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Appendix E: Eau Claire, Wisconsin Sidewalk Ordinance

City of Eau Claire, Wisconsin Ordinances – Sidewalk and Sidewalk Maintenance

Chapter 13.0


13.04.010 Installation of sidewalks–General.

13.04.020 Deferral of sidewalk construction.

13.04.025 Procedures for deferral of sidewalk construction.

13.04.030 Design and construction of sidewalks.

13.04.010 Installation of sidewalks–General. This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority provided in Wis. Stats. 66.615(7). Subject to other provisions of this chapter, sidewalks shall be constructed as follows:

A. Within new subdivisions, as provided in Section 17.12.280 of this code. The provisions of s. 13.04.020, entitled "Deferral of sidewalk construction," and s. 13.04.025, entitled "Procedures for deferral of sidewalk construction," shall not apply to this subsection A. for the construction of sidewalks within new subdivisions.

B. Abutting any lot described on a certified survey map under Wis. Stats. s. 236.34, or any other unplatted lot, at the time when the main building on the lot is initially constructed or when it is entirely reconstructed or replaced. Prior to issuance of a building permit for such construction, reconstruction or replacement, the property owner shall execute and file with the city Administrator of Inspections and Zoning a written document certifying installation of a public sidewalk abutting such lot or execute a petition to the city for such installation and the levy of special assessments in connection therewith and waiving notice and hearing pursuant to Wis. Stats. s. 66.60 (18).

C. Along streets lying within one-half mile of a public or private elementary or secondary school;

D. Along any street or portion of street which is classified by the city council as a collector street or arterial street under the functional street classification system of the city;

E. Where the installation of a sidewalk will connect previously constructed and existing sidewalks within the immediate area;

F. When property owners who own over one-half of the frontage along a street file a petition with the city requesting that sidewalks be installed along such frontage; and

G. At such other locations where the city council determines that one or more of the following conditions exist:

  1. Vehicular and pedestrian conflicts present a potential danger to the health and safety of persons; or
  2. The number of small children, senior citizens or other persons having special needs reside on a street and require a sidewalk to assure their safety; or
  3. Parks, playgrounds or other locations exist which are attractive to large numbers of children and are not served by sidewalks thereby resulting in an immediate danger to the health and safety of such children. (Ord. 6285 §1, 2002; Ord. 4510 §1, 1984).

13.04.020 Deferral of sidewalk construction. Sidewalk shall be constructed in all locations as outlined in section 13.04.010, except the city council retains the authority to review any sidewalk proposal and to designate procedures to defer the construction thereof whenever it is deemed necessary and desirable. A deferral shall not constitute a permanent waiver of sidewalk construction, and the city council may review and reconsider the need for construction at any time. Sidewalk construction may be deferred in the following situations:

A. Where the construction would be along a cemetery, outlying industrial property, or in any other area where little or no pedestrian use is reasonably anticipated;

B. Where the owner of the property adjacent to the street elects to provide an alternative pedestrian facility which is acceptable and approved;

C. When it is determined that the construction of sidewalk is not feasible or practical due to topographical or other physical constraints; or

D. When it is found that construction of sidewalk would not serve the public interest, safety or convenience. (Ord. 4981, 1989; Ord. 4510 §2, 1984).

13.04.025 Procedures for deferral of sidewalk construction. All requests for deferral of sidewalk construction shall be submitted in writing to the department of public works. Applications for deferral of sidewalk construction shall be processed as follows:

A. The director of public works is authorized to approve the deferral of sidewalk construction under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the location is on a cul-de-sac or dead-end street of 750 feet or less in length and no other sidewalk exists on the cul-de-sac or dead-end street segment;
  2. Where development is substantially complete in the area and no other sidewalk exists on the street segment;
  3. Where the location is a remote rural area and no sidewalk exists or is planned to be constructed in the near future;
  4. In locations where the city has programmed or scheduled street construction as part of the capital improvement program; or
  5. Where topography, street grades or physical constraints make the construction impractical.

B. Decisions rendered by the director of public works may be appealed by the applicant to the city council for consideration and determination by the council.

C. All applications for deferral of sidewalk construction for reasons not included in subsection 13.04.025 A. shall be submitted to the city council for review, consideration and determination.

D. Locations where construction of sidewalk is deferred shall be subject to the following conditions:

  1. A concrete sidewalk section shall be constructed at the time the driveway is constructed in the location and at an elevation established by the department of public works which is calculated to accommodate a possible future sidewalk in the location.
  2. The terrace and yard area shall be graded to meet a possible future sidewalk in the location and elevation established by the department of public works. This subsection shall not apply where sidewalk construction is not practical for topographic reasons. (Ord. 4981, 1989).

13.04.030 Design and construction of sidewalks.

A. Sidewalks shall be constructed in accordance with city specifications as established by the Department of Public Works. Subject to the provisions of subsection B, and unless as otherwise directed by the Director of Public Works, the width of all sidewalks in residential areas shall be 5 feet. The sidewalk width in all other areas shall be established by the Director of Public Works.

B. The design of sidewalks shall be flexible and shall be adapted to suit the particular needs of the area within which they are constructed. The materials used and designs employed in connection with sidewalk construction shall be consistent with topography and aesthetics. Trees shall not be removed in order to construct sidewalks unless their removal is reasonably necessary in order to accommodate such construction, as determined by the Director of Public Works. If a boulevard exists, as much space as possible shall be retained on it to provide for the storage of snow. (Ord. 4510 §1, 1984).

13.16.010 Obstructing–Littering–Vegetation control.

A. No person shall place, deposit or cast or cause to be placed, deposited or cast upon any street, alley, gutter, sidewalk or public ground within the city any grass clippings, leaves, ashes, rubbish, paper, snow or ice or anything or substance whatever which may obstruct any such street, alley, gutter, sidewalk or public ground, or impede, hinder or endanger travel thereon, or which shall or may injure or disfigure the same, or tend to the injury or disfigurement thereof, or tend to render the same unclean or a nuisance; nor shall any person cause or suffer any motor vehicle or other vehicle, or any box, crate, bale, package, merchandise or other thing to stand or be in or upon any such street, alley, sidewalk or public ground longer than may be actually necessary, under a penalty of up to fifty dollars for each and every offense.

B. No person shall permit any vegetation growing on premises owned or controlled by him to obstruct or impede, hinder or endanger travel upon any street, sidewalk, or alley under like penalty. (Ord. 4246 §4, 1982; Ord. 3936 §4, 1978; Ord. 3639, 1976; prior code §5.01).

13.20.010 Cleaning of snow and ice required.

A. The owner of every lot or parcel of land shall keep the public sidewalk adjacent to said premises reasonably free and clear from snow and ice and shall clear the snow from such sidewalk within twenty-four hours following a snowfall. Any owner violating the pro-visions of this section shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than five dollars nor more than fifty dollars for each offense. Upon the failure of an owner to clear any sidewalk as required under this section, the City shall cause the sidewalk to be so cleared and shall cause the cost thereof to be levied as a special tax chargeable to such lot or parcel of land to be collected like other taxes upon real estate, as prescribed in Wis. Stats. s. 66.615

B. "Sidewalk" as used in this chapter means any sidewalk, path, walk or way regularly used by pedestrians along any opened and established street and within the boundaries of such street. (Ord. 4262, 1982; Ord. 3599 (part), 1976; prior code §5.12).


* For provisions of general municipality law authorizing city councils to require sidewalks and to provide rules for their grade, construction, maintenance and repair, see WSA 66.615; for provisions of general charter law regarding street improvement and repair, see WSA 62.16.

292 (Eau Claire 6/2002)