Property Owners and Managers Must Clear Sidewalks

Property owners or managers are responsible for clearing sidewalks of snow and ice in front of their home or business after winter weather events. Saint Paul City Ordinance requires snow and ice to be removed from sidewalks within 24 hours. For more information, see Chapter 113 and Chapter 114 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code.

Snow Shoveling Resources

City staff often get asked about any volunteer resources, individuals, or groups that might help seniors who need assistance clearing snow from their sidewalks. The City does not have the resources to assist residents in clearing their sidewalks; however, you might try these resources:

Please note that some of these groups and resources may only have programs and services that require payment.

Reporting a Sidewalk Violation & Process

To report a sidewalk that’s a safety hazard and needs shoveling, contact the City Information and Complaint line at 651-266-8989. Be sure to provide the address of the property and check to be certain it’s within city limits.

The Department of Safety and Inspections will send a letter to the property owner to make sure the sidewalk is shoveled as soon as possible. A Code Enforcement Inspector will then inspect the sidewalk, typically 48 hours after the letter is sent. If the owner does not or is not able to comply, the City may send a crew to clear the sidewalk, and bill the property owner for the work.

Additional Information

Sidewalk Maintenance for Property Owners

The City of Saint Paul wants to work with residents to make sure everybody who lives and visits our neighborhoods can move throughout the City during the coming months -- and that means keeping our sidewalks and streets safe and passable from snow and ice after winter weather events.

As a property owner, it is your responsibility to keep the sidewalks in front of your property clear of snow and ice. Sidewalk maintenance and snow removal are essential to ensure all of Saint Paul’s residents and visitors can access their residences and local businesses.

This winter, please remember:

  • Property owners/managers must remove all snow and ice from sidewalks within 24 hours after a winter weather event.
  • To shovel the full width of the sidewalk including hard boulevards if street parking is present. Narrow paths make it difficult or impossible for wheelchair users to use the sidewalks.
  • To clear corner curb cuts, bus stops without a shelter, and fire hydrants along your property line.
  • Do not shovel or store snow in the streets, parking places, or in front of other properties.
  • To prevent ice buildup. Use salt and sand sparingly because it flows directly into our rivers, lakes, and streams.
  • When a Snow Emergency is declared, on-street parking rules go into effect.

If you plan to use salt on your sidewalks or driveways, please remember a little goes a very long way. More salt does not produce more ice melt. Salt seeps into porous pavements (concrete and asphalt) and can cause materials to deteriorate, rust, and crack. If you use salt, please follow these “Salt Smart” tips:

  • Shovel first. Salt should only be used for areas needed for safety.
  • Distribute salt evenly, not in clumps. It gets wasted and washed into the environment.
  • One coffee mug of salt (roughly 12 oz) is enough to treat a 20-foot driveway.
  • Untreated salt stops working in temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saint Paul has updated Snow Emergency and sidewalk shoveling resources to help you. At stpaul.org/snow, you will find:

  • An interactive Snow Emergency parking map that can be downloaded to any mobile device.
  • An invitation to sign up for Snow Emergency text and/or email alerts in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali; and
  • A Snow Emergency brochure that can be downloaded and printed for you, your tenants, and visitors.

Let’s work together to keep our streets and sidewalks cleared and open throughout the winter months.

Last Edited: January 11, 2022