Alabaster homeowners must pay to fix broken sidewalks near home - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Alabaster homeowners must pay to fix broken sidewalks near home

A new city ordinance now requires Alabaster homeowners to pay for any repairs needed on the sidewalk in front of their homes. Source: Alan Collins/WBRC A new city ordinance now requires Alabaster homeowners to pay for any repairs needed on the sidewalk in front of their homes. Source: Alan Collins/WBRC
ALABASTER, AL (WBRC) -

Homeowners in Alabaster need to be aware of a new ordinance that requires homeowners to pay for the repairs of broken sidewalks.

The city county passed the ordinance Monday night. City Manager George Henry said it's a liability problem if the city failed to fix sidewalks and someone got hurt.

"Alabama state law recognizes a joint liability injury if it happens on a sidewalk crack or not," Henry said.

Alabaster resident Eric Shultz spent Tuesday working in his yard. Shultz is not happy with the new city ordinance.

"It's same thing as the street. Street cracks, I'm not going to pay for it. I shouldn't have to pay for the sidewalk. The sidewalk is something the city decided to do, make it public safety. They ought to be responsible for it," Shultz said.

It's not automatic that homeowners are responsible for broken sidewalks. There could be other reasons for the damage, such as neighbors or visitors parking on the sidewalk or damage from storm water or sewer lines.

"If that property owner feels like they didn't damage it, they shouldn't have to pay to fix it. They can come before the council make their case and the council will hear it on a case-by-case basis," Henry said.

If a homeowner fails to make repairs after 30 days notice, the city will make repairs and then bill the homeowner possibly taking out a lien against the property.

Shultz said he will keep a close eye on his sidewalk in the future.

"Nobody is parking on the sidewalk. I will have them towed if they are not mine. Absolutely," Shultz said.

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