With months of above average rainfall, it’s no surprise that overgrown shrubbery is taking over Austin’s sidewalks. In fact, the city of Austin states that addressing overgrown shrubs is necessary to clear up more than 40% of the city’s sidewalks – making them safer and more accessible to all.
City code requires property owners to maintain trees and vegetation above or near sidewalks within the right-of-way, and for good reason. Shrubs, weeds, and other plants can become a hindrance to those using sidewalks, blocking visibility and creating hazards on the cement path. For those with disabilities who may have difficulty traveling as it is, this becomes even more true. In fact, failure to properly maintain areas around sidewalks can be considered a violation of the Americans with Disability Act.
Once the city finds that a sidewalk is overgrown with shrubbery, they will mail a letter notifying the homeowner who then has 10 days to address the issue. A follow-up inspection is then performed by the city and, if the work has not been completed, the city will again notify the homeowner, this time by certified letter. The homeowner is given an additional 10 days to take care of the issue. If the sidewalk is still not clear after that 10-day period, the city has the right to remove the obstructing growth and bill the property owner for costs. If the overgrown shrubbery is the responsibility of the city of Austin, the homeowner will be notified of the work that will be performed, which will be completed at no cost to the property owner.
Overgrown vegetation can block visibility of motorists and create hazards for pedestrians, vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles. If you have been injured due to obstructed sidewalks or visibility, contact an Austin Premises Liability Attorney immediately in order to preserve certain legal rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact Terry and Kelly, PLLC at 512-910-2000 for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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