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D.C. Residents Could Face Fines For Not Shoveling Snow

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Currently, the District has a rule that residents must shovel snow within eight hours -- but there's no way to fine them if they don't.
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Currently, the District has a rule that residents must shovel snow within eight hours -- but there's no way to fine them if they don't.

Forecasts say the region could see a little snow later this week so it's good to keep those shovels handy. The District could soon be able to issue tickets when property owners don't clear the sidewalk in front of their homes or businesses.

D.C. law already requires property owners to clear sidewalks within eight hours of any snowfall, but as it stands now, the city can't issue tickets when that doesn't happen.

Crews have to clear the sidewalk, though the city can sue after the fact in order to recoup any costs, which are capped at $25.

Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells say that system is too clunky.

They're pushing a bill that would give police officers, as well as transportation and public work officials, the authority to write a ticket when residents or business owners fail to clear the snow. Under the proposed law, homeowners would be fined $25, while businesses would be assessed a $250 fine.

But even if it passes, councilmembers say the bill would most likely not become law until after the winter.

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