We usually take sidewalks for granted, but they do play an important role in the quality of life we expect in Avon Lake. They provide safe routes to schools, parks, commercial establishments, and are a healthy way to connect our Avon Lake.
Over time, sidewalks can become damaged from weathering, tree roots, and even regular use. Damaged sidewalks can pose a hazard to pedestrians, so repairs to sidewalks help reduce the likelihood of someone getting injured. Avon Lake Codified Ordinances Section 660.05 and Ohio Revised Code 729 require that property owners are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks adjacent to their property. T
Please call (440) 930-4101 with any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to pay for sidewalk repair/replacement; don’t my property taxes pay for it?
Many residents ask why the City does not just pay for sidewalk repair/replacement. City and State code states that property owners are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks and driveways adjacent to their property (Avon Lake Codified Ordinances Section 660.05 and Ohio Revised Code 729).
How long will I have to complete the sidewalk repairs?
It would be appreciated if the repairs were completed as soon as possible in order to provide a safe passageway for pedestrians, however, deadlines are established and given in the notification letter.
The street tree (tree lawn tree) is raising the sidewalk; why do I pay for that?
Regardless of the cause of the defect, it is the property owner’s responsibility as per the sidewalk ordinance, to pay for the sidewalk replacement.
The street tree (tree lawn tree) is raising the sidewalk - will the City remove the tree?
The City will only pay for the removal of a tree when it is necessary for street rehabilitation, reconstruction, infrastructure improvement/repair or the street tree is deemed unhealthy or potentially hazardous. The removal and replacement of any trees outside the right of way shall be at the property owner’s discretion and cost.
What are the criteria for defective sidewalk?
Sidewalk panels to be replaced are those that are broken, uneven, settled, projecting, or deteriorating. The sidewalk inspector determines whether the sidewalk panels meet the criteria for replacement during the initial inspection. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace sidewalk panels that appear to be in good shape in order to re-establish the sidewalk grade or to maintain proper drainage. Please also refer to the copy of the inspection form that is provided with your Sidewalk Replacement/Repair Notice Letter.
How do I know which panels are being replaced?
When the sidewalk inspector does his initial inspection, the sidewalk panels to be removed and replaced will be marked with pink paint (please refer to the copy of the inspection form for coding of replacement/repair).
Do I need a sidewalk repair permit and where can I go to obtain one?
Yes, working in the City right-of-way requires a permit. Permits to make repairs can be obtained from the City of Avon Lake Public Works Department (150 Avon Belden Road). There is a $50 charge for Permit. Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. The person/contractor doing the work obtains the permit. If a contractor is hired, they must obtain the permit.
One sidewalk panel is partly on the neighbor’s property, who pays for that?
Only the portion in front of (abutting) each property is assessed to the corresponding property owner. So if 3’ of the sidewalk panel abuts your property and 2’ abuts your neighbor’s, you pay for 3’ and your neighbor pays for 2’.
Can I do the sidewalk repair myself?
Permanent (concrete) sidewalk repairs can only be done by a bonded and permitted sidewalk contractor. If you are a qualified contractor and you wish to be bonded with the City of Avon Lake’s Building Department, please call (440) 930-4102. The Building Department maintains a listing of all bonded sidewalk contractors. The City does not recommend contractors as we are unable to favor any particular contractor.
Can I fix the sidewalk with asphalt?
No, the use of various concrete leveling or vinyl patching compounds to repair deteriorated sidewalk surfaces, or as a means to eliminate a tripping hazard, are not an approved method of repair.
How do I get a list of bonded sidewalk contractors to get other estimates?
Call the City of Avon Lake Building Department at (440) 930-4102. The City does not recommend contractors as we are unable to favor any particular contractor.
Why does the new concrete have to be bright white, instead of grey like the older panels?
The contractor must use the white-pigmented curing compound to reflect heat and retain moisture during the curing process. The bright white color will eventually wear off.
Can I fix more squares than what is marked?
Absolutely. The City only marks the minimum number of squares to eliminate hazards. You may have additional squares that are in marginal condition that you may want to repair (at your cost), or you may find it is in your best interest to replace entire segments of sidewalk rather that doing spot repairs.
Is patching an acceptable repair method?
No, the use of various concrete leveling or vinyl patching compounds to repair deteriorated sidewalk surfaces, or as a means to eliminate a tripping hazard, are NOT an approved method of repair.
Who is responsible for sidewalk repairs if I sell my property?
If a property switches ownership prior to deficiencies being corrected, it is the Seller’s responsibility to notify the Buyer of this deficiency and provide the Buyer with this documentation. While the responsibility to make these repairs remains with the property, a Seller’s failure to provide notice to a Buyer may result in the Seller being invoiced for said repairs.
Am I responsible for completing sidewalk repairs if I just purchased my home?
The responsibility for the cost of sidewalk repairs lies with the property owner at the time the repairs are completed. If you purchase a home after the previous owner received notification of the required sidewalk repairs, but before the repairs are completed, then you are responsible to complete the repairs and pay for the work. The prior owner is responsible to inform you of the required repair work before you purchase the home.
Please Note: All sidewalk replacement require a minimum of a 24-hr notice for a pre-pour inspection. Please call the Public Works Department at (440) 930-4101.
Still have a question? If you have a question that was not answered above, please call the Public Works Department at (440) 930-4101.