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L) Chapters 135 through 139 – Streets and Sidewalks

CHAPTER 135

STREET USE AND MAINTENANCE

135.01 Removal of Warning Devices 135.09   Excavations 
135.02 Obstructing or Defacing 135.10 Property Owner’s Responsibility for Maintenance
135.03 Placing Debris On 135.11 Failure to Maintain
135.04 Playing In 135.12 Dumping of Snow 
135.05 Traveling on Barricaded Street or Alley 135.13 Driveway Culverts
135.06 Use for Business Purposes 135.14 Curb Cuts for Drives and Establishing Policy
135.07 Washing Vehicles for Paving
135.08 Burning Prohibited 135.15 Paving Private Access Drives

135.01     REMOVAL OF WARNING DEVICES.  It is unlawful for a person to willfully remove, throw down, destroy or carry away from any street or alley any lamp, obstruction, guard or other article or things, or extinguish any lamp or other light, erected or placed thereupon for the purpose of guarding or enclosing unsafe or dangerous places in said street or alley without the consent of the person in control thereof.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 716.1) 

135.02     OBSTRUCTING OR DEFACING.  It is unlawful for any person to obstruct, deface or injure any street or alley in any manner.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 716.1)

135.03     PLACING DEBRIS ON.  It is unlawful for any person to throw or deposit on any street or alley any glass, glass bottle, nails, tacks, wire, cans, trash, garbage, rubbish, litter, offal, leaves, grass or any other debris likely to be washed into the storm sewer and clog the storm sewer, or any substance likely to injure any person, animal or vehicle.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.369)

135.04     PLAYING IN.  It is unlawful for any person to coast, sled, or play games on streets or alleys, except in the areas blocked off by the City for such purposes.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2])

135.05     TRAVELING ON BARRICADED STREET OR ALLEY.  It is unlawful for any person to travel or operate any vehicle on any street or alley temporarily closed by barricades, lights, signs, or flares placed thereon by the authority or permission of any City official, police officer or member of the Fire Department.

135.06     USE FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES.  It is unlawful to park, store or place, temporarily or permanently, any machinery or junk or any other goods, wares, and merchandise of any kind upon any street or alley for the purpose of storage, exhibition, sale or offering same for sale, without permission of the Council.

135.07     WASHING VEHICLES.  It is unlawful for any person to use any public sidewalk, street, or alley for the purpose of washing or cleaning any automobile, truck equipment, or any vehicle of any kind when such work is done for hire or as a business.  This does not prevent any person from washing or cleaning his or her own vehicle or equipment when it is lawfully parked in the street or alley.

135.08     BURNING PROHIBITED.  No person shall burn any trash, leaves, rubbish, or other combustible material in any curb and gutter or on any paved or surfaced street or alley.

135.09     EXCAVATIONS.  No person shall dig, excavate, or in any manner disturb any street, parking or alley except in accordance with the following:

  1. Permission Required. No excavation shall be commenced without first obtaining permission from the Public Works Supervisor.  In order to grant permission, the Public Works Supervisor will need the following information:
  2. An exact description of the property, by lot and street number, in front of or along which it is desired to excavate;
  3. A statement of the purpose, for whom and by whom the excavation is to be made;
  4. The person responsible for the refilling of said excavation and restoration of the street or alley surface; and
  5. Date of commencement of the work and estimated completion date.
  6. Public Convenience. Streets and alleys shall be opened in the manner that will cause the least inconvenience to the public and admit the uninterrupted passage of water along the gutter on the street.
  7. Barricades, Fencing and Lighting. Adequate barricades, fencing and warning lights meeting standards specified by the City shall be so placed as to protect the public from hazard.  Any costs incurred by the City in providing or maintaining adequate barricades, fencing or warning lights shall be paid to the City by the permit holder/property owner.
  8. Bond Required. The applicant shall post with the City a penal bond in the minimum sum of $1,000.00 issued by a surety company authorized to issue such bonds in the State.  The bond shall guarantee the permittee’s payment for any damage done to the City or to public property, and payment of all costs incurred by the City in the course of administration of this section.  In lieu of a surety bond, a cash deposit of $1,000.00 may be filed with the City.
  9. Insurance Required. Each applicant shall also file a certificate of insurance indicating that the applicant is carrying public liability insurance in effect for the duration of the permit covering the applicant and all agents and employees for the following minimum amounts:
  10. Bodily Injury – $50,000.00 per person; $100,000.00 per accident.
  11. Property Damage – $50,000.00 per accident.
  12. Restoration of Public Property. Streets, sidewalks, alleys and other public property disturbed in the course of the work shall be restored to the condition of the property prior to the commencement of the work, or in a manner satisfactory to the City, at the expense of the permit holder/property owner.
  13. All work shall be subject to inspection by the City.  Backfill shall not be deemed completed, and no resurfacing of any improved street or alley surface shall begin, until such backfill is inspected and approved by the City.  The permit holder/property owner shall provide the City with notice at least 24 hours prior to the time when inspection of backfill is desired.
  14. Completion by the City. Should any excavation in any street or alley be discontinued or left open and unfinished for a period of 24 hours after the approved completion date, or in the event the work is improperly done, the City has the right to finish or correct the excavation work and charge any expenses for such work to the permit holder/property owner.
  15. Responsibility for Costs. All costs and expenses incident to the excavation shall be borne by the permit holder and/or property owner.  The permit holder and owner shall indemnify the City from any loss or damage that may directly or indirectly be occasioned by such excavation.
  16. At least 48 hours prior to the commencement of the excavation, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, the person performing the excavation shall contact the Statewide Notification Center and provide the center with the information required under Section 480.4 of the Code of Iowa.
  17. Permission Granted. Upon approval of the application, and filing of the bond and insurance certificate permission shall be granted.

135.10     PROPERTY OWNER’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAINTENANCE.  The abutting property owner shall maintain all property outside the lot and property lines and inside the curb lines upon public streets and shall keep such area in a safe condition, free from nuisances, obstructions, and hazards.  In the absence of a curb, such property shall extend from the property line to that portion of the public street used or improved for vehicular purposes.  The abutting property owner shall not be required to remove diseased trees or dead wood on the publicly owned property or right-of-way.  Maintenance includes, but is not limited to, timely mowing, trimming trees and shrubs, and picking up litter and debris.  The abutting property owner may be liable for damages caused by failure to maintain the publicly owned property or right-of-way.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2c])

135.11     FAILURE TO MAINTAIN.  If the abutting property owner does not perform an action required under the above section within a reasonable time, the City may perform the required action and assess the cost against the abutting property for collection in the same manner as a property tax.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2e]) 

135.12     DUMPING OF SNOW.  It is unlawful for any person to throw, push, or place or cause to be thrown, pushed or placed, any ice or snow from private property, sidewalks, or driveways onto the traveled way of a street or alley so as to obstruct gutters, or impede the passage of vehicles upon the street or alley or to create a hazardous condition therein; except where, in the cleaning of large commercial drives in the business district it is absolutely necessary to move the snow onto the street or alley temporarily, such accumulation shall be removed promptly by the property owner or agent.  Arrangements for the prompt removal of such accumulations shall be made prior to moving the snow.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2])

135.13     DRIVEWAY CULVERTS.  The property owner shall, at the owner’s expense, install any culvert deemed necessary under any driveway or any other access to the owner’s property, and before installing a culvert, permission must first be obtained from the City.  In the event repairs are needed at any time with respect to culverts, it shall be the responsibility of the property owner to make such repairs, and, in the event the owner fails to do so, the City shall have the right to make the repairs.  If the property owner fails to reimburse the City for the cost of said repairs, the cost shall be certified to the County Treasurer and specially assessed against the property as by law provided.

135.14     CURB CUTS FOR DRIVES AND ESTABLISHING POLICY FOR PAVING.  No street curbs shall be cut or removed without express approval to the owner or contractor from the City Supervisor of Public Works; it shall be the policy of the City when application is made for authority to cut or remove street curbs to required paving of any private access drive from the curb to the sidewalk or to the abutting owner’s property line; no approval to cut or remove curbs shall be granted by the Supervisor unless such cutting, removing, and installation of a private drive is made in compliance with the specifications of the City.

135.15     PAVING PRIVATE ACCESS DRIVES.  No concrete shall be poured for paving of private access drives (between the curb and the adjacent property line) until notice has been given to the Supervisor of Public Works and the Supervisor has had an opportunity to determine if such paving is in compliance with this Code of Ordinances.

 

 

CHAPTER 136

SIDEWALK REGULATIONS

136.01 Purpose 136.11 Interference with Sidewalk Improvements
136.02 Definitions 136.12 Sidewalk not Constructed According to
136.03 Removal of Snow, Ice, and Accumulations Specifications
136.04 Property Owner’s Responsibility for Maintenance 136.13 Encroaching Steps
136.05 City May Order Repairs 136.14 Openings and Enclosures
136.06 Sidewalk Construction Ordered 136.15 Fires or Fuel on Sidewalks
136.07 Permit Required 136.16 Defacing
136.08 Sidewalk Standards 136.17 Debris on Sidewalks
136.09 Barricades and Warning Lights 136.18 Merchandise Display
136.10 Failure to Repair or Barricade 136.19 Sales Stands

136.01     PURPOSE.  The purpose of this chapter is to enhance safe passage by citizens on sidewalks, to place the responsibility for the maintenance, repair, replacement, or reconstruction of sidewalks upon the abutting property owner and to minimize the liability of the City.

136.02     DEFINITIONS.  For use in this chapter the following terms are defined:

  1. “Broom finish” means a sidewalk finish that is made by sweeping the sidewalk when it is hardening.
  2. “Established grade” means that grade established by the City for the particular area in which a sidewalk is to be constructed.
  3. “One-course construction” means that the full thickness of the concrete is placed at one time, using the same mixture throughout.
  4. “Owner” means the person owning the fee title to property abutting any sidewalk and includes any contract purchaser for purposes of notification required herein. For all other purposes, “owner” includes the lessee, if any.
  5. “Portland cement” means any type of cement except bituminous cement.
  6. “Sidewalk” means all permanent public walks in business, residential or suburban areas.
  7. “Sidewalk improvements” means the construction, reconstruction, repair, replacement, or removal, of a public sidewalk and/or the excavating, filling or depositing of material in the public right-of-way in connection therewith.
  8. “Wood float finish” means a sidewalk finish that is made by smoothing the surface of the sidewalk with a wooden trowel.

136.03     REMOVAL OF SNOW, ICE, AND ACCUMULATIONS.  The abutting property owner shall remove snow, ice, and accumulations promptly from sidewalks.  If a property owner does not remove snow, ice, or accumulations within 24 hours, the City may do so and assess the costs against the property owner for collection in the same manner as a property tax.  The abutting property owner may be liable for damages caused by failure to remove snow, ice, and accumulations promptly from the sidewalk.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2b & e])

136.04     PROPERTY OWNER’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAINTENANCE.  The abutting property owner shall maintain in a safe and hazard-free condition any sidewalk outside the lot and property lines and inside the curb lines or, in the absence of a curb, any sidewalk between the property line and that portion of the public street used or improved for vehicular purposes.  The abutting property owner may be liable for damages caused by failure to maintain the sidewalk.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2c])

136.05     CITY MAY ORDER REPAIRS.  If the abutting property owner does not maintain sidewalks as required, the Council may serve notice on such owner, by certified mail, requiring the owner to repair, replace or reconstruct sidewalks within a reasonable time and if such action is not completed within the time stated in the notice, the Council may require the work to be done and assess the costs against the abutting property for collection in the same manner as a property tax.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2d & e])

136.06     SIDEWALK CONSTRUCTION ORDERED.  The Council may order the construction of permanent sidewalks upon any street or court in the City and may specially assess the cost of such improvement to abutting property owners in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 384 of the Code of Iowa.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.38)

136.07     PERMIT REQUIRED.  No person shall remove, reconstruct, or install a sidewalk unless such person has obtained a permit from the City and has agreed in writing that said removal, reconstruction, or installation will comply with all ordinances and requirements of the City for such work.

136.08     SIDEWALK STANDARDS.  Sidewalks repaired, replaced, or constructed under the provisions of this chapter shall be of the following construction and meet the following standards:

  1. Portland cement shall be the only cement used in the construction and repair of sidewalks.
  2. Sidewalks shall be of one-course construction.
  3. Sidewalk Base. Concrete may be placed directly on compact and well-drained soil.  Where soil is not well drained, a three-inch sub-base of compact, clean, coarse gravel or sand shall be laid.  The adequacy of the soil drainage is to be determined by the City.
  4. Sidewalk Bed. The sidewalk bed shall be so graded that the constructed sidewalk will be at established grade.
  5. Length, Width and Depth. Length, width and depth requirements are as follows:
  6. Residential sidewalks shall be at least five feet wide and four inches thick, and each section shall be no more than five feet in length.
  7. Business District sidewalks shall be constructed under the supervision of and with the approval of the Supervisor of Public Works. The Business District is that area within the City described as follows: from Seventh Avenue east to Tenth Avenue on the south side of Thirteenth Street; both sides of Twelfth Street; and from Thirteenth Street south to Eleventh Street on both sides of Eighth Avenue, Ninth Avenue, and Tenth Avenue. 
  8. In areas where sidewalks cross driveways and alleys, sidewalk areas shall be not less than six inches in thickness.
  9. Residential sidewalks shall be located with the inner edge (edge nearest the abutting private property) on the property line, unless the Council establishes a different distance due to special circumstances.
  10. Curb tops shall be on level with the centerline of the street, which is the established grade.
  11. The street edge of a sidewalk shall be at an elevation even with the curb at the curb or not less than one-half inch above the curb for each foot between the curb and the sidewalk.
  12. All sidewalks shall slope one-fourth inch per foot toward the curb.
  13. All sidewalks shall be finished with a broom finish or wood float finish.
  14. Curb Ramps and Sloped Areas for Persons with Disabilities. If a street, road, or highway is newly built or reconstructed, a curb ramp or sloped area shall be constructed or installed at each intersection of the street, road, or highway with a sidewalk or path.  If a sidewalk or path is newly built or reconstructed, a curb ramp or sloped area shall be constructed or installed at each intersection of the sidewalk or path with a street, highway, or road.  Curb ramps and sloped areas that are required pursuant to this subsection shall be constructed or installed in compliance with applicable federal requirements adopted in accordance with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, including (but not limited to) the guidelines issued by the Federal Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 216C.9)

136.09     BARRICADES AND WARNING LIGHTS.  Whenever any material of any kind is deposited on any street, avenue, highway, passageway or alley when sidewalk improvements are being made or when any sidewalk is in a dangerous condition, it shall be the duty of all persons having an interest therein, either as the contractor or the owner, agent, or lessee of the property in front of or along which such material may be deposited, or such dangerous condition exists, to put in conspicuous places at each end of such sidewalk and at each end of any pile of material deposited in the street, a sufficient number of approved warning lights or flares, and to keep them lighted during the entire night and to erect sufficient barricades both at night and in the daytime to secure the same.  The party or parties using the street for any of the purposes specified in this chapter shall be liable for all injuries or damage to persons or property arising from any wrongful act or negligence of the party or parties, or their agents or employees or for any misuse of the privileges conferred by this chapter or of any failure to comply with provisions hereof.

136.10     FAILURE TO REPAIR OR BARRICADE.  It is the duty of the owner of the property abutting the sidewalk, or the owner’s contractor or agent, to notify the City immediately in the event of failure or inability to make necessary sidewalk improvements or to install or erect necessary barricades as required by this chapter.

136.11     INTERFERENCE WITH SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENTS.  No person shall knowingly or willfully drive any vehicle upon any portion of any sidewalk or approach thereto while in the process of being improved or upon any portion of any completed sidewalk or approach thereto, or shall remove or destroy any part or all of any sidewalk or approach thereto, or shall remove, destroy, mar or deface any sidewalk at any time or destroy, mar, remove or deface any notice provided by this chapter.

136.12     SIDEWALK NOT CONSTRUCTED ACCORDING TO SPECIFICATIONS.  The City Council may at any time, by resolution, condemn any sidewalk now in use or which may hereafter be constructed within the City, which sidewalk is constructed in a manner or of materials or at a grade or elevation which is not in compliance with this chapter and which failed to comply with any ordinance in force at the time of the construction of such sidewalk, and the City Council may authorize the removal of such sidewalk by the Supervisor of Public Works and the construction or reconstruction of the same in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, and the costs of removing said sidewalk and reconstructing such sidewalk shall be assessed against the abutting property owner in the same manner as the cost for constructing a sidewalk as herein provided.

136.13     ENCROACHING STEPS.  It is unlawful for a person to erect or maintain any stairs or steps to any building upon any part of any sidewalk without permission by resolution of the Council.

136.14     OPENINGS AND ENCLOSURES.  It is unlawful for a person to:

  1. Stairs and Railings. Construct or build a stairway or passageway to any cellar or basement by occupying any part of the sidewalk, or to enclose any portion of a sidewalk with a railing without permission by resolution of the Council.
  2. Keep open any cellar door, grating, or cover to any vault on any sidewalk except while in actual use with adequate guards to protect the public.
  3. Protect Openings. Neglect to properly protect or barricade all openings on or within six feet of any sidewalk.

136.15     FIRES OR FUEL ON SIDEWALKS.  It is unlawful for a person to make a fire of any kind on any sidewalk or to place or allow any fuel to remain upon any sidewalk.

136.16     DEFACING.  It is unlawful for a person to scatter or place any paste, paint, or writing on any sidewalk.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 716.1)   

136.17     DEBRIS ON SIDEWALKS.  It is unlawful for a person to throw or deposit on any sidewalk any glass, nails, glass bottle, tacks, wire, cans, trash, garbage, rubbish, litter, offal, or any other debris, or any substance likely to injure any person, animal, or vehicle.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2]) 

136.18     MERCHANDISE DISPLAY.  It is unlawful for a person to place upon or above any sidewalk, any goods or merchandise for sale or for display in such a manner as to interfere with the free and uninterrupted passage of pedestrians on the sidewalk; in no case shall more than three feet of the sidewalk next to the building be occupied for such purposes.

136.19     SALES STANDS.  It is unlawful for a person to erect or keep any vending machine or stand for the sale of fruit, vegetables or other substances or commodities on any sidewalk without first obtaining a written permit from the Council.

° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °

 

CHAPTER 137

VACATION AND DISPOSAL OF STREETS

137.01 Power to Vacate 137.04 Findings Required
137.02 Planning and Zoning Board 137.05 Disposal of Vacated Streets or Alleys
137.03 Notice of Vacation Hearing 137.06 Disposal by Gift Limited

137.01     POWER TO VACATE.  When, in the judgment of the Council, it would be in the best interest of the City to vacate a street, alley, portion thereof, or any public grounds, the Council may do so by ordinance in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.12[2a])

137.02     PLANNING AND ZONING BOARD.  Any proposal to vacate a street, alley, portion thereof, or any public grounds shall be referred by the Council to the Planning and zoning board for its study and recommendation prior to further consideration by the Council.  The Commission shall submit a written report including recommendations to the Council within 30 days after the date the proposed vacation is referred to the Commission.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

137.03     NOTICE OF VACATION HEARING.  The Council shall cause to be published a notice of public hearing of the time at which the proposal to vacate shall be considered.

137.04     FINDINGS REQUIRED.  No street, alley, portion thereof, or any public grounds shall be vacated unless the Council finds that:

  1. Public Use. The street, alley, portion thereof, or any public ground proposed to be vacated is not needed for the use of the public, and therefore, its maintenance at public expense is no longer justified.
  2. Abutting Property. The proposed vacation will not deny owners of property abutting on the street or alley reasonable access to their property.

137.05     DISPOSAL OF VACATED STREETS OR ALLEYS.  When in the judgment of the Council it would be in the best interest of the City to dispose of a vacated street or alley, portion thereof or public ground, the Council may do so in accordance with the provisions of Section 364.7, Code of Iowa.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.7)

137.06     DISPOSAL BY GIFT LIMITED.  The City may not dispose of real property by gift except to a governmental body for a public purpose or to a fair.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 174.15[2] & 364.7[3])

 

EDITOR’S NOTE

 

The following ordinances, not codified herein and specifically saved from repeal, have been adopted vacating certain streets, alleys and/or public grounds and remain in full force and effect.

 

ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED
383 Unnumbered
391 93-3
397 94-11
455 94-16
468 85-3
476 96-7
479 97-8
480 98-2
481 13-5 November 4, 2013
486
554
555
558
559
566
571
571-1
573
596
642
646
85-5
86-3
88-9
55-10
88-14

 

CHAPTER 138

STREET GRADES

138.01 Established Grades 138.02 Record Maintained

138.01     ESTABLISHED GRADES.  The grades of all streets, alleys and sidewalks, which have been heretofore established by ordinance, are hereby confirmed, ratified, and established as official grades.

138.02     RECORD MAINTAINED.  The Clerk shall maintain a record of all established grades and furnish information concerning such grades upon request.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE

 

The following ordinances not codified herein, and specifically saved from repeal, have been adopted establishing street and/or sidewalk grades and remain in full force and effect.

 

ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED
386
401
517
518
597
609
621
84-10
85-9

° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °

 

CHAPTER 139

NAMING OF STREETS

139.01 Naming New Streets 139.04 Official Street Name Map
139.02 Changing Name of Street 139.05 Revision of Street Name Map
139.03 Recording Street Names  

139.01     NAMING NEW STREETS.  New streets shall be assigned names in accordance with the following:

  1. Extension of Existing Street. Streets added to the City that are natural extensions of existing streets shall be assigned the name of the existing street.
  2. All street names, except streets named as a part of a subdivision or platting procedure, shall be named by resolution.
  3. Planning and Zoning Board. Proposed street names shall be referred to the Planning and Zoning Board for review and recommendation.

139.02     CHANGING NAME OF STREET.  The Council may, by resolution, change the name of a street.

139.03     RECORDING STREET NAMES.  Following official action naming or changing the name of a street, the Clerk shall file a copy thereof with the County Recorder, County Auditor and County Assessor.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 354.26)

139.04     OFFICIAL STREET NAME MAP.  Streets within the City are named as shown on the Official Street Name Map, which is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this chapter.  The Official Street Name Map shall be identified by the signature of the Mayor, and bearing the seal of the City under the following words:  “This is to certify that this is the Official Street Name Map referred to in Section 139.04 of the Code of Ordinances of Belle Plaine, Iowa.”

139.05     REVISION OF STREET NAME MAP.  If in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, changes are made in street names, such changes shall be entered on the Official Street Name Map promptly after the change has been approved by the Council with an entry on the Official Street Name Map as follows:  “On (date), by official action of the City Council, the following changes were made in the Official Street Name Map:  (brief description),” which entry shall be signed by the Mayor and attested by the Clerk.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE

 

The following ordinances not codified herein, and specifically saved from repeal, have been adopted establishing street names and remain in full force and effect.

 

ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED
75

EDITOR’S NOTE: See also Section 136.04 relating to property owner’s responsibility for maintenance of sidewalks.

EDITOR’S NOTE: These ordinances are for the sale of property. .

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