SPRING CREEK – A new rule prohibiting pushing snow into the road or across a roadway in Spring Creek was approved in its first reading this week.
The Committee of Architecture voted 3-1 to move forward with the rule that came up after residents complained to the Spring Creek Association about neighbors dumping piles of snow into the roads or on the side of the road near culverts that melts and creates drainage issues.
The proposed rule states that “pushing, plowing, or blowing snow into or across the roadway at any property is strictly prohibited. Any violations of the rule shall be treated as a nuisance.”
According to the COA’s Rules and Regulations, nuisance complaints submitted to the COA are evaluated on a case-by-case basis “by any person whose property is injuriously affected or whose personal enjoyment is lessened by the nuisance.”
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If a violation appears three times within 12 months on a COA agenda, the matter will go to the Spring Creek Association Board of Directors who may consider legal action against the property owner.
COA Secretary Rikki Bundrock said she’s received calls from property owners this winter with complaints ranging from blocked driveways to drainage ditches that were filled with snow that is now creating problems as it melts.
“Right now we have a policy but it’s not a rule or regulation,” she explained, adding that the proposed rule would become enforceable by the COA.
“The proposal was to do something in the rules so the Committee could act upon it if it was a continuous nuisance because right now it’s not a rule,” she said.
Attorney Katie McConnell said the rule is similar to snow removal plans for the City of Elko and Elko County that prohibit shoveling snow directly into the street.
“We’re trying to enforce [Spring Creek Association’s] snow removal policy and plan,” she said.
Spring Creek Association president and general manager Jessie Bahr added that without the rule some people could “take advantage” and dump excessive amounts of snow in an area that might cause drainage issues as it melts.
Committee Chair Kevin Martindale and members Bonnie Bawcom and Kenny Kelly approved the first reading, with Kelly DiLulo absent.
Kelly said that while neighbors were “awesome about helping each other with snow removal,” someone dumping snow onto a neighbor’s property is “basically pushing your problem off onto” them.
Member Nick Czegledi opposed the first reading, explaining he was concerned that the wording in the rule didn’t specifically state the travel portion of the roadway and could include easements. He pointed to his former career in law enforcement that defines a roadway to include the travel portion and easement up to the fence line.
McConnell said the proposed rule did not stipulate pushing snow into the easement, but was intended to address concerns from residents who have complained that snow had been pushed to their driveways by a neighbor and blocked them from getting out.
When plowing, “stay on your side, but once you’re in the road or across the road, that is where the problems come in because you’re venturing outside the area you have dominion or control over,” she said.
Martindale suggested that the rule could be approved on Monday with a three-to-one vote and changes and suggestions could be made to meet Czegledi’s concerns at the next reading.
The second reading will be conducted by the Committee of Architecture on April 10.