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Last updated: January 22, 2016

Sidewalk Snow Removal Laws in Philadelphia and
Bucks County (Doylestown, Chalfont, Newtown, Yardley)

Sidewalk snow accidents are one of the number one causes of emergency room visits during the winter months.

Pennsylvania law requires commercial and residential property owners, as well as occupants, such as the tenant of a single family house, to take reasonable steps to prevent snow/ice fall accidents. Property owners/tenants must shovel and salt their sidewalks and walkways. In fact, failing to do so often results in liability.

Property owners and tenants are often confused about their towns’ local ordinances requiring sidewalk snow removal. Many towns differ in terms of how long property owners have to remove snow, how wide the pathway must be, etc. In most towns, property owners and tenants can be fined for failing to remove snow from sidewalks. For example, as of 2014, in Doylestown, the fine is $10.00 and in Philadelphia, the fine is $50.

Below are the sidewalk snow removal requirements for the City of Philadelphia and many towns in Bucks County. For Delaware County and Montgomery County, click here.

Please note the following information is provided for general information only.  Ordinance sections have been provided, if available on the specific township’s website. If your township is not listed below, please click here to search.

Philadelphia Sidewalk Snow Removal Requirements

In Philadelphia, local Ordinance 10-720 requires property owners and tenants to remove snow from sidewalks within 6 hours after the snow has stopped falling. Tthe path must be at least 30 inches wide.

If the sidewalk or pavement itself is less than 3 feet wide, the path cleared may be only 12 inches wide. Owners of multifamily dwellings are responsible for snow removal. The fine is $50 under Section 10-719.

Bucks County Sidewalk Snow Removal Requirements

  • Doylestown (Chapter 21, Section 251): Within 10 hours after the snow has stopped. If the snow stops falling after 6 p.m., sidewalks must be cleared no later than 10 a.m. the following morning.
  • Chalfont (Ordinances 299A and 308A):Within 12 hours after the snow has stopped; a path of at least 30 inches is required.
  • Newtown (Ordinances 201-204 and 602-605): Within 24 hours after the snow has stopped.
  • Yardley: Within 18 hours after the snow has stopped.

More: Icy Sidewalk Fall Accidents in PA – Basic Questions & Answers About Filing a Fall Accident Lawsuit

It is important to note that property owners and tenants should not pile snow around fire hydrants. This is a major safety issue which is not always indicated in a given town’s snow/ice removal ordinances.

About Laffey, Bucci & Kent

LBK is a Philadelphia law firm which handles negligence and liability cases in the greater Philadelphia area. If you would like to speak to one of our lawyers about a case, please call Click To Call and ask for a free consultation.