Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 6. Removal of Snow and Ice From Streets and Sidewalks.


§ 9–601. Removal from sidewalks by owner of abutting property.

(a) The owner of a residential or commercial property that fronts or abuts a paved sidewalk shall, within the first 8 hours of daylight after the ceasing to fall of any snow or sleet, remove and clear away, or cause to be removed and cleared away, snow or sleet that is in front of or abuts a building or lot of land to provide a path that is the entire width of the sidewalk, up to 36 inches wide; provided, that a residential or commercial property owner may delegate this responsibility to a tenant, occupant, lessee, or other individual by written agreement.

(b) If snow or sleet cannot be removed without causing injury to the paved sidewalk, then the owner of the residential or commercial property shall, within the first 8 hours of daylight after the ceasing to fall of any snow or sleet, make the sidewalk reasonably safe for travel by covering the unremoved snow or sleet with a coating of sand, sawdust, or other proper substance as necessary to render the sidewalk safe for pedestrian travel.


(Sept. 16, 1922, 42 Stat. 845, ch. 318, § 1; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-211, § 2(a), 61 DCR 13074.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-901.

1973 Ed., § 7-801.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-211 rewrote the section.


§ 9–602. Removal from sidewalks adjacent to public property.

It shall be the duty of the Mayor of the District of Columbia within the first 8 hours of daylight after the ceasing to fall of any snow or sleet, or after the accumulation of ice on the paved sidewalks within the fire limits of the District of Columbia, in front of or adjacent to all public buildings, public squares, reservations, and open spaces in the said District owned or held by lease by said District, to cause such snow, sleet, and ice to be removed; and also to cause the same to be removed from all crosswalks of improved streets and places of intersection of alleys with paved sidewalks, and also from all paved sidewalks or crosswalks used as public thoroughfares through all public squares, reservations, or open spaces within the fire limits of said District owned or held by lease by the District of Columbia; but in the event of inability to remove such accumulation of snow, sleet, and ice without injury to the sidewalk, by reason of the hardening thereof, it shall be his duty, within the first 8 hours of daylight after the hardening thereof, to make reasonably safe for travel, or cause to be made reasonably safe for travel, by the sprinkling of sand or ashes thereon, such paved sidewalks, crosswalks, and places of intersection of alleys with paved sidewalks, and shall, as soon thereafter as the weather shall permit, thoroughly clean, or cause to be thoroughly cleaned, said sidewalks, crosswalks, and places of intersection of alleys with paved sidewalks.


(Sept. 16, 1922, 42 Stat. 845, ch. 318, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-902.

1973 Ed., § 7-802.

Editor's Notes

Section 14 of Pub. L. 93-140, § 14, 87 Stat. 507, effective Oct. 26, 1973, provided that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, appropriations for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Services of the government of the District of Columbia shall be available for purposes of snow and ice removal when so ordered by the Mayor of the District of Columbia. Section 14 of Pub. L. 93-140, § 14 was codified as § 9-607 in the 2001 Ed., as § 7-907 in the 1981 Ed., and as § 7-807 in the 1973 Ed. The Department of Transportation was substituted for Department of Highways and Traffic, near the beginning of this note, pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1975, dated July 24, 1975. The functions of the Department of Transportation were transferred to the Department of Public Works by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1983, effective March 1, 1984; the functions of the Department of Transportation were transferred to the Department of Public Works by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1983, effective March 1, 1984. This note originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia; later abolished, these branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, appropriate changes in terminology were made in this note.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 9–602.01. Mayor's authority to enter into agreements with certain entities for removal of snow and ice.

Notwithstanding Chapter 3A of Title 2, the Mayor may enter into an agreement, excluding grant agreements, with a BID corporation, as defined in § 2-1215.02(4), a DC Main Streets program, or a Clean Team grantee, duly organized with a current grant agreement with the Department of Small and Local Business Development, to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, curb cuts, and crosswalks within the boundaries of or adjoining to the BID, as defined in § 2-1215.02(7), the DC Main Streets program, or the Clean Team grantee agreement during a declared snow emergency.


(Sept. 16, 1922, 42 Stat. 845, ch. 318, § 2a; as added Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-265, § 2, 64 DCR 2138.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2 of Snow Removal Agreement Authorization Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-640, Jan. 26, 2017, 64 DCR 929).


§ 9–603. Removal from sidewalks adjacent to federal buildings.

It shall be the duty of the Director of National Park Service within the first 8 hours of daylight after the ceasing to fall of any snow or sleet, or after the accumulation of ice upon the paved sidewalks within the fire limits of the District of Columbia, to remove or cause to be removed from such sidewalks as are in front of or adjacent to all buildings owned or leased by the United States, except the Capitol buildings and grounds and the Library of Congress building, and from all paved sidewalks or crosswalks used as public thoroughfares in front of, around, or through all public squares, reservations, or open spaces within the fire limits of the District of Columbia, owned or leased by the United States, such snow, sleet, and ice; but in the event of inability to remove such accumulation of snow, sleet, and ice, by reason of the hardening thereof, without injury to the sidewalk, it shall be his duty, within the first 8 hours of daylight after the hardening of such snow, sleet, and ice, to make reasonably safe for travel, or cause to be made reasonably safe for travel, by the sprinkling of sand or ashes thereon, such paved sidewalks and crosswalks, and shall, as soon thereafter as the weather shall permit, thoroughly clean said sidewalks and crosswalks.


(Sept. 16, 1922, 42 Stat. 845, ch. 318, § 3.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-903.

1973 Ed., § 7-803.


§ 9–604. Temporary use of sand and ashes. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Sept. 16, 1922, 42 Stat. 845, ch. 318, § 4; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-211, § 2(b), 61 DCR 13074.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-904.

1973 Ed., § 7-804.


§ 9–605. Failure of owner or occupant to remove — Removal by Mayor. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Sept. 16, 1922, 42 Stat. 846, ch. 318, § 5; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-211, § 2(c), 61 DCR 13074.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-905.

1973 Ed., § 7-805.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 9–606. Failure of owner or occupant to remove — Suit to recover cost.

(a)(1) Upon finding of a violation of § 9-601, the Mayor may issue a notice of infraction to a residential or commercial property.

(2) A person authorized to issue a notice of infraction for a violation of § 9-601 shall not issue the notice to a residential property owner for a violation unless the violation continues to exist 24 hours after the snow or sleet has ceased to fall.

(3) For a residential property, the fine for a violation of § 9-601 shall be no more than $25.

(4) For a commercial property, the fine for a violation of § 9-601 shall be $150.

(b) Notwithstanding a residential or commercial property owner’s delegation of the owner’s responsibility to comply with § 9-601, the owner shall remain liable for payment of a fine issued in accordance with this section; provided, that a property owner may seek reimbursement in the amount of the fine from a tenant, occupant, lessee, or other individual pursuant to the delegation of the owner’s responsibility in a written agreement.

(c) No property owner shall be fined more than once per day per property for a violation of this chapter.

(d)(1) A residential property owner who is 65 years of age or older or who has a disability shall not be found in violation of this chapter, and shall qualify for an exemption.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, a residential property owner shall qualify as having a disability if the owner has been determined to have a disability pursuant to a government assistance program or has evidence from a medical doctor that he or she is unable to, or should not, undertake the physical activity required to remove sleet or snow.

(e) On or before December 1st of each year, the Mayor shall publicize through public media the obligation to remove sleet or snow pursuant to § 9-601 and the penalties that might be enforced for failure to comply.

(f) Infractions of this chapter shall be adjudicated pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 8 [§ 8-801 et seq.].


(Sept. 16, 1922, 42 Stat. 846, ch. 318, § 6; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-211, § 2(d), 61 DCR 13074.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-906.

1973 Ed., § 7-806.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-211 rewrote the section.


§ 9–607. Rules.

On or before July 1, 2015, the Mayor, pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter. Through rulemaking, the Mayor may also modify the schedule of fines listed in § 9-606. The Mayor shall submit a proposed modification to the schedule of fines to the Council for a 30-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not disapprove the modification by resolution within the 30-day period, the modification shall be deemed approved.


(Sept. 16, 1922, 42 Stat. 845, ch. 318, § 8 [7]; as added Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-211, § 2(d) [e], 61 DCR 13074.)

Editor's Notes

Section 14 of Pub. L. 93-140, § 14, formerly codified as § 9-607 in the 2001 Ed., is now carried as a note under § 9-602.