By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4) – After what felt like days of continuous snow fall, it’s time to break out the shovels. If you haven’t cleared your sidewalks already, most cities have a timeline in order to make sure you get it done.

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In Denver, homeowners have 24 hours after the snow stops falling to get their sidewalks cleared, and businesses have just four hours.

Last winter, the City of Denver inspected more than 4,000 homes and businesses, about half of them ended up with a warning for not shoveling in the allotted time frame and fewer than 300 were cited.

CBS4 caught up with homeowners who were out shoveling on Wednesday.

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“If the sun goes down, it’s going to get hard and it will be pretty difficult to get up,” one woman said while clearing the sidewalk in front of her Denver home.

Amanda Weston is the spokesperson for Community Planning and Development in Denver, the agency who oversees the rules are being followed.

Weston says after this latest storm their inspectors are out in full force.

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“If our inspectors are out and about and they see that the sidewalks haven’t been cleared in the allotted hours after the snow stops falling, they will issue a warning.”

If the inspector returns to find sidewalks haven’t been cleared they can issue a ticket which includes a $150 fine the first time, $500 for the second and $999 on a third check.

“It’s a pretty steep fine for not clearing your sidewalks, but the whole point of it is we want to make sure our walkers and rollers are safe out there,” Weston said.

For homeowners, the 24 hour deadline and being a good neighbor are reasons enough to get out and get shoveling early, but a certain candy-filled holiday is another.

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“Well I would do it anyway to be compliant, but I’m doing it just because tomorrow’s Halloween. I want to make sure it’s all nice and ready for them,” one Denver resident said.

Lakewood, Arvada, Aurora and Westminster have the same requirement, sidewalks need to be cleared 24 hours after the snow stops falling.

If you would like to make a complaint about a problem sidewalk you can do so in most instances simply by calling code enforcement in your city.

Karen Morfitt