The City Code requires the owner/occupant to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjoining any side of their property. A accumulation of three or more inches of snow must be cleared within 24 hours. A prudent effort must be made by the owner to control ice accumulation by complete removal or by applying sufficient amounts of deicing material or sand.
Failure to clear snow and ice in accordance with the City Code may result in the issuance of a civil infraction and fine of up to $500 against the property owner by the City, without notice. Additionally, the City manager may cause the snow and/or ice to be cleared at the owner's expense, again without notice.
Property owners who are on vacation during the winter months must make sure to arrange for the timely removal of snow and ice (on sidewalks ajoining their property) in their absence.
The City of Rochester updated their Winter Maintenance Program effective November 21, 2016. In that document which can be found at http://rochestermi.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1770 they also updated the policy that covers mailbox damage caused by snow plows (see below). In short, the biggest change that affects our Association is that the City is limiting their liability in a situation where a snow plow physically hits a mailbox to $100. It should be further noted that the City takes the position that damage caused by “snow blow” is the result of an “un-secure” mailbox or “rotted post”. K. Mailbox and Sod Damage Policy • During snow removal operations, many miles of roadway must be cleared and maintained for safe travel. Unfortunately, during this process, mailboxes may be damaged by the weight of the thrown snow and in some instances by the strike of a plow truck. • It is important for residents who have mailboxes at the road edge to prepare for winter by “shaking their mailbox.” The action is intended to prevent mailboxes from being damaged by snow pushed off the road by snowplows. Residents should tighten screws and bolts prior to our first winter storm and replace rotting posts. • Snow plow drivers will notify their supervisor immediately after returning to the yard, if mailbox damage was suspected on their route. This information will be investigated after a resident notification is received. • As soon as possible after receiving a resident notification of a damaged mailbox, (usually within 24 hours after the snow storm subsides); a Public Works representative will evaluate the damaged mailbox to determine if the damage is due to a snow plow truck striking the mailbox or if the force of the snow coming off of the snow plow blade caused an un-secure mailbox to come off its post or a rotted post to break off. • If the snow plow physically hits and damages the mailbox and or post, the City will reimburse for the mailbox and/or post with the same type, up to a maximum cost of $100. If the snow discharged from the plow damages the box and or post, the property owner is responsible for the repairs or replacement. • The City of Rochester respects its resident’s property and realizes the importance of our residents receiving mail in a timely fashion. A temporary mailbox will be provided by the DPW to any resident who has mailbox damage due to snow removal operations regardless if the cause was by snow or by city equipment. This will be provided free of charge until a replacement mailbox is installed or spring, whichever comes first. • Sod damage is possible in areas adjacent to roadways (city easements and right-of-ways). DPW will maintain a list of the damaged areas and make restoration of topsoil and seed in the spring. Residents are encouraged to report sod damage.