In general, Douglas County is responsible for all street and road plowing including local residential streets. The High Prairie Farms Metro District is responsible for snow removal on District hard-surfaced trails and around community mail boxes while homeowners are responsible for sidewalks in front and along the sides of their homes. Occasionally, you may see District personnel and equipment plowing a neighborhood street in an effort to assist the County in their residential responsibilities and as a courtesy to local homeowners.
Remember, by Douglas County Ordinance, homeowners are required to remove snow from sidewalks within 24 hours after snow stops.
Douglas County Snow Removal Policy
Snow and ice can be dangerous for all ages, but especially for children, the elderly and persons with disabilities who are more susceptible to injury. For example, when sidewalks are not cleared of snow and ice, children will often weave in and out of streets and sidewalks on their way to or from school or to and from the bus, which is a safety concern.
For these reasons, property owners in unincorporated Douglas County are responsible for removing snow and ice from sidewalks surrounding their property within 24 hours after it stops snowing. They are also responsible for ensuring that snow from their sidewalk and driveway is not placed into the street or public right-of-way.
Douglas County understands that there may be times when 24 hours is not reasonable, such as when as extreme amount of snow has fallen. If a situation like this occurs, Douglas County may extend the 24-hour period of time for snow removal and post the extension on the County Web site, www.douglas.co.us.
Incorporated areas of Douglas County (cities and towns) have separate snow removal policies. Refer to individual cities and towns for specifics.
Consequences for not Adhering to this Policy
Property owners who do not adhere to the Douglas County snow removal policy may receive a written notice requiring that they remove the snow within the next 24 hours. If snow is removed from sidewalks prior to the expiration of the posted 24-hour notice, no further action will take place. If snow is not removed within the posted 24-hour notice, the County may remove the snow and all related costs will be billed to the property owner where the conditions existed. Snow removal costs may be collected in any manner allowed by law, including but not limited to placing a lien on the property and collecting the amount in the same manner as real property taxes.
Anyone who violates the snow removal policy is committing a class 2 petty offense and if convicted is punishable by a fine not to exceed $50 per violation. This ordinance is enforced by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Snow Placement and Vehicle Parking
Please do not place snow in the street. Piles of snow in the gutter will inhibit drainage
resulting in ice buildup in gutters and on sidewalks. Citizens are advised to place all snow from sidewalks and driveways on adjacent landscaped areas. Automobiles and other vehicles left parked on County roads during a winter storm make it difficult for snow plows to remove snow and risk damage.
For more information on Douglas County snow removal policies, please visit www.douglas.co.us/publicworks/operations. Snow_and_Ice_Removal.html
To report potholes in the roadway, please contact the Public Works Department at 303-660-7480
County Snow Removal Priority System
To provide efficient and effective snow removal on County roads priorities are assigned. These priorities are determined based on several factors which include:
Priority 1 – Arterial
Arterials are major roadways which provide for high traffic volumes over medium to long distances. Arterials are used for interregional, inter-county, and intra-county travel needs.
Priority 2 – Collector / School Bus Routes
Collectors distribute traffic between arterial and local roads, serve as main connectors within subdivisions, and link one subdivision to another. Collectors generally do not provide direct access to private property.
Priority 3 – Local Roads
Local roads provide for low to medium traffic volumes within subdivisions and provide direct access to resi- dences or private property.
Priority 4 – Cul-de-sacs
These are short local roads with no outlet that provide access to residents within subdivisions.
Roads NOT maintained by Douglas County:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT SNOW REMOVAL
Why doesn’t the county plow my street when they go by?
Routes are plowed on a priority basis with arterials and collectors being top priority. Cleaning priority roads opens routes into all residential streets.
Why did the plow come through and plow my drive- way shut again?
Cleanup and widening operations often take place one to four days after the storm, depending on wind conditions and the severity of the storm. it is necessary to widen roads to help melt snow, improve drain- age and provide room for additional snow if necessary. Cleanup operations help reduce icing problems in the roadway and on sidewalks.
Who is responsible for clearing sidewalks?
Residents are responsible for clearing their driveways and sidewalks. Homeowners should place snow into their front yard to help hydrate their lawn. Snow should NOT be placed into the street.
What if I have an emergency and my street isn’t plowed?
If an emergency situation occurs dial 9-1-1. Equipment will be diverted for critical emergencies immediately. The Sheriff’s Department is in constant communication with Public Works staff during storms.
For additional information concerning Douglas County’s snow removal policy and procedures, please visit www.douglas.co.us and search for snow removal.