Snowy winter predicted in Johnson County — see if your city requires homeowners to shovel sidewalks

Many cities in Johnson County require their residents to shovel snow and deice sidewalks adjacent to their property, with some municipal ordinances levying fines for those who don't. Filed image.

Ok, we realize it’s not even Halloween yet, but residents of Johnson County may want to make sure they have their snow shovels ready.

This winter could be a harsh one, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which says the greater Kansas city area is predicted to be  cold and snowy this upcoming winter.

“While temperatures in this midcountry strip will be relatively normal,” the Almanac says, “snowfall will be abundant, with several storms predicted throughout the winter.”

And with snow comes the unavoidable chore of shoveling your driveway. And in some homeowners’ cases, shoveling city sidewalks next to their homes.

Maybe the city of Overland Park had that in mind when it recently posted on its Facebook page a “City Code of the Month” reminder telling residents that, according to city ordinances, they are not only responsible for shoveling their property but should also clear public sidewalks adjacent to their property.

“Once snow does arrive, snow crews will be hard at work plowing City streets,” the city’s reminder said. “However, we could use your help with sidewalks. We request that you shovel sidewalks so pedestrians can safely use them.”

Through its city code and a resolution approved in 2010, Overland Park encourages residents to shovel and deice sidewalks adjacent to their property but does not require them to.

Overland Park is not alone in this regard.

In fact, several other northeast Johnson County cities require residents clear sidewalks next to their property.

What other cities say about clearing sidewalks

In Roeland Park and Leawood, property owners are required to remove all snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property within 48 hours after the end of a snow or ice event.

Shawnee also requires residents to shovel their sidewalks within a 48-hour period after the snowfall ends. Citizens there could face fines up to $500 if they do no comply.

Mission also gives it property owners two full days to shovel after the snow or ice event ends, but there is no fee for non-compliance. The city will only issue a “courtesy notice” to anyone who has not shoveled.

Prairie Village requires their property owners to remove ice and snow from the sidewalks abutting their property within 24 hours from the time snow and ice has stopped falling.

Lenexa does not have a specific ordinance that pertains to snow removal from sidewalks.