San Diego looks for ways to pay for sidewalk repairs

November 23, 2018 by  

City leaders in San Diego are looking for ways to pay for repairs to deteriorating sidewalks, and are considering having homeowners pick up the tab.

Personal injury lawsuits have been filed against the city because of the poor quality of some sidewalks, and San Diego has paid out $11m in these actions in just the past five years. Some have predicted that injuries will rise as electric scooters come into use and grow in popularity.

One idea being considered is to have any homeowner who is trying to sell their property pay for repairs to their sidewalk. This is one suggestion made by San Diego’s Independent Budget Analyst, who spent months looking at the way other cities in California handle the problem. In Pasadena, property owners are required to have damaged sidewalks next to their property repaired before they are allowed to sell.

The option being pursued in Pasadena could become part of a master plan that San Diego’s infrastructure committee will review, as it considers how to find a way to come up with the $40m it needs to fix the city’s sidewalks. It may also consider waiving fees required to obtain permits for sidewalk repairs.

City officials say state law mandates that homeowners are responsible for the sidewalk next to their property, and that most people are unaware of this. Officials facing issues like this can use flyer printing to keep residents informed of decisions.