It looks like we, the residents of West Hollywood (or at least the residents who park at parking meters) are responsible for keeping the city’s commercial sidewalks clean. Sort of. We, and visitors to our city, are the ones paying the recent 33% increase in parking meter rates (now $2 an hour) to fund a commercial sidewalk deep cleaning program that City Hall launched in August.
That program has been the focus of a recent debate about whether the city is doing enough to keep business sidewalks clean. Owners of businesses on the 8800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, unhappy with the implementation and execution of the city’s sidewalk cleaning program, have engaged a contractor to clean the sidewalks in front of their businesses.
But while the city will be paying for power washing on a weekly basis (monthly in some areas), it is commercial business owners who are responsible for keeping sidewalks clean daily in front of their businesses. That’s the practice in many other cities. In New York City, for example, the law states that “as a business owner, you are required to: Clean the sidewalk and gutters next to your business, extending from the building line to 18 inches into the street. Fine avoided: $100 – $300.”
Clearly that isn’t happening on some blocks in WeHo. The video above, shot recently in the Boystown nightlife area, was shared with WEHOville by the owner of a business in the Midtown area.
“Not sure how this is legal,” said the business owner who made the video, noting that he can get a $400 fine for leaving something he is selling sitting in front of his store. “However these bars are allowed to close at night and leave the front of their shops a disgusting mess. It should be required that they sweep and hose off the front each night.”
Would such daily (or nightly) by business owners as required by law cleaning reduce the need for the weekly and monthly power cleaning the city is paying for?
So let’s discuss: Should local business owners be more aggressively fined for not keeping the sidewalks in front of their businesses clean? And should they be required to pay the cost of power cleaning the sidewalks as well?
Please remember to keep the discussion focused on the issue and not on other commenters.