By all means, let it snow, let it snow this winter. But certain property owners in Boston may soon be warned: Don’t let it pile up.
A bill that Massachusetts lawmakers recently sent to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk would raise the maximum fine for some Boston scofflaws who fail to shovel their sidewalks from $300 to $1,500. Baker has until Sunday to take action on the measure, the State House News Service reported.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Baker declined to say if the governor will sign the bill or let it dissipate like snowbanks in a 45-degree thaw.
“The governor is carefully reviewing the bill,” said spokeswoman Elizabeth Guyton in an e-mail.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a supporter of the proposal, said he was pleased it had moved forward.
“I’m pleased the State Legislature has passed the city’s proposed legislation to increase fines for commercial businesses who choose not to clear their sidewalks of snow,” Walsh said in a statement.
“During the winter, it’s vital all businesses and residents do their part to make sure our cities and towns across the Commonwealth are safe and accessible, and I thank the Legislature for their work on this issue.”
As Walsh suggested, the proposal would primarily take aim at noncompliant businesses. It calls for fines for any “owner of a building, estate, or land abutting a sidewalk or curb ramp who fails to remove snow, slush, or ice from abutting sidewalks and curb ramps,” with a caveat that the measure “shall not apply to owners of buildings containing six or fewer residential units.”
The measure would also fine violators who, “in the conduct of commercial snow removal, [clear] snow, slush, or ice from any property, public or private, and [place] it upon a public way.”
Blocking a public road with a manmade snowdrift? That’s cold.