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Sidewalk Bill Moving Again

Author Commits to Amendments but Doesn’t Address City Concerns

June 22, 2012

On Wednesday, the Assembly Local Government Committee considered AB 2231 (Fuentes) regarding sidewalk repair responsibilities. As currently in print, AB 2231 would require voter approval before cities and counties could repeal an existing ordinance that states that the jurisdiction would take responsibility for sidewalk repair. The bill is expected to move quickly, and cities are encouraged to submit updated oppose letters as soon as possible.


AB 2231 originally failed to pass on May 30, but received multiple rule waivers and was allowed to be reheard by the committee. In order to garner the votes to get out of committee, the author committed to make amendments in the future. While the details of the future amendments are unavailable, the League was told that they will be similar to previous versions of the bill that prohibited an assessment.

The bill undermines the role of a city council and creates a disincentive for cities to assist with sidewalk repair. Once amended, cities will be little to no recourse to ensure that repairs are completed by adjacent property owners, as required by state law. 

Current law states that the adjacent property owner is responsible for sidewalk repair, but allows cities the flexibility to choose to take on all or some of the responsibility. Current law also sets a framework for cities to work from when an adjacent property owner refuses to fix a sidewalk. 

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