Yes, Columbus, you must shovel your sidewalk

⌫ Home

Most people I talk to don't know for sure whether or not they should remove snow from sidewalks on their property. Some say that you should, but it's not required. Others say that if you do and someone slips, then you're liable for their injury. For Columbus, Ohio, the truth is that you have to clear your sidewalks.

From §902.03 of the Columbus Ohio Code of Ordinanaces:

902.03 Maintaining improper or unsafe sidewalks, shared-use paths or streets.

(a) Every owner, occupant, or person having charge of any lot or parcel of land in the city shall cause the paved sidewalk or shared-use path, or any part thereof, in front of and abutting, or to the side or rear of and abutting upon such lot or parcel of land, to be clear of snow and ice each day. If for any cause it shall be impossible to remove all the snow and ice which may adhere to such sidewalk or shared-use path, then every such owner, occupant, or person having charge shall cover such snow or ice as shall remain with such coating of sand or other substance as may be necessary to render travel safe and convenient.

(b) No person shall do any of the following:

  1. Place or deposit snow or ice collected from parking lots, driveways, or any other private property onto a street, sidewalk, shared-use path, alley, or right-of-way; place or deposit snow or ice collected from driveway entrances or any other location onto a street, shared-use path or sidewalk in such a manner as to impede safe travel.


902.99 Penalties.

(a) Whoever violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree and fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned for not more than sixty (60) days or both except whoever violates Section 902.03(a) is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00).

(b) Strict liability is intended to be imposed for violation of this chapter. It is an affirmative defense to a charge under Section 902.03(a) that, at the time of the alleged offense, the person charged suffered from physical impairments which caused him to be incapable of clearing or covering the snow and ice as required by that subsection and was unable to arrange to have another person clear or cover such snow and ice.

In summary: Clean your sidewalk, pay a fine of not more than than $100, or show that you were unable to clear it and no one else could do it for you.