SAFE Sidewalk Program
The City of Hilliard prioritizes making sidewalks safe and accessible for everyone. Pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods are vital to our residents and businesses, and properly maintained sidewalks contribute to the livability and image of our city. Hilliard’s SAFE Sidewalk Program (“Safe Access for Everyone”) is an ongoing effort to evaluate sidewalks throughout the community, identify areas for improvement, and to make repairs as necessary.
In the spring of 2023, the City will launch a neighborhood sidewalk maintenance program. The process began in May 2022, when the condition of sidewalks, trails, and curb ramps were surveyed and inventoried to prioritize repair and maintenance. This information was used to help the City prioritize where repairs are most needed and to ensure all 200 miles of City sidewalks are kept in the best condition. The first neighborhood to benefit from the sidewalk maintenance program will be the Avery subdivision.
Property Owners’ Responsibility
In Hilliard (and most other communities) property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their properties. Exceptions include when the damage causing the repairs is created by roots from City-owned trees in the public right-of-way or defects caused by manhole covers or utilities. The City also is responsible for repairs and accessibility compliance on curb ramps. When the City identifies a sidewalk in need of repair, the property owner receives written notice of the required work, along with the estimated cost.
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 729.01 describes Ohio property owner responsibilities relating to sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
Sidewalk panels that have any of the following issues will require maintenance in accordance with the City of Hilliard sidewalk code (Hilliard Code §909.04):
- Sections projecting above walk more than ½ inch
- Gaps between joints or cracks more than ½ inch
- Excessive cross slope (more than 25%)
- Sidewalk slopes away from the street
- Excessive cracking with missing or loose pieces
- Sections without a continuous unobstructed width of 4 feet
- Sections with deteriorating surfaces presenting loose gravel
- Sidewalks constructed without City approval
- Other conditions that, in the opinion of the City, create an unsafe walking surface. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, deteriorating patches, wedges, loose or partial infill, surface deterioration, or growing vegetation
Property Owners Have Two Options
- Allow the City to perform the repairs and bill them for the work. (Opt-In) Most residents will benefit from this option because allowing the City gets cost savings based on competitive bidding for the large number of annual repairs in the community. Additionally, the City handles the coordination, scheduling and quality control related to the work. Property owners may elect to have the cost spread out over a 5-year, zero interest term through a special assessment on their property taxes.
- Property Owner Payment Options
- Option 1: Pay in Full. Property owners will receive a 10% discount if selecting this option. Payment is due within 30 days.
- Option 2: Special Assessment. The cost of the repairs will be assessed to your property at zero interest over five (5) years.
- Property Owner Payment Options
- Make the repairs on their own. (Opt-Out) This work must meet all required City of Hilliard code and standards. Should your sidewalk be identified for repair or replacement, you will be asked to make the repairs within approximately four months. If the work has not been performed by the provided deadline the City will perform the work, with costs billed or assessed back to the property owner. If you choose to arrange for replacement yourself rather than have the work done by the City’s contractor, you must notify the City within 30 days of receipt of the notice of the need for repairs by completing this form (which is also included with the initial notice) and obtain a sidewalk permit. Opting out does not remove the requirement that the sidewalk needs to be improved, it only means that you do not wish to have the improvements made by the City’s contractor.
Based on the gathered data, the City has been divided into 10 prioritization zones based on maintenance necessity. Starting with Zone 1 in 2023, all public sidewalks will be assessed and repaired in this ongoing effort over the next decade or more. This program is budget constrained. Therefore, some larger zones, or zones with a large number of repairs, may be split so that repairs can be made over two years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the SAFE Sidewalk Program?
Hilliard’s SAFE Sidewalk Program is an ongoing effort to evaluate sidewalk throughout the community, identify deficiencies, and to make repairs as necessary. Maintaining a safe sidewalk network is a benefit to the entire community especially to pedestrians with physical limitations and mobility challenges.
Why do I have to pay to fix a public sidewalk?
The responsibility to maintain and repair sidewalks in any community in Ohio is regulated by the Ohio revised code (729.01) which states that the condition and maintenance of sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. The City of Hilliard’s codified ordinance reflects this position in Chapter 909 “Sidewalks, Curb Ramps and Shared-Use Paths” and requires every owner of any lot or parcel of land in the City to keep the paved sidewalks and gutters in front of and abutting such lot or parcel of land constantly in good order and repair.
What is the cost of the program to a property owner?
Costs vary depending on the extent of the amount sidewalk to be replaced; In general, a single five-foot by five-foot square of sidewalk costs approximately $250-$500 to replace.
What criteria are used to identify sidewalk defects?
In accordance with City Code 909.04, sidewalk panels that have any of the following issues will require maintenance:
· Sections projecting above walk more than ½ inch
· Gaps between joints or cracks more than ½ inch
· Excessive cross slope (cross slope more than 6.25%)
· Slopes away from street
· Excessive cracking with missing or loose pieces
· Sections without a continuous unobstructed width of 4 feet
· Sections with deteriorating surfaces presenting loose gravel
· Sidewalks constructed without City approval
· Other conditions which, in the opinion of City personnel, are causing an unsafe walking surface. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, deteriorating patches, wedges, loose or partial infill, surface deterioration, or vegetation growing in cracks.
If I hire my own contractor, do I need a permit to repair my sidewalk?
Yes, a permit is required for all sidewalk work. Permits provide the city notification that work is being completed so that our records can be updated accordingly and required inspections can be arranged with your contractor before the section of sidewalk is poured. Permits can be obtained at https://hilliardoh.viewpointcloud.com.
All 25 Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions or concerns, please contact us.