More signs that the City of Los Angeles is broke. They are considering ending the policy of repairing driveways and sidewalks.
The burden will then fall on homeowners and with lawsuits totaling anywhere from $3 to $5 million a year in defense of trips and falls, homeowners who do not take care of these hazards after a warning could also be liable.
Insurance companies could refuse to insure homes with dangerous sidewalks. This is not something that has been given fair hearing and a lot of people are not going to be happy.
Recommendations have been made to wait a year before warnings are issued, develop a proper system for inspection and issuing of notices and provide a list of contractors who can do the work. Also if a home is in escrow and the seller has not done the repairs, the city would be notified so that this can be a part of closing requirements.
Another option on the table is for the city to borrow from a new bond to be paid for by the owners through property taxes. Having the property owner pay for repairs is not a new concept. Until the 1970s the City would inspect the sidewalks and cite the owners to make repairs. It these were not done, the City would make the repairs and bill the property owner.
Federal funds were made available and, until 1978 when the funds ran out, the City would repair root damage from trees on the sidewalks. In 2005 a shared-cost program was launched whereby residents could pay half the cost and move to the front of the line.
The irony of all this is, try and call the City to get a tree removed. You can’t…..
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