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State Law Could Make Cities/Counties Pay for Sidewalks

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Meet AB 2231, a state bill that would hold cities and counties responsible for repairs to sidewalks that are damaged by trees planted by municipalities. It passed out of the Local Government Committee earlier this week. The League of California Cities, which opposes the bill, explains AB 2331 as follows: "This bill would require a city or county to repair any sidewalk that is damaged as a result of trees, and prohibits the local entity from imposing a fee on the property owner for the repair. The bill also shifts liability for trip and fall claims to the city." The bill responds to recent efforts by the Los Angeles City Council to alleviate some of its budget deficit by transferring responsibility and liability for sidewalk repairs to homeowners (sidewalks were the responsibility of homeowners until 1973, when a federal grant inspired the city to take over). Earlier this week, the City Maven quotes the author of the bill, Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes, in a statement: "In Los Angeles, homeowners should not be forced to pay for maintenance when trees that they did not plant tear up their sidewalks."

Since AB 2331 passed the Assembly Local Government Committee, the League of California Cities put out an online appeal for cities to oppose the bill, tagging it with a "Hot Bill" designation. The bill must still be approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee--the Judiciary Committee is expected to consider the bill on April 24.
· Three League Hot Bills Pass Out of Committees This Week [League of CA Cities]
· State Lawmaker Wants to Make Sure Cities, Counties Pay for Sidewalk Repairs [City Maven]
· Where the Sidewalk Ends...In a Tree Root-Related Lawsuit [Curbed LA]