The Town’s maintained street network consists of 34.7 centerline miles of roadway and the majority of those streets have sidewalk present on one or both sides of the street. As sidewalks age, they are susceptible to developing “tripping hazards” (also known as “vertical offsets”) as the earth settles and tree roots raise concrete panels over time. These tripping hazards are a significant source of health related injuries to the general public.
The Corte Madera Municipal Code, Section 12.56.010 states that any sidewalk or driveway items on parcels not owned by the Town are assigned 3rd party responsibility, along with vegetation and trees on private property that impede on the path of travel. Similarly, the maintenance of trees are also the responsibility of the fronting property owner as stated in the Town Municipal Code, Section 12.40.030.
As a result, the Town developed the Sidewalk Pilot Program. This program will contribute Town grant funds and resources to assist homeowners with their responsibility to maintain sidewalk areas and trees in a safe condition. The Town will award the grant funds as defined in each strategy below. (Please note that this program went into effect on November 1, 2020. Reimbursements for work completed prior to that date are not authorized under this program.)
The Town funds will be granted for replacing sidewalk where Town staff determines that the existing sidewalk is unsafe; such that the sidewalk areas have severe vertical offsets or the sidewalk panels have severe running or cross slopes. This one-time grant will be funded by the Town on a first-come basis until the funds have been exhausted. This work shall be performed by a qualified and licensed contractor that is directly hired by the Town. To qualify for the grant, the property owner must enter into an agreement with the Town to ensure that the property owner(s) will reimburse the Town for the property owner’s portion of the improvements and resume maintenance responsibility of the newly-installed sidewalk once the work is completed.
In each fiscal year (starting in FY2021-2022) staff will target a budget of $100,000 to be designated to replacing deficient sidewalk as part of work performed within an identified zone within Town.
The funding contributions shall be as follows, where the maximum contribution from the Town is $5,000 per residential property and $2,000 per commercial property, over a cumulative 10 year period.
Assuming this Sidewalk Pilot Program continues to be funded, the intent is that each of the established zones will receive a “project” before the 10-ZoneCycle is repeated. However, due to limited staffing resources, priority will be given to zones where neighborhood have already established a preliminary list of interested property owners and have volunteers that are willing to streamline the process and assist with public outreach and coordination.