Click the FAQ questions below to see the answers:
Q: Why did I receive a notice to repair the sidewalk? I did not authorize or call for an inspection.
A: When a sidewalk complaint is filed with Public Works, we are legally obligated investigate and to notify the property owner if the sidewalk is deemed defective. The initial visit by our inspector is to confirm if repairs are needed. The inspector will inspect the sidewalk complaint site, as well as, 50 to 75 feet in any direction from the site.
Q: Isn't it the County's responsibility to repair the sidewalk? Isn't it public property?
A: Sidewalks can be in the County’s right-of-way, but are not maintained by the County. According to California Streets and Highways Code sections 5610-5618, the property owner is responsible for maintaining any sidewalk abutting their property. The property owner may bear civil liability for a defective sidewalk that could cause personal injury to an individual. It is in the best interest of the property owner to maintain their sidewalk(s).
Q: If I am responsible for the sidewalk, can I just block it off or remove it?
A: No, you may not remove or block a sidewalk. Once a pedestrian facility is constructed, it becomes part of a public right-of-way and cannot be removed, blocked, or changed. According to California Penal Code 647c, “Every person who willfully and maliciously obstructs the free movement of any person on any street, sidewalk, or other public place or on or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Q: If the sidewalk is damaged by tree roots, am I still responsible for the repair?
A: The County of Yuba does not own or maintain trees on residential streets. Any trees on your property that were not planted by you were probably planted by the previous owner or home builder. As a result, the current property owner is responsible for the needed sidewalk repairs.
Q: Will my property insurance cover the cost of the repair?
A: Some property insurance companies may reimburse you for all or part of the cost of the sidewalk repairs. We recommend checking your policy and reaching out to your property insurance representative.
Q: How much does it cost to repair a sidewalk?
A: The cost will vary depending on the size and needed material for the repair. Contractors will generally be able to give a lower cost on projects that involve larger quantities. It is a good idea to work with your neighbors and hire one contractor to do the work in your area (if multiple sites are in need of repair). Getting at least three bids from contractors will help ensure you are getting a fair price.
Q: If I hire my own contractor, how do I find a good one?
A: Talk with neighbors and friends to see if they can recommend a good concrete contractor. If not, you can always try the yellow pages. Be sure to check references and that the contractor’s license is in good standing. You can check the contractor’s license on the Contractors State License Board website at:
https://www.cslb.ca.gov/onlineservices/checklicenseII/checklicense.aspx. It’s always a good idea to get multiple bids, and make sure all work related to the repair, i.e. tree root removal, removal and disposal of the existing sidewalk, installation of bed rock, etc., is clearly written in the bid. The County cannot recommend a particular contractor.
Q: What happens if I cannot, or will not, repair the sidewalk?
A: If you have received a sidewalk repair notice, then your sidewalk has already been identified as a hazard, and as such, the property owner is leaving himself liable should an accident occur. If you cannot or refuse to repair the damaged sidewalk, then the County may undertake the repair and bill the property owner for the costs, including construction costs, encroachment permit fees and administrative fees. If left unpaid, these costs will become a lien against the property.