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Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

New policy requires Pittsfield residents to shovel when 1 inch of snow falls

By Cindy Heflin

Pittsfield Township residents may find themselves shoveling snow more frequently this winter following a recent township board vote, according to a Saline Reporter article.

The board voted 6 to 1 to require residents to shovel snow from sidewalks when accumulation totals an inch or more. The new policy complies with the new Complete Streets policy being approved by the legislature.

Read the Saline Reporter article.


Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sun, Nov 6, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

this must be a Jobs Bill !!! kids can make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ one inch at a tiem!!

John Q

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

Looks like Pittsfield Township needs to be renamed Whiners' Township. If you don't want to be responsible for shoveling your sidewalk, don't buy a house that includes a sidewalk or move to a condo or an apartment where someone else is responsible for the snow. Otherwise, be responsible for shoveling your walk.

Basic Bob

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

We shovel when we can. However many don't. That's not whining.

Thinking over here

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 5:19 p.m.

Seriously, does it say what to do if you are at work all day and it is snowing from 9-10 am and there is an inch until you get home?


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

I hate to say it, but can you snitch R us? She has more snow then me and I shoveled. Guess I will call it in? Good grief folks. This is going to far.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

Wow. Some residents will be shoveling non-stop. Looks like these politicians have too much time on their hands. They must be paying too much attention to the Ann Arbor mayor and Ann Arbor city council for their list of issues to address.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4:42 a.m.

One day I was chatting with my wife.... I told her that I thought it was odd, that a place south (implying geography and weather) of Ann Arbor (Milan) had more snow than Ann Arbor. She responded, 'it's not odd at all, Ann Arbor has more people to shovel the snow'.

Ron Granger

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

How many Pittsfield residents must die of heart attacks while shoveling? Think of the children (and snow) they will leave behind!

Kara H

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

I'm usually not the one to defend the Pittsfield board, but geez people, this is no big deal. It's important for homeowners to clear snow off of sidewalks for the safety and convenience of those who can walk between destinations. (Admittedly rare in Pittsfield township, which is characterized more by island subdivisions than connected destinations.) But having an ordinance in place makes it enforceable if needed, for example to prod someone who never clears their walkway to do so. The point of ordinances like this is never to go after residents with yardsticks, but to establish community standards for if/when they're needed. What number would have been acceptable to all of you? 2 inches, 4 inches, 6 inches??? Or do you think homeowners bear no responsibility for clearing snow and should never be asked to do so? Then who does and on who's dime? PS. Reminds me of a bad "Get Smart" style joke... Give him and inch and he thinks he's a ruler...


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

Township pathways are exempt from the provisions. "We maintain the pathways the best that we can," Pittsfield Utilities Director Craig Lyon said. "So, they are not going to be subject to the 1-inch snowfall. Another double standard!!!! If it is dangerous for the residents sidewalks it's dangerous for the township pathways!


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

Just goes to show you! Ignorance knows no boundaries! And I thought all the numskulls were in Ann Arbor government!

Basic Bob

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

The Complete Streets thing is not mandated by the state. It is special interest group of bicyclists who should be riding in the street where they belong. And follow all the traffic rules. I'll be checking the township trustee's sidewalk every time it snows, because our kids now have to walk a half mile to the bus.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

Good point - a member of the board lives near me, too.....


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

pittsfield is different. this is plain you know what one inch is nothing. sure hope they have some help for the seniors. i think i will go out and buy a truck, plow and most of all a snowblower. if i were some kids i sure would start sending out notices they are available.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:19 p.m.

Just consider yourself lucky - you could have been made responsible for clearing the road frontage of your property line. Oh oh maybe I shouldn't have opened that bag of cats.

Tom Teague

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

Googling this topic, I found a whole host of cities that don't specify the depth that snow must reach before the homeowner is required to shovel it. Presumably, you could get dunned for failure to clear just a half inch of snow some places This is from Kearny, NJ city website: "It is the property owner's or tenant's responsibility to remove snow and ice form the public sidewalks adjacent to his or her property within 12 daylight hours after the snow/ice has accumulated. In the event that the snow or ice is frozen to hard to shovel, the property owner or tenant must make the sidewalk safe by using sand or other abrasives. Failure to comply will result in a ticket being issued for each day the sidewalk remains snow or ice covered." From St. Cloud MN: "Property owners or occupants are responsible for the sidewalks adjacent to their property and must be clear of ice and snow 24 hours after the snow/ice has subsided. To report any unshoveled sidewalks after the 24-hour time frame, you may call . . ."

Terry Star21

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

How about the Pittsfield Township shoveling our sidewalks to compensate for our high taxes and the police service we never see ?


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

Please note, another unfunded government mandate from the state.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

I guess we'll have to use one of those tiny plastic beach shovels. I would look pretty silly on my snow plow knocking off an inch of powder.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 7:24 p.m.

Oh dear. Another Pittsfield Twp Board gets too big for its britches. Remember what happened last time? Some people never learn from the mistakes of their predecessors I guess. Why do politicians always go from one extreme to other... never enforce the existing law, then overcompensating with a ridiculously restrictive one? Pittsfield has weed ordinances, noise ordinances and RV ordinances too. They are never enforced. And the Pittsfield Police have become expert at avoiding work by calling everything a "civil matter". If the township would just do its job of enforcing existing law, we would not need new, ridiculous, purely symbolic ordinances.

Basic Bob

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

Glad somebody else noticed the job our BOT is doing fixing things that aren't a problem. Like 100 year old trees in the way of an asphalt path.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

FYI, it's 1"+ in Ann Arbor as well.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

sure have seen sidewalks around the town with more than one inch. this is like the crosswalks. never will give out tickets. do the streets when it get 1 inch. sure they will.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

Yep, the law says mr. homeowner, shovel that city owned sidewalk or the city will fine you. That makes a lot of sense.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

I wonder if the State & City will create the "office of snow measurement" to measure the snow so everyone knows when it snows at least one inch?

Les Gov

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

How funny!! Pittsfield Twp doesn't care about a large trash pile at a bus stop but Pittsfield Twp caress about one inch of snow.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

Geeze, the Pittsfield board must think people have nothing better to do than wait for a snowflake to drop. It would be great if this rule was reverse-enforced and the township had to plow there streets every time there was 2" of snow or face a fine.

Basic Bob

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 9:59 p.m.

Except the township doesn't plow any streets. That would be the county road commission. If I clear my sidewalk and then days later, the plow covers it up, does that reset the enforcement clock?


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

you're funny.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

Given that Pittsfield police are never around to enforce the speed limits in my neighborhood, I sincerely doubt they will be around to enforce this, either. The only thing worse than a bad law is a bad law that goes unenforced. Congratulations to Pittsfield Township for accomplishing the latter. Good Night and Good Luck


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

Got to agree with you on this Edward's Ghost. I also live in a Pittsfield Township neighborhood and not only do people speed they also ignore the stop signs. Does the Township Board really think these same people are going to clear the walks and driveways just cause they say so? Hope they do because it will really be easier for me to walk my dogs in the winter,.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

Well lets hope Pittsfield Township can adhere to their own rule! If not that might leave them liable should someone slip and fall on their property.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 6:49 p.m.

Nah.... It's going to be "do as I say, not as I do"


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

Nanny State..... Or is it a way to raise revenue? This is getting ridiculous......


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

What are they going to do get the snow police out with a ruler? If someone is at work what happens then. Stupid idea


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

It goes hand in hand with the new MEAP testing thing. Gotta shovel while being tested to see if you have enough snow on your sidewalk. Its a math thing. If you have 1 1/2 inches of snow do you have to blow? I don't know. Glad I am not in your district.

Kai Petainen

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH.... you've got to be kidding. You have to shovel when its 1 inch or less? Wimps. I come from Northern Ontario... they get a lot more snow than that, and they learn to deal with it. But if you make a rule that they have to shovel it when its less than 1 inch??? Seriously? My Canadian friends are going to laugh at this! I should forward this onto the Canadian National news..... Oh let me guess... school will be cancelled as well. That way, the kids can be made to do the shovelling. "Mom, dad, do I have to shovel"? "Yes child, it's the law"

Cindy Heflin

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

I think you can wait until it stops. My understanding is that residents have 24 hours after a snowfall to clear their walks.


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

@Cindy: So if the forecast was for say a 4-6 inches of snow fall would that mean you would still have to shovel whenever it reached a depth of 1 inch until it stopped or wait until it stopped and then shovel the accumulated snowfall?


Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

What article. All I see is a headline and a link to another newspapers "article"

Cindy Heflin

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

That's inch or more. That's been corrected in the article.