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New York City Snow Removal Requirements for Property Owners

New York City Snow Removal Requirements for Property Owners

Snow removal is a burden for property owners, but not meeting New York City’s requirements for snow removal can lead to tickets from the Department of Sanitation and potentially impact liability for injuries.

The most important thing for property owners is that they are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks. This is true not only for single-family homeowners, but also for owners of commercial properties, multi-family housing, private or charter schools, and certain government buildings.

Here are the basics of what property owners need to know:

  • Sidewalks must have a path free of snow and ice that is at least 4 feet wide
  • For properties on a corner, there must be a path cleared to crosswalks and any curb cuts; if the snow has melted, owners should disperse the water away from the crosswalk so people with mobility issues can still pass
  • If snow removal plows leave a ridge of snow on private property and it covers the sidewalk (or curb cuts of a corner property), the owner must remove that snow
  • Bus stops and fire hydrants in front of your property – even though these are “City” structures, the property owner is obligated to shovel and de-ice them
  • How long owners have to clear their property depends on when the snow stops falling:
    • Between 7 am and 5 pm: cleared within 4 hours
    • Between 5 pm and 9 pm: cleared within 14 hours
    • Between 9 pm and 7 am: cleared by 11 am
  • Snow can’t be shoveled into the street

Additional Resources
NYC.gov: Snow or Ice on Sidewalk
“Snow Removal: Your Responsibilities,” New York City Department of Sanitation