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Battle Brewing Over Sidewalk Shoveling In Denver Neighborhood

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Emily Dryden speaks with CBS4's Howard Nathan on Sunday. (credit: CBS)

Emily Dryden speaks with CBS4’s Howard Nathan on Sunday. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – There’s a battle brewing in a Denver neighborhood between 13 homeowners and the city.

The disagreement is over who is responsible for shoveling snow from a sidewalk.

In the 1970s the state put up an 8 foot fence along a section of East Hampden near South Tamarac Drive. The fence was meant to be a sound barrier, and it runs along the backyards of several homes on East Hampden Circle, cutting them off from the sidewalk on the other side.

Despite the fact that the homeowners can’t even see the sidewalk, the city still says the homeowners are responsible for clearing it after it snows.

“We have no direct access (to that sidewalk),” Daniel Ward said. “I’m the youngest person by far on this block and it’s going to be really really hard for those in their 60s and 70s to drive around and go shovel Hampden Avenue.”

Some homeowners in the neighborhood were fined $150 for failure to clear the sidewalk within 24 hours of a snowstorm. That happened during a the last big snowfall, not this month’s record storm.

Emily Dryden, 87, was able to avoid the fine and simply got a citation. She had her daughter and grandson shovel the snow. To get to the sidewalk they had to walk a half a mile.

See CBS4’s interview with Dryden in Howard Nathan’s report in the video clip below:

Some city officials have suggested the homeowners install gates in their fences so they can get to the sidewalk more easily, but Ward says that might be opening up their property to thieves. He said there have been a few home break-ins in the neighborhood lately.

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