Article 2. Sidewalks

§8-201   Falls City Code   §8-210

Article 2. Sidewalks

§8-201    SIDEWALK SPACE.  The term “sidewalk space,” as used herein, shall mean that portion of a street between curb lines and adjacent property lines.

§8-202    SIDEWALKS; BENEATH.  No person shall be allowed to keep or use the space beneath the sidewalk lying between lot line and curb line unless a permit therefor shall have been obtained from the Governing Body.  Before any permit shall be granted, the applicant for said permit shall submit plans and specifications of any present or proposed construction to the Governing Body.  Should such plans or specifications be disapproved, no permit shall be granted therefor.  All permits hereafter granted shall continue only upon the condition that the party receiving the same shall build, maintain, and keep in repair a sidewalk over such space used or constructed to be used and pay all damages that may be sustained by any person by reason of such use or by reason of said sidewalk being defective or in a dangerous condition.  As a condition precedent to the issuance or continuance of any permit for the use of any space underneath the Municipal sidewalks as herein contemplated, the Governing Body may require applicant to furnish a bond to the Municipality as obligee for the benefit of any person or persons who may suffer any damage or damages by reason of such use.  The bond shall be in such sum as the Governing Body, in its discretion, may designate.

§8-203    SIDEWALKS; OVERHANGING BRANCHES.  It shall be the duty, responsibility and obligation of every owner, lessee, or occupant of any lot, piece, or parcel of ground abutting, or adjacent to, any sidewalk space over which extends the branches of trees shall at all times keep the branches, or limbs, thereof trimmed to the height of at least eight feet (8′) above the surface of said sidewalk space.  Upon the failure of the owner, lessee, or occupant having control of any such real estate to trim and clear said branches or limbs as set forth herein, the City Attorney shall mail or serve notice to the said owner, lessee or occupant to do so.  Failure to trim and clear all such branches and limbs within five (5) days of notice shall be deemed an offense as provided in this section and/or the City Administrator may cause the same to be trimmed and cleared and the costs thereof shall be chargeable to the property owner.  If the owner shall refuse to reimburse the Municipality after being properly billed; the cost may be assessed against the real estate and the Governing Body shall have the assessment certified to the County Treasurer and the same shall be collected in the manner provided by law.  In the event the property owner is a nonresident of the County in which the property lies, the Municipality shall, before levying any special assessment against the property, send a copy of any notice required by law to be published by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the nonresident property owner.  The last known address shall be that address listed on the current tax rolls at the time such required notice was first published.

Any  person failing  to trim and clear said branches or limbs as provided heretofore shall be guilty of an offense as provided by this Chapter in addition to any special assessment for cost of removal of said branches or limbs.

Whenever, in any action, it is established that a nuisance exists, the Court may together with the fine or penalty imposed, enter an order of abatement as part of the judgment.

§8-204    SIDEWALKS; KEPT CLEAN.  It shall be unlawful for the occupant of any lot or lots or the owner of any vacant lot or lots within the corporate limits to allow snow, sleet, mud, ice, or other substance to accumulate on the sidewalks or to permit any snow, sleet, ice, mud, or other substance to remain upon said sidewalk.  All sidewalks shall be cleaned within five (5) hours after the cessation of a storm, unless the storm or fall of snow shall have taken place during the night, in which case the sidewalk shall be cleaned before eight-thirty o’clock (8:30) A.M.  the following day.  Notice to remove ice, snow, sleet, mud or other objectionable substances from a sidewalk shall be served upon the owner or occupant of the premise, or his agent, requiring the removal of the objectionable substance forthwith.  If the person owning or occupying such premise is unknown or cannot be found, or if any reasonable service cannot be had upon any such owner, agent, or occupant within the Municipality, service of the notice shall be made by posting a typewritten copy thereof in some conspicuous place on the premise.  In case the owner, agent, or occupant fails to remove the ice, snow, sleet, mud, or other substance within five (5) hours after said notice is given or posted, it shall be the duty of the Street Commissioner or other agent of the Municipality to remove such substance, and the expense thereof shall be charged against the property and the owner thereof, and may be recovered by proper action in the name of the Municipality or be chargeable against the property as a special assessment for improvements.  Any person failing, neglecting, or refusing to remove the objectionable substance from a sidewalk after due notice as herein provided to do so, shall upon conviction be deemed to be guilty of an offense.  (Ref.  17-557 RS Neb.)

§8-205 SIDEWALKS; MAINTENANCE.  Every owner of any lot, lots, or piece of land within the corporate limits shall at all times keep and maintain the sidewalk along and contiguous to said lot, lots, or pieces of land, as the case may be, in good and proper repair, and in a condition reasonably safe for travel for all travelers thereon.  It shall be unlawful for the owner or owners of any lot, lots, or lands, abutting on any street, avenue or part thereof to fail to maintain or repair any sidewalk in front of his, her, or their property within thirty (30) days after having received notice to do so.  Notice shall be mailed by first class mail, postage prepaid to the last known address of the property owner.

In the event that the owner or owners of any lot, lots, or lands, abutting on any street, avenue, or part thereof shall fail to construct or repair any sidewalk in front of his, her, or their lot, lots, or lands, within the time and in the manner as directed and required herein, after having received notice to do so, they shall be liable for all damages or injury occasioned by reason of the defective or dangerous condition of any sidewalk, and the Governing Body shall have power to cause any such sidewalks to be constructed or repaired and assess the costs thereof against such property.  Upon a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Council in favor thereof, the Governing Body shall have the power to cause such sidewalks or areaways available for the public use to be repaired and to access the cost as a special assessment against the property (ref. 17-557.01 RS Neb.)  (Amended: Ord. #93-109)

§8-206    SIDEWALKS; CONSTRUCTION BY OWNER OR OCCUPANT.  Any person desiring to construct, or cause to be constructed, any sidewalk shall do so in the manner prescribed by the Municipal Engineer as approved by resolution of the Governing Body.  It shall be unlawful to construct any sidewalk at a location, grade, or elevation other than at the established location, grade, or elevation without written permission from the Governing Body.  Any sidewalk constructed in any width, thickness, or at any location, grade, or elevation other than that prescribed by the Municipal Engineer shall be subject to removal upon written notice by the Governing Body.  (Ref.  17-567 RS Neb.)

§8-207    SIDEWALKS; MUNICIPAL CONSTRUCTION.  Whenever three-fourths (3/4) of all the members of the Council shall deem it necessary that a sidewalk should be constructed or reconstructed along any lot or piece of ground in the Municipality, they shall so order by resolution and the Utilities Superintendent or other official designated by the Governing Body shall thereupon serve on the owner of such lot or piece of ground a copy of the resolution which shall be substantially in the form prescribed by the Municipal Attorney.  If the owner of such lot or piece of ground or his agent is a resident of the Municipality, personal service of said resolution on the owner or his agent shall be deemed sufficient notice.  If the owner or his agent is a nonresident of the Municipality, the notice may be served by certified mail, or if a resident or nonresident thereof and cannot be found, or if the Governing Body shall elect to serve notice on said owner or his agent by publication, the Municipal Clerk shall cause a copy of the resolution to be published in a legal newspaper of general circulation in the Municipality, one (1) time.  The publisher of such legal newspaper or his agent shall file with the Municipal Clerk an affidavit of the publication of the resolution as soon as the publication herein required is completed.  Such publication shall be deemed good and sufficient notice to the owners of property, resident or nonresident, adjacent to which the sidewalk is to be constructed.  The affidavit of the printer or his agent shall be prima facie evidence of the publication herein required and shall be preserved and made a part of the records of the Municipality.  If any such owner or agent whose duty it is to construct such sidewalk shall neglect, refuse, or shall have failed after service of notice to construct such improvement within thirty (30) days, the Municipality shall proceed at once without further notice against such owner or person to have such improvement made and the expense of such work and materials shall be assessed as other special assessments to such lot or parcel of land and collected as provided by law.  The Municipality may perform such work with Municipal employees and furnish necessary materials, or may employ such persons as the Governing Body may authorize to accomplish such work and furnish such materials.  (Ref.  17-522, 17-523  RS Neb.)

§8-208    SIDEWALKS; CONSTRUCTION BY PETITION.  If the record resident abutting owners in fee simply of property subject to assessment for sidewalk improvements, petition the Governing Body to make the same, the Governing Body shall proceed in all things as though such construction had been ordered by it.  Upon the petition of any freeholder who is an abutting owner in fee simple of property subject to assessment for sidewalk improvements, the Mayor and Council may order permanent sidewalks built in accordance with this Article upon the freeholder making, executing, and delivering to the Municipality an agreement to the effect that the petitioning freeholder will pay the engineering service fee and the cost of the construction of the sidewalk, and that the cost of such construction including the engineering service fee and all other incidental construction costs until paid shall be a perpetual lien upon the real estate along which the freeholder desires such sidewalk to be constructed and that the petitioner gives and grants to the Municipality the right to assess and levy the costs of such construction against the freeholder’s real estate abutting the sidewalk improvement and promises to pay such costs with interest.  The total cost of such improvement shall be levied, allocated, financed, and specially assessed as provided by law.  (Ref.  17-524, 18-1751 RS Neb.)

§8-209    SIDEWALKS; CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATIONS.  All sidewalks shall be constructed in conformity with such specifications as are adopted by the Municipal Engineer and approved by the Governing Body.  The Municipal Engineer may reject the use of any materials that do not comply with such requirements and specifications or any material that is lacking in quality, and it shall be unlawful to construct any sidewalk from any material so rejected.  Such specifications shall provide for the width, slope, surface, expansion joints, and other general conditions.  All sidewalks along blocks 58, 70, 71, 90 and 91 on Stone Street and also those sidewalks along property used for business purposes shall be built not less than twelve feet (12′) wide and plumb with the lot line.  The width of sidewalks on said Stone Street, outside of the limits mentioned above and north of Twelfth (12th) Street shall not be less than five feet (5′), four inches (4″).  When permanent sidewalks are constructed along business property on Eighteenth (18th), Seventeenth (17th), Sixteenth (16th) and Fifteenth (15th) Streets between Chase Street and Harlan Street the same shall be ten feet (10′) wide.  All sidewalks built, laid, or constructed elsewhere along any side or part of a side of any block along which side no sidewalk has been constructed prior to the effective date of this section shall be built not less than four feet (4′) wide, with the outer or street edge thereof laid plumb with and abutting the curb line of the street abutted by such block side.  In case any lot owner of a piece of land within the Municipality, under notice given or otherwise, shall construct a sidewalk in violation of this Chapter, the officer in charge of streets and highways may stop the work of such construction and order the same to be constructed in accordance with this Chapter and order the work already done to be changed, and on the failure of such owner to change any such work, the Utilities Superintendent of other officer shall forthwith change said work, and the expense of the same shall be assessed and taxed to said lot.  (Ref.  17-141 RS Neb.)

§8-210    SIDEWALKS; CERTIFICATION.  The Municipal Engineer shall certify to the Governing Body a detailed schedule of all sidewalks laid, widened, or rebuilt and the cost of same, from which the Governing Body may be aided in determining the amount to be assessed as a special assessment against each lot or piece of ground.  The Municipal Engineer shall certify such other facts as may be necessary to enable the Governing Body to make the proper special assessment.  He shall also certify to the Governing Body the acceptance of any sidewalk so improved or what other action he has taken with reference to the sidewalk.  The Municipal Engineer shall allocate the cost of sidewalk improvements to the adjoining lots or parcels of land and prepare all necessary data for assessment sheets; Provided, if there is no duly qualified and acting Municipal Engineer, the Utilities Superintendent shall perform all the duties required of the engineer with relation to any sidewalks improvements.  The cost of improvements provided for in this Chapter shall be assessed by the Mayor and Council meeting as a Board of Equalization, following notice of such sitting at least ten (10) days prior thereto by publication in a newspaper having general circulation in the City, and the assessments shall be equalized and levy made in the manner provided by law.  (Ref.  17-141 RS Neb.)