Re: Helmut Manzl’s column “A snow job,” Chief, Jan. 3:
Squamish’s recent heavy snowfall has generated many comments and calls to Municipal Hall inquiring where the responsibility lies for clearing snow from sidewalks.
Pursuant to Bylaw No. 2220, 2012, section 4.12, the owner, occupier, strata corporation or other person responsible for property used for residential or business purposes, is responsible for clearing the snow adjacent to their property. The District is responsible for sidewalks adjacent to municipal, provincial and Crown property. A copy of the bylaw can be viewed at Squamish.ca/snow.
Simply put, we do not have the resources to clear snow from all sidewalks. Snowfall in Squamish generates a wide range of issues that tax our crews heavily, and priorities are assigned to ensure that essential services in our community remain functional. First priorities include bus routes, main arteries and hills, emergency vehicle access, drainage management etc. We need everyone to do their part when it comes to sidewalks.
Education is one part of the challenge, and admittedly, there is confusion out there. We will work to ensure that our communication of the bylaw is clear, so that everyone understands their responsibility.
Another challenge is vacant landowners — in particular along main thoroughfares into downtown. We have prepared and will deliver letters to all such property owners informing them of their responsibility. We will also continue to press these individuals or organizations to follow through.
We appreciate and understand the concerns of citizens, especially when safety is at risk. Calls for service can be directed to Operations at (604) 815-6868, or for after-hours emergencies to (604) 815-4040 (24 hrs). Specific complaints about bylaw contraventions can be reported to bylaw@squamish or (604) 815-5067.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We endeavour to continually improve our level of service to the community, and are taking measures to better address the clearing of our own sidewalks as a result of this discussion.
Director of Operations
District of Squamish