For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Contact: Diana Sun 703-228-3247 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)
ARLINGTON, Va. --- Arlington County is well-prepared for winter weather and ready to implement the County’s new Snow Removal Ordinance, County Manager Barbara Donnellan reported to the County Board today.
The Ordinance requires all property owners to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property within certain time frames after snow stops falling. The Ordinance also makes it illegal to dump snow from private property onto public property, including streets and sidewalks.
“We are hoping for a very light snow year, but nonetheless, our implementation plan is ready,” Donnellan said. “We will remain flexible, and use a good dose of common sense along the way. This first snow season will be a learning year.”
To make it easier to report snow problems, the County has created a new e-form, “Report a Snow Issue.” Everyone -- residents, property owners and businesses -- will have one place to report snow-related problems. Gathering this information via e-form will also help the County quickly identify areas that may need more attention, rather than having to rely on e-mails and phone calls , which must then be analyzed and sorted before being investigated.
The County will likely be improving the form and other processes throughout this winter season. To easily find all of the County’s snow-related information, visit Arlington’s Snow & Ice Central webpages or go to www.arlingtonva.us, search “snow.”
Even though some individuals are exempt from the Ordinance, it is the County’s hope that everyone will do the best they can to clear sidewalks, keeping our community safe and walkable. Individual homeowners who are physically incapable of complying with the ordinance are exempt.
The County will not be pre-qualifying or maintaining lists of exempt individuals. Before issuing citations, County staff will make every effort to contact owners to determine if they are exempt. In the unlikely event that you receive a citation and are exempt, merely provide information about your exemption. County staff is working to devise options to assist homeowners who may need extra help (see “Volunteers,” below).
Commercial property owners are expected to comply with the Ordinance; snow clearing should be part of basic business operating plans.
The County is working with civic associations and other community groups to promote neighborhood sidewalk snow clearing efforts. The effort brings together local community leaders and neighborhood volunteers to increase community involvement, assist elderly neighbors or neighbors with disabilities, and facilitate winter weather preparedness.
In addition to the Ordinance, Arlington snow fighting teams have taken lessons learned during the record snowfall last winter and made a number of improvements:
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.