Defining Sidewalk Responsibilities Agreement

Great Oak Community 2020-08-17

Summary:

Defines who is responsible for shoveling sidewalks (the area in the LCE from the stoop to the common walk area). Grounds recommends having this as owner responsibility but that the community will continue to provide shoveling as it is able.

Background:

The current Master Deed in Article IV(3)(a)(c) specifies that the association will bear the costs of ...cleaning... and ...maintaining... ...the sidewalk leading to the stoop.... However, what exactly that means is unclear. With updating the Master Deed, this can be a place for improvement.

As we have been defining what is needed with expanding our sidewalk volume, that need for clarity on this is more important, particularly in terms of removing snow from the sidewalks.

Snow removal is labor intensive and potentially expensive. The labor pool available at Great Oak is somewhat variable and may be more limited in the future. Therefore, we thought it would be more prudent to make shoveling owner responsibility but that the community would provide the service/labor to do it as it is able.

In considering whether there is a legal obligation to shovel the sidewalk up to each unit, we consulted the lawyer, who said that we can move responsibility for cleaning sidewalks to the owner and then put in the Book of Agreements that the community will provide the service as it is able.

Proposal:

We define the responsibility for shoveling the sidewalks to ultimately be the responsibility of the owner. The association will continue to provide the courtesy service of shoveling sidewalks as long as we have work hours or other resources available for it.

We will also shift responsibility for cleaning sidewalks to owner responsibility in the master deed. This could be included in the current revision to the master deed.

The association retains the responsibility of maintaining the physical structure of the sidewalk to the original front stoop. Walkout owners who create basement sidewalks (or paths) to the new GCE path will be responsible for maintaining, cleaning and shoveling them.

Comments:

References

Current Master Deed Article IV(2)(b) specifies that ...the sidewalk leading to the stoop... is a limited common element.

Current Master Deed in Article IV(3)(a) specifies the items which are owner responsibility for cleaning and maintenance which doesn......t include sidewalks, so Article IV(3)(c) specifies that other items (like sidewalks) are association responsibility.

Richard M. Delonis gave us a little feedback.

Process Comments:

No blocks or standasides