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Title 9: Streets, Sidewalks, and Public Places

Chapter 9-1  Names of Streets and Avenues
Chapter 9-2  Sidewalks
Chapter 9-3  Snow Removal
Chapter 9-4  Trees in Public Places
Chapter 9-5  Use of Streets and Public Places
Chapter 9-6  Excavations In Public Places

Chapter 9-1  Names of Streets and Avenues

9-1-1   Plats Part of Ordinance.  Those plats indicating the names of street and avenues of the City of Groton, South Dakota, now on file or filed on a future date in the office of the Register of Deeds of Brown County, South Dakota, are hereby incorporated as a part of this ordinance.

9-1-2   Official Map.  The official map of the City of Groton shall be those maintained in the office of the Register of Deeds of Brown County, South Dakota.

9-1-3   Names of the Streets and Avenues.  The official names of the streets and avenues in the City of Groton shall be those as shown on the official map maintained in the office of the Register of Deeds of Brown County, South Dakota.

9-1-4 Building Numbering.   

a) Addresses for dwelling units and places of business on all public and private streets shall be assigned by the Finance Officer in accordance with the procedures adopted by the City of Groton. 

b) Within thirty(30) days of notification of the address by the Finance Officer, the owner, occupant, person, firm, corporation or business in charge of any house or building to which an address has been assigned must place or construct such numbers as to be easily visible and distinguishable from the street or avenue on which the property is located.  Any other numbers must be removed to avoid confusion.  These numbers shall not be less than three (3) inches in height and of a contrasting color to the background.  The numbers shall be read horizontally from left to right or vertically from top to bottom.  The numbers in plain, block, vertical (not slanted) font are preferred.  The property owner, occupant, or person in charge of the structure shall pay for all costs and installation of the numbers.

c) In case a principle building is occupied by more than one business or family dwelling unit, each separate unit must display a separate unit number. 

d) If the building or dwelling is situated in such a way that the address can not be easily seen from the roadway in front of said structure, then a sign or address post must be used in front of the structure or at the entrance of the primary driveway and place in such a way that it can easily be seen from the roadway.

e) New structures must comply with this ordinance within 30 days of occupancy.

f) In the event that the owner of occupant or person in charge of any dwelling or building refuses, fails, or neglects to comply with the terms of this ordinance by placing the number assigned or replacing the number if necessary, a notice shall be sent to the property owner by first class or certified mail or by personal service giving ten days after date of the notice to comply.  Failure to comply with this notice will result in a fine not to exceed $50 for each offense and each day in violation constitutes a separate offense. 

Chapter 9-2  Sidewalks

9-2-1   Supervision of Sidewalk and Curbing Construction.  The building and construction of all sidewalks and curbing within the limits of the streets and alleys of the City of Groton shall be done under the direct approval of the city and all such sidewalks and curbs shall be constructed on the grades as determined by said city. 

9-2-2   Specifications.  The construction of all sidewalks and curbing, whether to be done by direct contract with the City of Groton or by contract with the abutting property owners, shall be done strictly in accordance with the specifications for sidewalks and curbing adopted by the city council and on file in the office of the finance officer.  The city council may condemn work and material not in accordance with the requirements of said specifications.

9-2-3   Permit Required.  Before any sidewalk or curbing is constructed within the limits of the streets and alleys in the City of Groton by any contractor or person for the owner or owners of abutting property, said contractor or person must first secure a permit from the finance officer.

9-2-4   Property Owner Responsible for Sidewalk Repair.  It shall be the duty of the person in possession of any lot, parcel, or plot of ground fronting or abutting upon any sidewalk, to keep such sidewalk in repair as provided by SDCL 9-46-2.  Once a sidewalk has been placed along a property it can not be removed without replacement.

9-2-5   Sidewalk Repair.  When the City Council deems it necessary to construct, rebuild, or repair any sidewalk in the city, it shall notify the owners of lots adjoining the sidewalk to construct, build, or repair any sidewalk in the city at their own expense within a designated time.  The written notice shall be served personally or by certified mail, return receipt, or by publication, once in each week for two consecutive weeks.  If the sidewalk is not constructed, reconstructed, or repaired in a manner or written the time prescribed in the notice, the city council may cause the work to be done by the hour or by the job and assess the cost of the work against the lots fronting or abutting upon the sidewalk as provided by SDCL 9-46-4 through 9-46-9.

Chapter 9-3  Snow and Ice Removal

9-3-1   Duty of Owner or Occupant.  It shall be the duty of the owner, occupant, or person in possession or in charge of any lot, parcel, or plot of ground of business property located within a commercial zoning district, fronting or abutting upon any public sidewalk, to keep such sidewalk free and clear from snow and ice at all times.  When it is impossible to take snow and ice from such walk because it is frozen to the sidewalk, the owner, occupant, or person in possession or in charge of such lot shall sprinkle or spread such suitable material upon the same to prevent the walk from becoming slippery and dangerous to travel, and in removing snow from said sidewalk it shall be unlawful for any person to shovel or blade the snow so removed into the street after the street has been cleared of snow by the city snow removal equipment. 

9-3-2   Duty of City Foreman.  It shall be the duty of the city foreman to notify all owners or persons in possession of property in the commercial zoning district abutting on sidewalks in the City of Groton to keep such sidewalk free from snow and ice, and remove the same immediately after every snow event. The city foreman shall give such notice with one (1) publication in the official newspaper of the city at the beginning of each snow season, which notice shall state that each owner or person in possession of property in a commercial zoning district is required to keep the sidewalks on which their property or premises abut, free and clear from snow and ice.  It is no defense of failure to comply with this ordinance to claim the owner did not see such notification in the official newspaper.

9-3-3   Refusal to Remove Snow and Ice.  If the owner or person in possession of the commercial zoning district property fails or refuses to remove the snow and ice after every snow event from such sidewalks, the city foreman may have the snow and ice removed and charge the costs thereof against the abutting property each time the snow and ice are removed.

9-3-4   Account to be Kept for the Removal of Snow and Ice.  The city foreman shall cause an account to be kept against each lot or parcel of land for the removal of snow from the sidewalk and the same shall be certified to the finance officer on or before April 15 of each year.  The finance officer shall prepare an estimate of the assessment against each lot or parcel of land for removal of snow for the proceeding winter and fall, and submit the same to the city council for its approval at or before its first meeting in June, and shall publish in the official newspaper of the city a notice to property owners of the time and place when the city council will meet for the purpose of approving such estimates.  Upon the day so named, the city council shall meet, and if they find said estimates correct, shall approve the same, or if not correct, they shall correct or modify the same and approve the same as corrected and modified, and file such assessment with the city finance officer.  From the date of such approval and filing, the assessment shall become a special lien against the various pieces of property described in said assessment, and shall be collected in  like manner as special assessments are now collected for public improvements.

9-3-5   Penalty.  Any person who fails to remove such snow and ice shall be subject to the penalties in this ordinance; and in addition thereto, shall be liable to the municipality for any damage caused by the neglect to keep such sidewalk clear and free of snow and ice as provided in this chapter.

Chapter 9-4   Trees in Public Places

9-4-1   Trimming Trees.  The occupant of any private premises, or the owner of the same if not occupied, abutting on any public street, road, or alley within the City of Groton shall keep all trees standing upon such premises, or between the same and the center of the adjoining street, road, or alley so trimmed that no bough or branches thereof shall be lower than fourteen (14) feet above the surface of the street, road, or alley; or any sidewalk thereon and away from service lines; provided that upon the failure of any occupant or owner to trim trees as in this section provided, the city council shall have authority to remove or cause to be removed under its supervision any trunk, limb, or branch of any tree that extends or hangs lower than fourteen (14) feet above the surface of any street, road, or alley, or sidewalk, or near any service lines, whether such trees be growing in privately owned property or on public property, and may cause the same to be trimmed and charged the expense thereof to the occupant or owner of such property.

9-4-2   Trees - Injury.  It shall be unlawful for any person to injure any tree, herb, or shrub planted in any public place by physical means, use of herbicides, or any means whatsoever, nor shall any person remove or cut down any tree, hedge, or shrub in any public place without first having secured a permit from the city foreman to do so.

9-4-3   Trees - Guidewires.  It shall be unlawful for any person to attach any wire or rope to any tree in a public place without having a permit from the city foreman to do so.

9-4-4   Trees to be Free From Wires, Cables.  Any person, company, or firm having the right to maintain wire, cables, and poles in any public street, alley, or other public place must keep such wire, cables, and poles free from and away from any trees or shrubs in such places so far as it may be possible, and shall keep all such trees and shrubs trimmed away from said poles and wire subject to the supervision of the street superintendent. In making excavations in streets or other public places for underground services or the repair thereof, said person, company, or firm shall take proper care to avoid injury to the roots of any tree, hedge, or shrub.

9-4-5   Trees Along Curbing.  It shall be unlawful for persons owning or occupying lots or parcels of land within the City of Groton to embellish the same by planting shade trees between the sidewalk and the curbing without first having secured a permit from the city council to do so.

9-4-6   Cottonwood Trees.  No female cottonwood trees other than existing trees shall be permitted within the city limits.

Chapter 9-5  Use of Streets and Public Places

9-5-1   Obstruction of Streets.  No person shall place, leave, or keep on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, or other public ground in the City of Groton any wagon, automobile, cart, truck, sleigh, or other vehicle, in the lane of traffic except when the same shall be in actual use; nor shall any person place, leave, or keep on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, or other public ground in this city, any other article, substance, or material which may obstruct the free use of said street, road, alley or sidewalk, or public ground, except as hereinafter provided.

9-5-2   Materials in Streets, Permit.  The city council is authorized to grant permission in writing to any person to deposit and keep lumber, stone, brick, or other materials for building in any public sidewalk, street, road, or alley adjacent to the building to be erected or repaired, but such permission shall not allow obstruction of more than one-third (1/3) in width of any driveway, sidewalk, street, road, or alley.

9-5-3   Cleaning Streets or the Sidewalk of Rubbish.  Every person to whom permission is granted to place and keep building material in the sidewalk, street, road, or alley shall cause all such material, and the rubbish resulting there from, to be removed from such sidewalk, street, road, or alley at the expiration of the time limited in the permit, unless the time shall for good cause be extended by the city council; and any person depositing and keeping any building material on such sidewalk, street, road, or alley shall keep one or more lighted lanterns or flares so placed that such material may be easily seen by persons passing along such sidewalk, street, road, or alley.

9-5-4   Excavation Near Street.  It shall be unlawful for any person, owner, or occupant of any lot or parcel of land within the City of Groton to make or cause to be made any excavation on said lot or parcel of land, unless the same be securely guarded so as to prevent the injury of any person or persons or animals passing upon or along said sidewalks, street, alleys, or public grounds or traveled path or roadway.

9-5-5   Eave Pipes.  No person shall place or maintain any pipe leading from the eaves of any building or any part of any building in said city in such a position that the water discharged from the roof of said building will flow upon or over any public sidewalk in said City.

9-5-6   Animals and Vehicles on Sidewalks.  No person shall ride, drive, or lead any animal upon any public sidewalk in the City of Groton; nor draw, propel, or cause to be drawn or propelled thereon any vehicle ordinarily drawn by any animal; nor drive, operate, or cause to be driven or operated any vehicle as defined in section 10-1-1 (U) upon any sidewalk in the city, except that the same may be driven across any sidewalk in entering or leaving the premises.

9-5-7 Power Cords Crossing Sidewalks.  All power cords crossing sidewalks (residential or commercial) must be kept a minimum of eight (8) feet above the ground or buried at least two (2) feet below the ground.

Chapter 9-6  Excavations in Public Places

9-6-1   Permit Required.  No person shall make or cause to be made any excavation in or under any street, parking area, sidewalk, alley, or public ground, or remove any earth, soil, paving, gravel, or material there from without first obtaining a permit.

9-6-2   Application.  Application for such permit shall be made to the finance officer.  Such application shall be accompanied by a fee of an amount set by the city council and on file at the office of the finance officer, which amount shall be considered compensation to the city for granting of such permit and the necessary investigation prior thereto.  Before any such permit is issued, the person requiring the same shall state in this application where such excavation is to be made, the extent thereof, in front of what lot or lots, and for what purpose said excavation is to be made.

9-6-3   Supervision of Excavations.  The city foreman shall approve all excavation made for any purpose in the streets, alleys, or public ground and shall require that all excavations be backfilled in the manner specified.

9-6-4     Guarding Excavations.  Any person receiving a permit to make excavations in or upon any street, alley, sidewalk, or public ground shall, during the progress and continuance of the work, erect and maintain around the same both by day and night suitable guards or fences with flares, or signals so as to prevent injury to persons, animals, or vehicles.  Such flares shall be kept lighted from sundown until sunrise.

9-6-5     Refilling Excavations.  Any person making such excavations shall, when the same is completed, promptly and without delay refill the same at the property owner's expense as herein provided.

In refilling any excavation, the earth shall be thoroughly settled through compaction as the refilling progresses; the earth shall be thoroughly tamped in successive layers of approximately six (6) inches, in such a manner that all the earth shall be replaced in the excavation leaving the surface in its original condition.

In making connection to fire hydrants for flushing excavations, all rules and regulations relating thereto shall be observed.

In all cases where excavations are made in pavement the earth shall be replaced in the manner above specified, and the pavement shall be replaced by the city at the owner’s expense.

9-6-6     Cutting Pavements.  Where it is necessary to cut the street pavement in making any street excavation, there shall be deposited with the finance officer before permit is issued an amount determined by multiplying the number of square yards of pavement to be removed by the costs of the new pavement which is on file at the office of the finance officer.  The deposit shall be credited to the general fund and be used in replacing said pavements.

9-6-7     Operating in Sidewalks.  It shall be unlawful to make, or cause to be made, or maintain any opening in any sidewalk for the purpose of providing light for a basement or cellar or for ventilating the same, unless such opening shall be guarded with a substantial railing of iron not less than three (3) feet high, or which a substantial iron grating or other strong substantial cover, the grates of which shall be not more than one (1) inch apart.  No railing or grate shall occupy more than two (2) feet of the sidewalk, measuring from the inner side thereof.

9-6-8     Excavations Under Sidewalks.  Any person having or erecting any building abutting upon any street, avenue, or alley in the City of Groton, may excavate under the sidewalk or to the curb for the purpose of constructing a cellar or basement under the sidewalk in front of or adjoining said building; provided, that said excavation shall be surrounded upon the outer side and ends thereof with a substantial wall, to be approved by the street superintendent, sufficient to maintain the sidewalk.  A permit for sidewalk construction must be obtained and the provisions pertaining thereto as described in chapter 9-2 followed.

9-6-9     Curb and Gutter. No person shall construct or cause to be constructed or installed in, on, or along side any city street a curb and gutter without first obtaining a permit to do so from the city finance officer. A permit may be granted only if the following specifications shall be met:

1.   The curb and gutter shall be concrete (the form to be approved by the city foreman) with minimum compressive strength of 4000 PSI, twenty-four inches in width and a depth of six inches for the gutter section, with a minimum gravel cushion of four inches under the curb and gutter with expansion joints every twenty feet with expansion joint filler.

2.   No curb and gutter can be installed unless one continuous curb and gutter is installed at the same time from the corner of a corner lot to the corner of the opposite corner lot, with a continuation of the curb and gutter around each corner lot with concrete fillets on each corner adjacent to the intersection of each street involved, which corner intersection shall have handicap accessible ramps whether or not there are intersecting sidewalks adjacent to the curb and gutter.

3.   Before installation of the curb and gutter, the involved property owners must have the curb and gutter line surveyed and staked to insure proper slope of the curb and gutter in relationship to the appropriate storm drains on the intersecting streets, the grade of the street and present or future sidewalks.

4.   All labor and materials shall be the sole responsibility of the individual land owners affected by the installation of the curb and gutter.

5.   The city foreman must approve the curb and gutter plan before and during
construction.

6.   The city assumes no liability or responsibility for or from the curb and gutter installation. The land owners involved shall accept full responsibility and liability for and from the installation of the curb and gutter.