Belmont’s new snow bylaw, which was approved at last November’s Town Meeting, went into effect on Thursday. Although the town approved the bylaw months ago, officials had to wait for state Attorney General Martha Coakley to sign off on it. The bylaw states that residents must shovel a 36-inch path and treat ice on sidewalks in front of their house by 8 p.m. the day after a snowstorm. If residents are on vacation during snowstorms, they must shovel and treat their sidewalks by 8 p.m. the day after they return from vacation. First-time offenders will receive a written warning, second-time offenders will receive a $50 fine, and third-time offenders will receive a $100 fine, with a maximum of $350 in fines per winter season. Visit www.belmont-ma.gov/Public_Documents/index for more information about the bylaw and for tips on how to cope with winter storms.