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Home » The Water Cooler – Who Should Be Responsible For The Upkeep Of Sidewalks?

The Water Cooler – Who Should Be Responsible For The Upkeep Of Sidewalks?

by CLAYCORD.com
34 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

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QUESTION: Who do you think should be reaponsible for the upkeep of sidewalks in front of your home? The homeowner or the city?

Talk about it….

34 comments


Original G June 11, 2024 - 12:18 PM - 12:18 PM

CITY
Luckily where we’re at no sidewalks.

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Carol June 11, 2024 - 12:27 PM - 12:27 PM

I once saw a man defecating on the side walk near the Chevron on Clayton rd. I was disgusted and horrified so I made a racial slur. I really hope that the city can do better to keep the streets and sidewalks clean and safe for us people who call this place home.

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Concerned Citizen June 11, 2024 - 1:53 PM - 1:53 PM

Great story! You should teach the next generation!

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AJR June 12, 2024 - 7:11 AM - 7:11 AM

Nice….

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Just_My_Two_Cents June 11, 2024 - 12:29 PM - 12:29 PM

The city if it is natural causes. But the homeowner should be charged back if it’s something they have done.

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Franco June 11, 2024 - 2:55 PM - 2:55 PM

If the homeowner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk the homeowner should have the option to remove the sidewalk if the cost of maintaining/repairing the sidewalk is determined (by the homeowner) to be unreasonably excessive.

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Angry American June 11, 2024 - 12:52 PM - 12:52 PM

I did not put the sidewalk there so Why do I have to maintain it? The county/ city claim right of egress so they actually control the property “check your home title” so why do I have to be responsible? ” I know the answer here but just having fun” sorry folks!

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Trolling the Chuckie June 11, 2024 - 3:04 PM - 3:04 PM

Agree 100% with you. I didn’t buy the sidewalk, therefore it isn’t mine to maintain.

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Antonius June 11, 2024 - 12:59 PM - 12:59 PM

The city either built them or made the developers build them so the city should maintain them. I think the policy in Concord is that the homeowner is responsible?

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Old Otis June 11, 2024 - 1:14 PM - 1:14 PM

THE CITY!!!!
I didn’t put in the sidewalks.

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Sideline June 11, 2024 - 1:22 PM - 1:22 PM

Public sidewalks are just that, public.
As such they are required to be maintained by a public agency responsible for the upkeep of public roadways etc. We pay an enormous amount of property taxes that ought to pay for upkeep of public property. Unloading the burden and expense to replace and repair public sidewalks fronting your own property is an outrageous act of tyranny perpetrated by our public servants.
The owner of a downtown building who pays annual property taxes in excess of $30,000 per year was recently asked to pay for sidewalk repairs in the amount of almost $13,000. This kind of extortion is begging for a class action lawsuit.

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No Excuses June 11, 2024 - 1:54 PM - 1:54 PM

100% correct. Concord City Council very recently voted to make the homeowners repair/replace sidewalks… but you have to use the City’s approved contractor… whoa! No chance of graft or collusion there. (smirk) Damage to my sidewalk is caused by neighbors parking their cars/trucks half on/half off the walk. Against codes, but …”who ya gonna call?” AND this neighborhood has the soft roll curb/gutter system. One street over they have the sharp edge 45 degree curb. Ask city: If I have to pay to replace/repair, can I put in a 45 degree curb to stop others from parking on the walkway? Hahahahaha That’s a big NO!

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BadgerMe June 11, 2024 - 1:43 PM - 1:43 PM

Three years ago the city Pleasant Hill gave notice to all property owners on our street to have any cracks in the sidewalk repaired. You had the choice of hiring a contractor or they would hire one to do the job. They gave a date to have it done. The city hired contractor did it and we had to pay $3200. Since it’s my sidewalk I should be able to have a toll crossing.

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Trolling the Chuckie June 11, 2024 - 3:07 PM - 3:07 PM

Never thought of putting in a toll gate or an overhead reader to scan the chip in their head (or on their shoulders). Can you imagine the uproar an HOA would have if I did that?

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Concord Guy June 11, 2024 - 1:47 PM - 1:47 PM

The issue at the heart of this question is of particular annoyance to me.

It is my understanding that the City of Concord required to the developer that liquid amber trees be planted along several streets in my development in the late 50s. Those trees have heaved the sidewalks severely, causing the City to send letters to homeowners telling us that we are responsible for repairing the sidewalks. I got an estimate from the City for over $5000,

To answer the question: The City of Concord should be responsible for this expense.

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domo June 11, 2024 - 2:12 PM - 2:12 PM

The city of course – if a homeowner did something egregious then some kind of cost sharing.

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The Observer June 11, 2024 - 2:48 PM - 2:48 PM

It used to be that Martinez required payment of a permit fee of several hundred dollars when a homeowner replaced any damaged areas of their sidewalks. Now, property owners are still required to get a permit for sidewalk repairs, but there is no longer a fee payable.

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Dawg June 11, 2024 - 2:54 PM - 2:54 PM

If a homeowner has the property surveyed, and If the property line starts at the curb, then why is it illegal for the homeowner to paint the curb red?

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WC Resident June 12, 2024 - 8:40 AM - 8:40 AM

@Dawg – For nearly all lots the street facing property line end well short of the curb. I discovered this when I wanted to draw a diagram of our lot to get a building permit. I measured and found the width matched the county records exactly but the length was 20 feet longer than what I expected. I re-measured a couple of times thinking I had made a mistake. I then realized the city owns the first 20 feet of my lot, and that of all my neighbors. The sidewalks are clearly on city property.

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WC Resident June 11, 2024 - 3:05 PM - 3:05 PM

There is a similar issue with storm drains. Property owner are financially responsible for maintaining the sections of the storm drain system that run under or within their property.
 
I have always felt the city should pay for maintaining sidewalks located on city owned land and the flood control district should maintain the storm drain system regardless of where they are located.

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Jeff (the other one) June 11, 2024 - 3:22 PM - 3:22 PM

I have no problem being responsible for the repair of the sidewalk in front of my house. What annoys/angers me, we got a notice from the city that our sidewalk was a danger (tripping hazard), that we could be sued for (even though it has been like that since 20 years ago). Of course, they provided reference/offer of an organization that the city contracts with who could do the repairs (maybe $1500, for something I could fix for less than $100). I asked if I could do this myself and was informed I needed a permit (at the cost of whatever it was, either $1500 (maybe that was it) or several hundred – do not recall, only that I would have to pay the city this money in to obtain their “permission” to fix a sidewalk they told me I was responsible for, in addition to the cost of repairs. Made me think of Tim Sandefur’s book “Permission Society,” how we have to pay the state the privilege of doing repairs/improvement on our own house.

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Hope Johnson June 11, 2024 - 3:26 PM - 3:26 PM

We pay taxes to maintain a safe public right of way so the city should use our taxes to maintain sidewalks that are next to any public street. If the homeowner can’t afford a repair and there is a dangerous condition on the sidewalk, that homeowner could be sued by someone claiming injury from lack of maintenance. But I doubt the city would allow a block of homeowners to restrict public access to the section of sidewalk those homeowners are being required to maintain. And for those who think homeowners are “wealthy” so shouldn’t complain, take into consideration that, several years ago, the City of Concord’s permit fee required to approve a repair was often four or five times greater than the cost of the actual repair.
On a related note, the sidewalks the city is putting in are done in the most crappy concrete. Many of the sidewalk corners in my neighborhood were replaced to add ramps and the replacement concrete cracked within months. The concrete that had been replaced was not cracked at all, and it had been there for 50 plus years.

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DOH June 11, 2024 - 4:52 PM - 4:52 PM

Approximately 20 years ago the city came through and repaired the sidewalks in my neighborhood. Parts of the sidewalk were damaged by the roots of trees that the city had planted many years ago. The city took down my neighbor’s tree, repaired the sidewalk and planted a crepe myrtle directly under their power lines but away from the sidewalk.

There has been a lot of work on Meadow Lane recently. Now there is a new speed radar sign on Meadow Lane just before the curve onto Market Street. This is in addition to the speed limit signs. The council has voted to pass the burden of sidewalk maintenance upon the homeowners. The city needs to realize the homeowners are also short of cash. Did bicyclists pay for the painting for the new bicycle lanes and the new signs? Manage our money properly city council.

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Dr Jellyfinger June 11, 2024 - 6:06 PM - 6:06 PM

What sidewalk? I haven’t got one. No streetlights either…. I guess I don’t have to pay.

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this_that June 11, 2024 - 6:26 PM - 6:26 PM

Wait for that silent Tesla Cybertruck that sneaks behind you as you walk on the side of the road with no sidewalks.

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Dr Jellyfinger June 11, 2024 - 8:50 PM - 8:50 PM

Only if I was dumb enough to walk with my back to oncoming traffic…. of which there is damn little out here.

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MAGA SAM June 11, 2024 - 7:18 PM - 7:18 PM

This isn’t hard. It’s a public sidewalk. It’s the city’s responsibility 100%. They bought the street and sidewalk when the development was built. It’s theirs and everything in it. Same with the streets. But of course they don’t want to claim it

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John Pope June 12, 2024 - 6:07 AM - 6:07 AM

We received notice from Concord 2 years ago that “our sidewalk” needed repairs: $600 for offset sections and $1800 for a cracked section on the corner. I called some city office to inquire why we were one of several corner lots whose sidewalks did not have disabled access ramps and was told the city had a grant to construct them this year. I asked why I had gotten the must-repair letter and was told that department doesn’t coordinate with the one doing the ramps. Isn’t that special?

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Glen223 June 12, 2024 - 6:52 AM - 6:52 AM

I notice that Edi what’s-his-name is conspicuously absent from this conversation- as are any other city council members.

Homeowners are responsible for repairs? But can only use Concord approved contractors? And have to get permits? Even though damage may have been caused by trees planted by Concord?

Bull$hit.

I’m surprised that Concord isn’t. demanding they be repaired by Seeno.

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MAGA SAM June 12, 2024 - 7:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Don’t give them any ideas..jk, we know they already thought of it

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Tim June 12, 2024 - 3:46 PM - 3:46 PM

The maintenance and repair of the sidewalk, curb, and gutter fronting or adjacent to home or business is addressed in the California Streets and Highway Codes. Homeowner/business responsible for cost.

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MAGA SAM June 12, 2024 - 7:32 PM - 7:32 PM

Not a chance. Name the code, not reading the book.

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Tim June 12, 2024 - 10:26 PM - 10:26 PM

Sam,
Street and Highway code section 5610-5618 and Concord muni code 12.25.030-12.25.040 if you really need the codes. Happy reading.

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Glen223 June 13, 2024 - 12:50 PM - 12:50 PM

Of course they passed a law absolving them of any responsibility.

No surprise.

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