The purpose of the Storm Lake Sidewalk Inspections Program is to ensure that the City’s pedestrian pathways are maintained in safe condition for all those who use them. The program also provides property owners with notice when sidewalks are in need of improvement to help prevent personal injury from pedestrian traffic.
The property owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk on the property in safe and appropriate condition. Permanently removing existing sidewalk to resolve a violation condition is not permitted.
Sidewalk Inspection Process
The Storm Lake community is broken up into five zones. Of these, Zone 1 (the central business district and most heavily traveled zone) is inspected annually. Additionally, all of the Storm Lake LakeTrail recreation path and City-owned sidewalks are inspected annually.
The other four zones (Zones 2-5) are inspected once every four years in rotation. Inspections begin once frost is out of the ground. More information on the timeline for the process can be seen online at stormlake.org/224/Inspection-Timeline.
The City inspects sidewalks for seven specific violations:
- a vertical separation of ¾” or more
- a deviation from the grade of 4” or more per 10-foot section
- sidewalk cracked into four or more pieces per section with a vertical difference of ¾” or more
- a portion of the sidewalk missing to full depth
- a side-to-side slope greater than 1” per foot
- holes or depressions of ¾” or more in depth
- a horizontal separation of ¾” or more
Any of these violations that are found will be marked on the pavement and on the Inspection Report notice which will be mailed to the property owner following the inspection. The City also utilizes door tags in three languages to help property owners be aware of situations needing attention.
Property owners with violations are given 60 days from the Inspection Report to locate a contractor if necessary and make repairs. Following the 60-day period, the City will conduct another inspection of the targeted zones to ensure that sidewalks have been brought up to safety standards. If the property owner refuses to make repairs, the City has the right to cause repairs to be made and charge the property owner the costs plus interest and an administrative fee, which if necessary can be done through an assessment on the property.