For Immediate Release
February 1, 2018
Appeal Process for City of Plattsburgh Snow Removal Law
Recently, the City of Plattsburgh Common Council reaffirmed its desire “to provide fair and consistent enforcement of the snow removal law for the overall safety and benefit of our City residents and visitors.” The Council created avenues for appeal if a resident is cited. Two types of appeals are possible if a property owner is given an Invoice Notice for snow removal charges, and two types of appeals are possible for a Notice Violation and Fine. Each of these appeals is made only after the citation. They fall into two different categories. One is an appeal of a factual or administrative error, and another is a hardship appeal on compassionate grounds related to age, disability, infirmity, or affordability.
Appeals based on disputes concerning factual or administrative error must be made within 30 days of the invoice or within 14 days of the fine. A form will be available in the Clerk’s Office and at the City website. Appeals of snow removal charges will be processed by the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works office. Appeals disputing violation and fine will be processed by the Code Enforcement Office. These appeals, for example, would apply if the fee or fine was imposed on the wrong address or involved a clerical error. These appeals will be processed within 14 days of receipt. .
A second type of appeal is based on compassionate circumstances such as age, infirmity, or disability combined with an inability to pay. These appeals will be reviewed by the Common Council’s Public Safety Committee or their designees. They too must be made within 30 days, if based on an invoice notice or 14 days if based on a fine, and document the following conditions:
Owner is age 80 or older;
Owner is disabled, infirmed, or physically unable to remove/treat snow;
Owner is not living with, or have another individual available who is physically able to remove/treat snow;
Owner’s annual household income less than 50 percent of area median income.
An owner’s supporting proof could include tax returns, physician notes, SSD/SSI documentation, sworn statements, handicapped parking emblem.
Councilor Armstrong said, “The Council has been working for the past year to figure out how to institute the snow maintenance provisions of the city code with avenues for appeal based on factual and hardship grounds. Our hope is that this process will ensure that able-bodied residents can maintain their sidewalks to make them safe for their neighbors, especially those who have difficulty getting around. But, we also recognize that a small number of people in our community are simply not able to do their part. We certainly don’t want to risk anybody’s health or economic security as we try to maintain a navigable city following snowstorms.”
Before the first snowfall citations occur under this new policy, forms will be available at the City Clerk’s office at 41 City Hall Place and in a pdf-fillable version online.