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Denver snow removal: Sidewalk rules, fines and where to get help in the metro

We’re taking a look at different rules across Denver metro communities and sharing resources for people who need help with the snow shoveling.
Posted: 1:37 PM, Mar 15, 2024
Updated: 2024-03-20 12:18:33-04
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DENVER — You can probably hear the scraping sounds in your Denver metro neighborhood as residents try to avoid tweaking backs removing the heavy snow packed down on the sidewalks.

If you’re hoping to let the Colorado sun do its magic on the snow, keep in mind each Denver metro community has rules and fines in place on how long residents have to shovel snow off the sidewalks.

We’re taking a look at different rules across Denver metro communities and sharing resources for people who need help with the snow shoveling.

Denver sidewalk snow removal rules

After the snow stops, Denver businesses are required to clear sidewalks immediately while residences are supposed to clear sidewalks by the next day, according to the city’s snow and ice build-up fact sheet.

“Denver requires property owners or tenants to clear their walkways, including adjacent ADA ramps,so that EVERYONE has safe access throughout the City! Senior citizens, people with disabilities, parents with strollers, and mail carriers -just to name a few -struggle to negotiate hazardous walkways,” the city says.

If you find an unshoveled sidewalk 24 hours after the snow has fallen, the city urges people to call 311 to report the address.

Sidewalk enforcement: Denver has inspectors who will first leave notices that are time-stamped at properties with unshoveled sidewalks. If a notice is received, businesses have 4 hours while residences have 24 hours to clean the sidewalk before an inspector hands out a hefty $150 fine.

Denver residents can also dial 311 to report ice accumulation on streets.

Denver’s Snow Angel program is available to assist older residents and disabled people who need help clearing sidewalks.

Learn more about Denver’s Snow Angels at this link, email or call 720-913-SNOW (7669).

Littleton sidewalk snow removal rules

Littleton residents have “a reasonable amount of time” after the snow stops to remove the snow from sidewalks, according to the city.

Here’s what Littleton city code says: “The owner, occupant or agent of the owner of any building, property or vacant lot in the city shall maintain the sidewalks, the parking and curbs, that is, the area from the property line to the gutter adjoining such building, property or vacant lot, in a clean condition and shall be required to remove snow and ice from adjoining sidewalks within a reasonable time after every snowfall,”

Additionally, the city of Littleton says a fine of $300 is possible for a person “convicted of violating” the code.

Shoveling rules: How long you have to clear sidewalks before a warning

Aurora sidewalk snow removal rules

Aurora municipal code says any Aurora resident or property owner has 24 hours after snow ends to remove snow and ice from sidewalks. In the case of a city-declared snow emergency, residents and property owners have 48 hours, according to the city’s website.

Aurora code enforcement officers check sidewalk complaints from citizens and can impose a $25 fee for a single-family residence and $50 for other structures after 24 hours. The fee can be imposed again after 48 hours if the snow is not removed, the city says.

If snow still hasn’t been cleared from sidewalks, Aurora says it will use the city contractor to remove the snow and bill the property owner for the cost.

Aurora residents concerned about an unshoveled sidewalk can contact Access Aurora at 303-739-7000 while questions about the city’s snow removal ordinance can be directed to 303-739-7280.

For Aurora residents who need help with clearing snow from sidewalks, the city recommends Snow Busters, a volunteer program in place to help the elderly and people with disabilities.

Snow Busters in Aurora also look for volunteers to help neighbors, and you can find that information at this link.

Castle Rock sidewalk snow removal rules

Residents and business owners in Castle Rock are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks within 48 hours after a snow event where there is 2 inches or more of accumulation, according to the city’s website.

Castle Rock residents who need help shoveling snow from sidewalks can contact Aging Resources of Douglas County. The city says the program is available for qualified seniors and membership, while free, is required to seek assistance. To learn more about Aging Resources of Douglas County or apply for membership, call 303-814-4300 or email the program

Lakewood sidewalk snow removal rules

Lakewood residents and businesses must shovel snow from sidewalks 24 hours after the end of the storm, according to the city, which adds it is unlawful to shovel snow into the street, “instead, pile it up in your yard, your neighbors who drive the street will appreciate it, and so will your lawn next spring,” according to Lakewood’s website.

Residents in Lakewood can report a snow-covered sidewalk after 24 hours by visiting this link.

“Residents who may be physically unable to clear their sidewalks should consider making an arrangement with a neighbor or a volunteer neighborhood group or paying a company that provides snow removal services,” says the city on its website.


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Westminster sidewalk snow removal rules

In Westminster, residents must remove snow from sidewalks 24 hours after a winter storm ends. The city says residents can report an unshoveled sidewalk by calling Code Enforcement at 303-658-4432.

Westminster’s Snow Busters program is available to senior and disabled residents who need help shoveling sidewalks.

The volunteer-run program is a free service and the city says “each snow season we have a waiting list for this service,”

To learn more, contact the volunteer coordinator at this link.

Highlands Ranch sidewalk snow removal rules

Snow is required to be removed within 24 hours in Highlands Ranch. The city’s website says homeowners must remove not only snow along sidewalks but clear snow around mail boxes and fire hydrants.

To report a problem in Highlands Ranch, use this link.

Castle Pines sidewalk snow removal rules

After a snowstorm, Castle Pines residents must clear snow from sidewalks and driveway entrances within 24 hours.

According to the city’s website: “This is particularly important along school pedestrian routes to prevent children from having to walk in the street. It is requested that residents place snow from their driveways and sidewalks onto their front yard and not into the street.”

Boulder sidewalk snow removal rules

Residents, property owners, landlords and tenants have 24 hours to remove snow and ice from sidewalks after flurries have stopped to avoid facing a fine.“Failure to remove snow from sidewalks may result in fines and costs for a private snow removal contractor,” says the city’s website.

The city’s code says violators could face the charges to remove snow plus a $50 administration fee, in addition to other penalties.

Snow in Boulder should not be shoveled into alleyways or streets, according to the city.

Boulder also has a Snow Busters program for residents who need help clearing sidewalks and the city is seeking volunteers. Information on the Snow Busters program can be found here.

Fort Collins sidewalk snow removal rules

Residents in Fort Collins have 24 hours after accumulation to remove snow from public sidewalks, including sidewalks that cross over driveways.

The city says Code Compliance inspectors will enforce snow removal rules and can hire contractors to remove snow at the property owner’s expense.

Fort Collins provides an online reporting tool if a resident encounters unshoveled sidewalks after 24 hours or residents can call a hotline at 416-2200.

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