If you shovel snow off your sidewalk and into the street, you may be violating city and county ordinances. And if your car is parked on that street, you might just get a ticket for violating another ordinance.
It’s all part of living in Utah during the winter.
Most Utah cities have rules and regulations about clearing sidewalks after a storm, or where you can park during one — so you will want to check your local municipality’s website for snow removal and street parking rules. But odds are there are ordinances in place that affect you and your neighbors.
Here is a sampling of regulations in five Utah cities:
Salt Lake City
Property owners are required to clear snow and ice from city sidewalks on all sides of their property. You must make a path at least 42 inches wide — or, if it’s more narrow than that, the full width of the sidewalk. You are required to do so within 24 hours of the end of a storm.
And you must not move snow into the street or onto other sidewalks.
There is no ordinance prohibiting street parking during snowstorms, but you are required to move your vehicle every 48 hours. The city also suggests parking off the street for up to 36 hours after a storm, if possible. And if you must park on a street, do not park directly opposite a vehicle on the opposite side of the street so that plows can get through.
In Salt Lake County, it is illegal to park a car on the street from November-March, and the same snow-removal requirements apply. All parked, stalled or abandoned vehicles can be towed from designated emergency snow routes at the owner’s expense.
West Valley City
Residents are required to clear the sidewalks on their property within 24 hours of the end of a storm. You must also clear snow in front of mailboxes; from around fire hydrants on your property; and from “driveway approaches” — including snow pushed there by plows.
You must not shovel or blow snow onto streets.
A city ordinance prohibits vehicles from being parked on the street when there is an inch or more of snow and ice on the roadway. Vehicles cannot be parked on the street during a snowstorm. Violators can be cited.
Property owners must remove snow and/or ice from sidewalks around their property whenever average snow depth exceeds 1 inch, or when the snow and/or ice “presents an unreasonably dangerous condition” within 24 hours of the end of a storm. Snow must be cleared from around mailboxes and fire hydrants on your property.
You cannot shovel or blow snow into the street, and it is unlawful to “push, pile or place” snow and ice so that it “unreasonably obstructs or blocks driveways or streets … blocks the visibility of motorists or otherwise creates a dangerous condition” for pedestrians or vehicles.
And if a snow plow throws snow onto the sidewalk you’ve just shoveled, you have to shovel it again.
“While this may be frustrating for property owners, it does not reduce the importance or responsibility of keeping sidewalks safe for pedestrians,” according to Provo City.
Parking will be prohibited on “primary snow emergency routes” when snow and ice accumulation is 6 inches or more. The mayor can also prohibit parking on “primary and/or secondary snow emergency routes” when “weather conditions make it necessary.” Violators can be cited, and vehicles can be towed.
Property owners must remove snow from sidewalks as soon as possible, but no later than 12 hours after it has stopped snowing.
Snow must be cleared from around mailboxes and fire hydrants. Snow cannot be shoveled or blown onto streets and other sidewalks. And snow left by plows must be cleared from driveway approaches.
“This is annoying, but can’t be avoided” the city states. Violators can be cited.
There is no blanket prohibition on street parking during a snowstorm, but the mayor can issue orders prohibiting parking on specific streets. Vehicles that are parked in a way that impedes plows can be towed and impounded. Any vehicle left parked on a street for more than 48 hours after it has been plowed around will be presumed abandoned and can be towed and impounded.
This warmer weather Utah city, which generally doesn’t see as much snow as northern cities, does not have ordinances regulating snow shoveling or street parking during snowstorms.
However, no one is allowed to park a vehicle in the same spot on a street or alley for more than 96 consecutive hours — or at all on a street or alley that is less than 20 feet wide.