As families begin back-to-school activities, the City reminds all residents to survey their front sidewalks and properties and clear them as needed to allow children and families a safe path as they begin school.
“With children and parents walking to and from schools we want to ensure they can easily walk down sidewalks without having to dodge tree limbs or shrubbery that would cause them to walk into the streets,” said Dustin Molinaro, Supervisor of the Neighborhood Services Division. “Low hanging limbs are also an issue and need to be trimmed for pedestrians to walk under them as well as the school buses to pass under without interference. Often this is an easy fix for home occupants who can quickly trim back their bushes, cut back their limbs, or pick up fallen debris. These activities would not only help the kids heading to school but all who might walk in their neighborhoods.”
Citizens are reminded that keeping these areas clear of their overhanging limbs or shrubs and ground debris is part of the City’s Code of Ordinances, listed at the end of this document.
“We are reminding citizens and encouraging them to take a few minutes to clear their sidewalks and front properties of these types of issues so our children and others can easily use the sidewalks, and buses can clear under the trees.,” said Molinaro. “As school draws closer, our Neighborhood Improvement Officers will be monitoring neighborhoods and properties to ensure residents are following these guidelines.”
If an area is found in violation the property owner will be contacted through a notice of violation with directions to tend to the area within approximately two weeks. Upon reinspection at that time, if the officer finds it has not been completed, the property owner receives a court citation for this nuisance.
“This is a mere safety matter for all of our citizens, and especially those who are utilizing the sidewalks, to provide a clear and accessible environment,” he said. “It’s also an asset to the community beautification efforts our citizens have voiced as an important issue in recent surveys.”
Residents can take tree branches and limbs to the City’s free monthly tree limb drop-off location which is open the third Friday and Saturday of each month. The site is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located at 1702 North Schifferdecker Avenue, approximately six-tenths of a mile north of Belle Center Road on the west side of Schifferdecker Avenue. This free drop-off service is for Joplin residents only. Professional contractors will not be allowed to dump.
Another disposal option is through Republic Services, Joplin’s residential trash contractor, which allows yard waste removal on residents’ regular trash pick-up day. Limbs must be cut to a maximum of four (4) feet and bundled. Bundles shall be no heavier than 50 pounds. The diameter of each tree limb shall be no larger than four (4) inches.
Please contact the Recycling Coordinator at 417-624-0820, ext. 1501 with any questions about the site drop-off. For questions about curbside pickup, contact Republic Services at 800-431-1507.
For questions about this ordinance or other code enforcement ordinances, contact Dustin Molinaro at 417-624-0820, ext. 1553. The full listing of Joplin’s Code of Ordinances can be found on the City’s website.
ARTICLE III. - TREES AND SHRUBS
DIVISION 1. - GENERALLY
Sec. 122-52. - Minimum height of branches above street or sidewalk.
The owner, agent or occupant of any house, building, lot or parcel of land in the city in or upon which trees, hedges or shrubs are standing shall trim or cause to be trimmed the branches from the tree, hedge or shrub so that there shall be a clear height of nine feet above the surface of the sidewalk and a clear height of 14 feet above the surface of the roadway, street or alley, unobstructed by branches. Any branches kept or maintained contrary to this section are hereby declared to be nuisances.
(Code 1977, § 40-2)
Chapter 106 - STREETS, SIDEWALKS AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES
Sec. 106-7. - Unlawful obstructions and deposits.
- Any person who shall obstruct any street, alley, sidewalk, easement or right-of-way or other public grounds with any kind of vehicle, tractor, trailer, boat, coach, carriage, bus, engine, car, box, lumber, wood, structure, sign, fence, barricade, or other thing or object, or shall place thereon any earth, dirt, filth, rubbish or substance of any kind, except with the prior consent of the director of public works being first obtained or except in such manner and at such times as may be permitted by any other provision of this Code or other ordinance of the city, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in section 1-5.
- Sec. 106-8. - Sweeping dirt or litter onto sidewalk; duty to keep sidewalks clean.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sweep any dirt or litter of any kind whatsoever out of any building or private premises or on any sidewalk space or into any street, alley, avenue or public highway. All sidewalks and sidewalk space shall be kept clean from all dirt or litter by the owners or occupants of the property fronting thereon.
(Code 1977, § 37-9)