ordinance about when I can run my snowblower

It’s Sunday, April 15, 2018, and as I write this, we’re experiencing the worst blizzard I’ve seen in a long time. Many areas have seen a foot or so of snow in the last 24 hours, and forecasts are saying we’ll get another foot or so today and tomorrow.

My neice, a De Pere resident, just asked on Facebook about any restrictions on when we’re allowed to run our snowblowers. So, here’s the scoop.

First of all, Chapter 146 of our municipal code addresses noise. It’s actually pretty complicated, because our noise rules differ based on many factors (i.e. noise in an industrial park can be louder than in a neighborhood). But, Sec. 146-6 addresses exemptions to these noise rules. And specifically, Sec 146-6(4) addresses the use of lawn mowers, snowblowers, etc. It says:

“Powered equipment such as lawn mowers, small lawn and garden tools, riding tractors and snow removal equipment…shall be exempted from the provisions of section 146-8. No person shall operate such equipment, with the exception of snow removal equipment, during the hours of 10:00 p.m. through 7:00 a.m. inclusive.”

So, no matter when this blizzard wraps up, feel free to run the snowblower late into the night if you need to. Now, this doesn’t mean your neighbors will be okay with it, it just means that our city ordinance allows it. So, please still be considerate.

Also, Sec. 22-18 of our ordinance says that we have to remove snow from our sidewalks “within 48 hours after such snow or ice shall have fallen or accumulated”.

Let me just add one thing, a personal opinion. We need to be practical. This blizzard is nuts, we don’t see events like this often. And I won’t be happy if city officials gave you a citation because it took you 3 days to clear your sidewalk instead of 2. Now, I’m not giving you permission, but we also have to be realistic. Just like we need to cut our snowplow drivers a little slack during a blizzard like this, we also need to cut each other some slack. And for our own part, let’s just try hard to keep our sidewalks safe, and help each other out.

One comment

  • Edward Leaders

    This is the best written notification I have read in my 58 year lifetime. Two words describe this in a nut shell “common sense” of which we do not see too often these days. Thank you for going much further than a quick 2 word summary. Kudos