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Local

Do you have to shovel snow? In Sycamore, it depends

Do you have to? In Sycamore, it depends

Josh Arends of Chicago cleaned the snow and ice from his car Friday in Sycamore after a visit with his parents. In Sycamore's residential areas, there is no requirement to remove snow from your property, but it is encouraged.
Josh Arends of Chicago cleaned the snow and ice from his car Friday in Sycamore after a visit with his parents. In Sycamore's residential areas, there is no requirement to remove snow from your property, but it is encouraged.

SYCAMORE – When snow stops falling, it can sometimes be tough to get out from the cozy warm home to clear off the driveway.

And to the many children who have asked, “Do I have to?” in Sycamore, the answer to that question depends on where you are and what’s covered in snow.

Downtown, the sidewalk in front of your business is your responsibility.

The city ordinances require that shop owners clean the sidewalks in front of their store. Sycamore police ordinance officer Nathan Monney said the businesses usually do a good job of maintaining the sidewalks in front of their own shops and he doesn’t often have to speak to them.

“Business owners want to have easy access to their stores,” he said.

If he has to speak to any owners, it’s usually because when they cleared the snow, they put it in the wrong place.

As code enforcement officer, Monney handles anything from parking complains to weeds and grass and calls about the condition of buildings.

“The issues are often not sidewalk issues,” Monney said. “Sometimes they’ll pile it in sight lines at intersections.”

If the snow is too high and driverss can’t see, he has to have them place it somewhere else.

The downtown commercial area is bounded by Exchange, Elm, Locust and Sacramento streets in the city codes, and includes the shopping district downtown along with Sycamore and DeKalb County government offices. Some areas in the downtown, such as in front of the City Center, have cut out shovels altogether and have heated sidewalks.

Outside of that district and in residential areas, Monney said, there is no rule for residents to shovel their driveways or sidewalks.

“It’s always encouraged to have residents remove snow, but it’s not required,” Monney said.

If you elect to clear off your driveway, despite no legal requirement to do so, there are rules on where you can put the snow. Monney said it’s against code to push that snow into the street.

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