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Sidewalk Repair Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Town recommend I do if I have a sidewalk that needs replacement?
It is recommended that you seek price estimates from private contractors, make sure the contractors are fully insured, willing to provide references, and will enter into a written contract with the contractor you select.

Can the Town recommend a private contractor that will do the work?
No, but we understand that sometimes it can be difficult to have a contractor respond to your phone calls or provide a quote.  A list of contractors is on file at the Town’s Engineering Department. It is in your best interest to obtain multiple quotes and make sure the contractor you select is fully insured, can provide references, and is willing to sign a contract for the work.

Why are Town residents responsible for sidewalk repair?
Section 83-9-5 of Chapter 83 of the Code of the Town of Amherst (Building Construction Administration) provides the owner’s responsibilities for sidewalk maintenance.

Section 151-60C of the Code of the Town of Amherst (Property Maintenance) also requires that property owners are responsible for sidewalk repairs.

Section 302.3 of the Property Maintenance Code of New York State also applies to sidewalks and driveways.

What is Chapter 151 of the Town Code?
Section 151-60C – Sidewalks and driveways, all sidewalks, walkways,
stairs, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas, shall be kept in a
proper state of repair and maintained free from hazardous conditions.

Who determines whether sidewalks are in need of repair?
Building Department inspectors enforce the Town Code in response to complaints
within a specific area.  Inspectors mark sidewalks that are safety / tripping
hazards to pedestrians. 

How do I interpret the sidewalk markings?
If markings have been provided on the public sidewalk associated with your
property, an “R” means that the section of sidewalk needs to be repaired or
replaced.  A horizontal line drawn on the tripping hazard means that you can provide an acceptable filler.

Who do I contact to question the sidewalk markings?
Call the Amherst Building Department @ 716-631-7080 (between 8 and 10am is recommended).

How long do I have to comply with my sidewalk repair?
The compliance date will be noted in the letter sent by the Building Department
shortly after inspection.  The time period indicated will depend on a number of factors such as the level of hazard and weather conditions.

What if I have difficulty completing the required repairs by the compliance date?
Contact the Building Department for a possible extension of the compliance date.

What if I fail to repair my sidewalk after I receive an official notice?
Failure to comply will result in further enforcement action by the Town of
Amherst.  The Town may arrange to have the violations corrected either by Town
of Amherst or an independent contractor hired by the town.  The cost of the repair will be added to the property taxes.  In addition, the Town may serve you with an appearance ticket if you do not perform the required work. 

What if a “town” tree damages my sidewalk?
The repairs are still required by the adjacent parcel owner.  The Town’s Highway
Department, upon request, can grind the tree roots or determine if the tree can be
removed.

How can we arrange to have our tree roots removed?
Call the Highway Department, Forestry Division at 631-7117.  You must follow
Highway Department guidelines and provide at least five working days notice for
this service.

Can my hired contractor repair more sidewalk blocks than what is marked?
Yes.

About Amherst

The Town of Amherst was established in 1818 and celebrates its 200th Anniversary this year. The town has a geographical area of 53.6 square miles and a population of greater than 122,000.

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The Town of Amherst ADA Coordinators are Robert McCarthy (Director of Human Resources) and Brian Andrzejewski (Commissioner of Buildings).

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  • General Information:
    (716) 631-7000
  • Email:
    toainfo@amherst.ny.us
  • Address:
    Municipal Building (Town Hall)
  • 5583 Main Street
  • Williamsville, NY 14221