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City of San Diego May Shift Responsibility of Repairing Sidewalks Almost Entirely to the City

March 22, 2017

From the San Diego Union-Tribune – In the wake of a nearly $5 million city payout to a bicyclist injured by damaged sidewalk, San Diego Councilman David Alvarez wants a new policy shifting the responsibility of repairing sidewalks almost entirely to the city.

Alvarez says the existing policy, which makes adjacent property owners responsible for repairs in all but a small number of circumstances, has resulted in too many damaged sidewalks and large injury payouts by the city.

Making property owners responsible leads to inaction because they are reluctant to incur the costs and go through the complex process of hiring a contractor and obtaining city permits.

The city’s existing policy, adopted in 1975, makes the city responsible only when sidewalks are damaged by utility work, heat expansion, changes in grade or when trees are next to city-owned property or at street intersections with no adjacent property.

Alvarez would shift the policy to say that the city is responsible unless it is determined that the damage was caused by the adjacent property owner or a third party.

Despite rarely being responsible for damages under the existing policy, the city has often agreed to split the costs with property owners to accelerate repairs.

Alvarez said cost-sharing isn’t enough and that the city needs to…to read the full article, please click here.

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