icy or snowy sidewalk.

Pennsylvania: Property owners and those who occupy properties (i.e., single family home tenant) have the duty to shovel sidewalks within a specified time frame after a storm has ended. Failing to do so may result in a fine.  City ordinances specify a time frame and how wide the path must be when removing snow.

Rhode Island: A city ordinance in Providence states that all snow must be removed by a property owner from a a path not less than three (3) feet in width of the entire border in or on said street, highway, or public place,” from “around any fire hydrant on the sidewalk in front of said building or lot,” from “the opening of any catch basin in the sidewalk of said building or lot,” and from “pedestrian-access ramps cut into street curbs bordering said building or lot.”

South Carolina: No state ordinance.

Tennessee: Property owners are expected to take reasonable steps to remove snow and ice within a reasonable time after it has formed or accumulated.

Texas: While not every city in Texas has an ordinance on snow removal, in Dallas, Ordinances Nos. 3314 and 19398 state that an owner, tenant, lessee or occupant must remove snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of the building. Residents have 3 hrs to clear snow and ice which falls or accumulates before 4 p.m.

Utah: There is a city ordinance in Salt Lake City, UT that requires the owner or occupant of a property to remove snow and ice from their whole sidewalk adjacent to their property within 24 hours after a storm.

Vermont: In Woodstock, VT a local ordinance requires property owners to keep the public sidewalk adjacent to their property clear of snow and ice to a width of three feet.

Virginia: Depending on much snow has fallen (0-6 inches or 6+ inches) property owners have 24-72 hours to remove snow from public walkways.

Washington: This page provides a brief overview of snow and ice removal policies and procedures for cities, towns, and counties in Washington State, including sidewalk clearance requirements.

West Virginia: In Morgantown, WV, property owners are required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours of a snow event. Snow and ice removal from personal walkways, stairs, driveways, and parking spaces are at the discretion of the property owner. However, if these walkways, stairs, driveways, and parking spaces are for rental or business property, they do fall within the same 24 hour clean up standard.

Wisconsin: In Madison, WI owners and residents are required to clear snow from their sidewalk by noon of the day after the snow stopped. If not, crews will remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk and property owners will be billed for this service.

Wyoming: In the City of Buffalo, WY, owners and occupants must clear snow from the sidewalk in front of their property, whether paved or not.

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