Let it snow!... and don't forget to shovel or you'll get a fine

With snow finally coming to DC, be aware of the new law about shoveling your sidewalk and public areas near your home or business. If you don't, you might get a fine. The Department of Public Works is now empowered to fine residents and businesses who don't shovel their sidewalks. 

Photo: dc.gov

Photo: dc.gov

When do you have to shovel? "Within the first eight hours of daylight after the storm ends," says DC's Snow Team. Homeowners (and renters), as well as businesses have to clear at least a 37 inch path in the walkway in front of their property. DPW will be checking -- they'll first give out warnings, and then they'll give out fines. Residents can get a $25 fine, and businesses can get a $150 fine.

Note that this includes curb cuts. If you live on a corner that has a curb cut (ramp up from the street) then you're responsible for digging out the curb cut as well. Have fun with that after the plows come through if we get a huge dump of snow this weekend.

Can't shovel? If you're a senior citizen 65 or older or disabled, you can have a volunteer of the DC Snow Team shovel for you. Call 311 and request to be put on the list (you'll have to give them proof of age or disability). A doctor's note stating you can't shovel is good enough (you don't have to tell them what your disability is, only have a doctor's note.) You can sign up for an exemption online as well -- you'll still need the doctor's note.

If you want to be a rock star neighbor and volunteer for the Snow Team and help shovel, go to their website and sign up. You don't have to commit to all season -- you can even volunteer for just one weekend. Santa will remember.