Q. I cleared my sidewalk, but then VDOT or the County came along and plowed snow back onto my sidewalk. Do I have to clear the sidewalk every time? Will I be fined even though it’s not my fault?
A. All property owners should make every effort to maintain clear sidewalks adjacent to their property. The ordinance contains an exemption for snow that is redeposited on the sidewalk as a result of “government action.”
Following a storm, VDOT and County crews are trying to plow roadways quickly and efficiently and this may result in some snow being pushed onto sidewalks that had been previously cleared. You may find it easier to clear your sidewalk several times during a storm… or wait until the storm is over.
Keep in mind that one of the last steps in any snowplowing operation is to plow the edges back and clear the road as wide as possible to allow for future snow storage. This standard operation may result in the placement of snow at the end of your driveway and onto your adjacent sidewalk, which is an unavoidable consequence of snowplowing.