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Snow Season

Snow Shoveling Requirements

Berkley is very fortunate to be a walkable community.  Our residents, especially children, are fortunate to be able to walk to school and parks.  It shows pride in ownership and respect for your neighbors and the community if you shovel the sidewalks abutting your property. 

Sometimes, it is not always possible to shovel the sidewalks.  The City receives a federal grant that helps pay for a Senior Home Chore program.  This program helps low to moderate income seniors with chores around the house like snow shoveling.  If there is an elderly neighbor that is having a hard time keeping the sidewalks clear, let our Recreation Department know (248) 658-3370.  They will contact the resident with more information. 

While it shows pride in ownership and the community to shovel the sidewalks, city law only requires Oxford Park Towers and all business property to be cleared of snow (Berkley City Code, Section 106-221).

The ordinance does not apply to everyone because there is no fair way to enforce such a provision.  It would take many hours to inspect all the residential and nonresidential properties in the City of Berkley.  Depending upon the weather, more snow could fall before our officers finished the city or the previous snow fall could melt by the time they reached the other end of the city.   

Business properties that do not shovel in a timely manner (as defined in the ordinance) are given a reasonable period of time to correct the matter.  Berkley City Code, Section 106-222 provides that the City can clear the sidewalk and bill the property owner for the work.  Our Department of Public Works provides this service when needed.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding snow removal, please call (248) 658-3320. 

Snow Clearing Tips From Public Works

When clearing driveways and parking lots of snow, please remember to not push the snow into the street and be mindful of stacking snow too high, creating dangerous sight obstructions.  This is prohibited by Section 106-44 of the Berkley City Code.

When clearing snow from the street end of the driveway, if you pile the majority of the snow on the side opposite the direction that the snow plow travels (i.e. if the snow plow comes by your driveway headed north, pile the majority of the snow on the north side of the driveway) there will be less snow for the snow plow to pile back into the end of your driveway.

If you have a fire hydrant located on your property, please ensure that you do not pile snow on or around it, which might hinder access to the fire hydrant in the event of an emergency.

To assist us in our snow removal operations, please do not park vehicles on any street until after we have cleared the snow from the street.

Did You Know?

What materials do we use for de-icing our streets?

We use three materials:

  • Unrefined rock salt which contains approximately 98.5% Sodium Chloride, 1.2% Calcium Sulfate, and 0.1% Magnesium Chloride, and 0.2% rock.
  • Salt Brine which is predominately Calcium Chloride
  • Sugar Beet Juice which is a by product of the Sugar Beet refining process

Why is the salt sometimes blue in color? 

  • The blue coloring is an additive that serves two functions.  First, it helps to prevent clumping of the rock salt while it is being stored, and secondly, it makes it easier for the snow plow operator to see the salt as he/she is applying it to the street.

What is a typical winter snow accumulation in the City of Berkley? 

  • Southeastern Michigan normally receives between 39 to 43 inches of snowfall annually.