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Message from Mayor Carolyn Comitta

January 31, 2011

Mayor Carolyn ComittaDear Neighbors:

Given that our winter weather keeps on coming, I hope these reminders are helpful. Please forward to others.

Please see sections from the Borough Code below regarding snow removal laws regarding salting and shoveling sidewalks and laws prohibiting snow being dumped (plowed, shoveled, etc.) into any public street, park or public property. The main concern at this time is people shoveling or plowing snow back onto the streets.  

Because of the amount of snow we are dealing with, police will be enforcing and ticketing to try to keep private snow removal operators and people from pushing snow onto the streets and adding to the problem of keeping our streets clear. (See Subsection “C” below).  

Please go to for updates on snow removal operations in the Borough.  Remember that a snow emergency is not in effect unless it is called by the Mayor, at which time the Borough’s call-out system “CTY”, will call and email details.  

Snow emergency routes that have signs that require snow at least 4-inches deep are in effect regardless of a called snow emergency. Cars not removed will be ticketed and towed. Other “snow emergency routes” (without 4-inch snow reqirements on the signs) are NOT in effect unless an official “snow emergency” is called, at which times all cars must be removed from those routes and the parking garages are open for free parking during the duration of the “emergency”.  

Please know that the Borough puts public safety first, and has a plan in place to clear those routes first that are most critical to the passage of emergency vehicles. If your street and parking lanes are not being cleared as well as you would like, please know that the Public Works department will get there. If we were in Buffalo, NY, we would have the equipment and employees to clear much more quickly, as heavy snow is the norm there (it only feels like we are in Buffalo). If heavy winter snows become the norm for West Chester, then we will have to rethink our budget and resources allocation. But for now, we will operate as effectively and efficiently as we can with the resources we have, with public safety the priority. This means that your parking lanes will eventually be plowed during the “no parking 8am-11am” zones as resources allow.

That being said, we all agree that the Mayor should have called a Snow Emergency for the last storm! Hindsight is always 20/20. I regret any inconvenience we've endured. The Borough continually reviews our snow removal procedures and have met just today to make additional improvements in operation and communication. We will keep working to improve things as we manage the challenges our beautiful and historic streets present to us!

Thank you and take good care of yourself in the coming inclement weather.


Carolyn T. Comitta
Mayor of West Chester

From West Chester Borough Code: regarding ice and snow removal --

95-18.  Duty to remove; time limit.   [Amended 4-12-1978 by Ord. No. 3-1978]  

A. Within a period of 24 hours after the cessation of a snowfall or other precipitation, all property owners of owner-occupied residences and/or businesses, the tenants of all leased property, the owners of all unoccupied property and the owners of property leased to two or more tenants shall remove all snow and ice from the sidewalks abutting on their respective owned or leased property so that a width of not less than three feet is cleared.  

B. When ice appears on a sidewalk, but before it can be removed as provided herein, a nonskid material, such as rock salt, cinders, ashes or sand, shall be applied to the sidewalks within six hours after the cessation of the precipitation that created the icy conditions. When ice appears on a sidewalk because of any reason other than precipitation, a nonskid material such as rock salt, cinders, ashes or sand shall be applied to ice on the sidewalk within two hours after the tenant or owner, as the case may be, knows or should have notice of the ice on the sidewalk.  

C. No person shall push, dump or deposit in any manner, or cause to be pushed, dumped or deposited in any manner, any snow or ice which has accumulated on any sidewalk or private property onto any street, private street, public park or public property in the Borough. Upon direction or notice from the Borough police or representative from the Borough's Public Works Department, any person who is found pushing, dumping or depositing snow or ice onto any street, private street, public park or public property in the Borough shall immediately desist from such action and shall remove any snow or ice from the street or public property that has been unlawfully deposited thereon. If the person so notified fails to comply as aforesaid, he shall be subject to the fines set forth in § 95-21 of this chapter. [Amended 1-21-2004 by Ord. No. 2-2004] 



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