CENTENNIAL, Colo. — In most cases, to ignore the snow on your sidewalk for longer than a day would be considered breaking the law.
That is not the case in one of Denver’s biggest suburbs: Centennial.
"Unless I want to walk around the block 35 times to find pathways that don't have ice, I have to walk in the street with the cars or walk on the ice,” said resident Angie Morris. "I assumed that there was an ordinance."
Morris is justified in her assumption. Centennial’s neighboring cities, including Denver, require that you clear your sidewalk within 24 hours of the snowfall ending
That ordinance does not exist in Centennial. In fact, it's the only city with a population of over 100,000 in the metro area that doesn't. The rule is more of a suggestion.
The city told Next with Kyle Clark, in part:
"Many residents object to taxpayer dollars being spent on policing of sidewalks not being shoveled, and believe citizens should take personal responsibility for certain aspects of the community."
"There's nobody to hold the HOA accountable,” Morris said.
She moved to the Homestead in the Willows neighborhood five years ago, the homeowners association (HOA) voted against hiring a company to remove snow on common walkways.
Two-thirds of homeowners in Homestead said they didn't want to pay $25 to $45 more per year to hire a company to clear common sidewalks.
For now, sunlight and warm air will have to do the work, and walkers and joggers have to get creative.
"It's a combination of just toughing it out or sharing the road with cars, which is not necessarily the safest,” Morris said.
Centennial's city council did vote in 2017 to require businesses to clean their sidewalks within 24 hours of a storm.
The HOA said its attorneys and insurance company have said they would have no liability in the case of a fall, as it is now. But if they choose to maintain the sidewalks, they would be liable.
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