D.C. to Fine Homeowners $25 for Not Shoveling Sidewalks

If you don't shovel your D.C. sidewalk this winter, you could face a bill from the city.

District officials say homeowners and businesses will be required this year to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours of a storm or face fines of $25 for homeowners and $150 for business owners.

A team of 40 inspectors will hit the streets after each storm, and residents will be able to report their neighbors anonymously.

"Gone should be the days when people -- elderly, disabled, just everybody -- can't get out of their house because some people let their snow stay on the sidewalk, Councilmember Mary Cheh said Monday.

The new law also will require homeowners who live next to the entrance of an alley to clear the curb.

"We need business owners and residents to help make sure that the city is cleared as quickly as possible during a major snow event," said Christopher Shorter, the acting director for the D.C. Department of Public Works.

Seniors and people with disabilities will be exempt from the requirements. They can register with the District in advance so inspectors know not to ticket them. Also, their homes will be added to a list for volunteers to clear the way.

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