City Ordinances: Chapters 136-139

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CHAPTER 136: SIDEWALK REGULATIONS

136.01    PURPOSE.  The purpose of this chapter is to enhance safe passage by citizens on sidewalks, to place the responsibility for the maintenance, repair, replacement or reconstruction of sidewalks upon the abutting property owner and to minimize the liability of the City.

136.02    DEFINITIONS.  For use in this chapter the following terms are defined:

  1. “Broom finish” means a sidewalk finish that is made by sweeping the sidewalk when it is hardening.
  2. “Defective sidewalk” means any public sidewalk exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics:
    1. Vertical separations equal to three-fourths (¾) inch or more.
    2. Horizontal separations equal to one (1) inch or more.
    3. Holes or depressions equal to three-fourths (¾) inch or more and at least four (4) inches in diameter.
    4. Spalling over fifty percent (50%) of a single square of the sidewalk with one or more depressions equal to one-half (½) inch or more.
    5. Spalling over less than fifty percent (50%) of a single square of the sidewalk with one or more depressions equal to three-fourths (¾) inch or more.
    6. A single square of sidewalk cracked in such a manner that no part thereof has a piece greater than one square foot.
    7. A sidewalk with any part thereof missing to the full depth.
    8. A change from the design or construction grade equal to or greater than three-fourths (¾) inch per foot.
  3. “Established grade” means that grade established by the City for the particular area in which a sidewalk is to be constructed.
  4. “One-course construction” means that the full thickness of the concrete is placed at one time, using the same mixture throughout.
  5. “Owner” means the person owning the fee title to property abutting any sidewalk and includes any contract purchaser for purposes of notification required herein. For all other purposes, “owner” includes the lessee, if any.
  6. “Portland cement” means any type of cement except bituminous cement.
  7. “Sidewalk” means all permanent public walks in business, residential or suburban areas.
  8. “Sidewalk improvements” means the construction, reconstruction, repair, replacement or removal, of a public sidewalk and/or the excavating, filling or depositing of material in the public right-of-way in connection therewith.
  9. “Wood float finish” means a sidewalk finish that is made by smoothing the surface of the sidewalk with a wooden trowel.

136.03    REMOVAL OF SNOW, ICE AND ACCUMULATIONS.  It is the responsibility of the abutting property owners to remove snow, ice and accumulations promptly from sidewalks.  If a property owner does not remove snow, ice or accumulations within a reasonable time, the City may do so and assess the costs against the property owner for collection in the same manner as a property tax. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2b & e])

136.04    RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAINTENANCE.  It is the responsibility of the abutting property owners to repair, replace or reconstruct, or cause to be repaired, replaced or reconstructed, all broken or defective sidewalks and to maintain in a safe and hazard-free condition any sidewalk outside the lot and property lines and inside the curb lines or traveled portion of the public street. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2c])

136.05    CITY MAY ORDER REPAIRS.  If the abutting property owner does not maintain sidewalks as required, the Council may serve notice on such owner, by certified mail, requiring the owner to repair, replace or reconstruct sidewalks within a reasonable time and if such action is not completed within the time stated in the notice, the Council may require the work to be done and assess the costs against the abutting property for collection in the same manner as a property tax. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2d & e])

136.06    SIDEWALK CONSTRUCTION ORDERED.  The Council may order the construction of permanent sidewalks upon any street or court in the City and may specially assess the cost of such improvement to abutting property owners in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 384 of the Code of Iowa.   (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.38)

136.07    PERMIT REQUIRED.  No person shall remove, reconstruct or install a sidewalk unless such person has obtained a permit from the City and has agreed in writing that said removal, reconstruction or installation will comply with all ordinances and requirements of the City for such work.

136.08    SIDEWALK STANDARDS.  Sidewalks repaired, replaced or constructed under the provisions of this chapter shall be of the following construction and meet the following standards:

  1. Portland cement shall be the only cement used in the construction and repair of sidewalks.
  2. Sidewalks shall be of one-course construction.
  3. Sidewalk Base. Concrete may be placed directly on compact and well-drained soil.  Where soil is not well drained, a three-inch sub-base of compact, clean, coarse gravel or sand shall be laid.  The adequacy of the soil drainage is to be determined by the City.
  4. Sidewalk Bed. The sidewalk bed shall be so graded that the constructed sidewalk will be at established grade.
  5. Length, Width and Depth. Length, width and depth requirements are as follows:
    1. Residential sidewalks shall be at least four (4) feet wide and four (4) inches thick, and each section shall be no more than four (4) feet in length.
    2. Business District sidewalks shall extend from the property line to the curb. Each section shall be four (4) inches thick and no more than six (6) feet in length.
    3. Driveway areas shall be not less than six (6) inches in thickness.
  6. Location. Residential sidewalks shall be located with the inner edge (edge nearest the abutting private property) one foot outside the property line, unless the Council establishes a different distance due to special circumstances.
  7. Grade. Curb tops shall be on level with the centerline of the street which shall be the established grade.
  8. Elevations. The street edge of a sidewalk shall be at an elevation even with the curb at the curb or not less than one-half (½) inch above the curb for each foot between the curb and the sidewalk.
  9. Slope. All sidewalks shall slope one-quarter (¼) inch per foot toward the curb.
  10. Finish. All sidewalks shall be finished with a “broom” or “wood float” finish.
  11. Curb Ramps and Sloped Areas for Persons with Disabilities. If a street, road, or highway is newly built or reconstructed, a curb ramp or sloped area shall be constructed or installed at each intersection of the street, road, or highway with a sidewalk or path.  If a sidewalk or path is newly built or reconstructed, a curb ramp or sloped area shall be constructed or installed at each intersection of the sidewalk or path with a street, highway, or road.  Curb ramps and sloped areas that are required pursuant to this subsection shall be constructed or installed in compliance with applicable Federal requirements adopted in accordance with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, including (but not limited to) the guidelines issued by the Federal Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 216C.9)

136.09    BARRICADES AND WARNING LIGHTS.  Whenever any material of any kind is deposited on any street, avenue, highway, passageway or alley when sidewalk improvements are being made or when any sidewalk is in a dangerous condition, it shall be the duty of all persons having an interest therein, either as the contractor or the owner, agent, or lessee of the property in front of or along which such material may be deposited, or such dangerous condition exists, to put in conspicuous places at each end of such sidewalk and at each end of any pile of material deposited in the street, a sufficient number of approved warning lights or flares, and to keep them lighted during the entire night and to erect sufficient barricades both at night and in the daytime to secure the same.  The party or parties using the street for any of the purposes specified in this chapter shall be liable for all injuries or damage to persons or property arising from any wrongful act or negligence of the party or parties, or their agents or employees or for any misuse of the privileges conferred by this chapter or of any failure to comply with provisions hereof.

136.10    FAILURE TO REPAIR OR BARRICADE.  It is the duty of the owner of the property abutting the sidewalk, or the owner’s contractor or agent, to notify the City immediately in the event of failure or inability to make necessary sidewalk improvements or to install or erect necessary barricades as required by this chapter.

136.11    INTERFERENCE WITH SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENTS.  No person shall knowingly or willfully drive any vehicle upon any portion of any sidewalk or approach thereto while in the process of being improved or upon any portion of any completed sidewalk or approach thereto, or shall remove or destroy any part or all of any sidewalk or approach thereto, or shall remove, destroy, mar or deface any sidewalk at any time or destroy, mar, remove or deface any notice provided by this chapter.

136.12    AWNINGS.  It is unlawful for a person to erect or maintain any awning over any sidewalk unless all parts of the awning are elevated at least eight (8) feet above the surface of the sidewalk and the roof or covering is made of duck, canvas or other suitable material supported by iron frames or brackets securely fastened to the building, without any posts or other device that will obstruct the sidewalk or hinder or interfere with the free passage of pedestrians.

136.13    ENCROACHING STEPS.  It is unlawful for a person to erect or maintain any stairs or steps to any building upon any part of any sidewalk without permission by resolution of the Council.

136.14    OPENINGS AND ENCLOSURES.  It is unlawful for a person to:

  1. Stairs and Railings. Construct or build a stairway or passageway to any cellar or basement by occupying any part of the sidewalk, or to enclose any portion of a sidewalk with a railing without permission by resolution of the Council.
  2. Openings. Keep open any cellar door, grating or cover to any vault on any sidewalk except while in actual use with adequate guards to protect the public.
  3. Protect Openings. Neglect to properly protect or barricade all openings on or within six (6) feet of any sidewalk.

136.15    FIRES OR FUELS ON SIDEWALKS.  It is unlawful for a person to make a fire of any kind on any sidewalk or to place or allow any fuel to remain upon any sidewalk.

136.16    DEFACING.  It is unlawful for a person to scatter or place any paste, paint or writing on any sidewalk. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 716.1)

136.17    DEBRIS ON SIDEWALKS.  It is unlawful for a person to throw or deposit on any sidewalk any glass, nails, glass bottle, tacks, wire, cans, trash, garbage, rubbish, litter, offal, or any other debris, or any substance likely to injure any person, animal or vehicle. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2])

136.18    MERCHANDISE DISPLAY.  It is unlawful for a person to place upon or above any sidewalk, any goods or merchandise for sale or for display in such a manner as to interfere with the free and uninterrupted passage of pedestrians on the sidewalk; in no case shall more than three (3) feet of the sidewalk next to the building be occupied for such purposes.

136.19    SALES STANDS.  It is unlawful for a person to erect or keep any vending machine or stand for the sale of fruit, vegetables or other substances or commodities on any sidewalk without first obtaining a written permit from the Council.

 

CHAPTER 137: VACATION AND DISPOSAL OF STREETS

137.01    POWER TO VACATE.  When, in the judgment of the Council, it would be in the best interest of the City to vacate a street, alley, portion thereof or any public grounds, the Council may do so by ordinance in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or in accordance with the Code of Iowa. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2a])

137.02    PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION.  Any proposal to vacate a street, alley, portion thereof or any public grounds shall be referred by the Council to the Planning and Zoning Commission for its study and recommendation prior to further consideration by the Council.  The Commission shall submit a written report including recommendations to the Council within thirty (30) days after the date the proposed vacation is referred to the Commission. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

137.03    NOTICE OF VACATION HEARING.  The Council shall cause to be published a notice of public hearing of the time at which the proposal to vacate shall be considered.

137.04    FINDINGS REQUIRED.  No street, alley, portion thereof or any public grounds shall be vacated unless the Council finds that:

  1. Public Use. The street, alley, portion thereof or any public ground proposed to be vacated is not needed for the use of the public, and therefore, its maintenance at public expense is no longer justified.
  2. Abutting Property. The proposed vacation will not deny owners of property abutting on the street or alley reasonable access to their property.

137.05    DISPOSAL OF VACATED STREETS OR ALLEYS.  When in the judgment of the Council it would be in the best interest of the City to dispose of a vacated street or alley, portion thereof or public ground, the Council may do so in accordance with the provisions of Section 364.7, Code of Iowa. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.7)

137.06    DISPOSAL BY GIFT LIMITED.  The City may not dispose of real property by gift except to a governmental body for a public purpose or to a fair. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 174.15[2] & 364.7[3])

 

EDITOR’S NOTE
The following ordinances, not codified herein and specifically saved from repeal, have been adopted vacating certain streets, alleys and/or public grounds and remain in full force and effect.

 

ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED
53 May 10, 1967
54 March 1, 1966
60 August 10, 1972
68 January 24, 1977
210 February 6, 1984

 

CHAPTER 138: STREET GRADES

138.01    ESTABLISHED GRADES.  The grades of all streets, alleys and sidewalks, which have been heretofore established by ordinance are hereby confirmed, ratified and established as official grades.

138.02    RECORD MAINTAINED.  The Clerk shall maintain a record of all established grades and furnish information concerning such grades upon request.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE
The following ordinances not codified herein, and specifically saved from repeal, have been adopted establishing street and/or sidewalk grades and remain in full force and effect.

 

ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED
52 May 8, 1966
55 April 25, 1966
67 July 7, 1975
218 August 4, 1986
223 April 12, 1988
235 April 15, 1991
244 January 20, 1992
285 June 15, 1998
300 May 1, 2000
307 May 14, 2001
312 September 10, 2001
336 April 7, 2003
337 April 7, 2003
338 April 7, 2003
339 April 7, 2003

 

CHAPTER 139: NAMING OF STREETS

139.01    NAMING NEW STREETS.  New streets shall be assigned names in accordance with the following:

  1. Extension of Existing Street. Streets added to the City that are natural extensions of existing streets shall be assigned the name of the existing street.
  2. All street names, except streets named as a part of a subdivision or platting procedure, shall be named by resolution.
  3. Planning and Zoning Commission. Proposed street names shall be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission for review and recommendation.

139.02    CHANGING NAME OF STREET.  The Council may, by resolution, change the name of a street.

139.03    RECORDING STREET NAMES.  Following official action naming or changing the name of a street, the Clerk shall file a copy thereof with the County Recorder, County Auditor and County Assessor. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 354.26)

139.04    OFFICIAL STREET NAME MAP.  Streets within the City are named as shown on the Official Street Name Map which is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter.  The Official Street Name Map shall be identified by the signature of the Mayor, and bearing the seal of the City under the following words:  “This is to certify that this is the Official Street Name Map referred to in Section 139.04 of the Code of Ordinances of Rock Valley, Iowa.”

139.05    REVISION OF STREET NAME MAP.  If in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, changes are made in street names, such changes shall be entered on the Official Street Name Map promptly after the change has been approved by the Council with an entry on the Official Street Name Map as follows:  “On (date), by official action of the City Council, the following changes were made in the Official Street Name Map:  (brief description),” which entry shall be signed by the Mayor and attested by the Clerk.

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