Well maintained street trees, sidewalks, and curb ramps (ADA accessibility ramps) provide safe and desirable travel ways for pedestrians and others to enjoy neighborhoods, commercial centers, and other areas of the city. Maintaining street trees and sidewalks depends on the efforts of residents, property owners, and the City.
Although the City has had previous programs assisting property owners with the cost of sidewalk and tree repairs; currently, property owners are responsible for the entire cost of these maintenance items.
Property owners may request financial hardship assistance if their household annual income is three times the federal poverty level or less. Approval of financial hardship is limited to available funding and may not be awarded to all qualified applicants. To request financial hardship assistance, email TreesAndSidewalks@sanjoseca.gov and ask for a financial hardship assistance application form.
Information pertaining to the ordinance on the property owner’s responsibility to maintain trees and sidewalks can be found in the City’s Municipal Code (Sections 14.16.2200 to Section 14.16.2270).
The sidewalk inspection program is a request only program. We inspect sidewalk and street tree conditions:
When there has been a request to do so by the adjacent property owner of the sidewalk or street tree.
Or by a concerned citizen over the condition of the sidewalk or street tree.
When responding to a request for inspection, the inspector will evaluate the entire site noting all concrete and sidewalk deficiencies at the site and the neighboring properties.
Property owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the sidewalk, park strip, driveway approach and curb and gutter located adjacent to the front and/or side portion of their property.
The sidewalk may be separated from the curb by a park strip area, or it is located adjacent to the curb.
The curb and gutter is located at the edge of the street pavement.
Based upon an inspection by City staff, repairs may be required, as identified below.
Sidewalk, Park Strip, Driveway Approach Repairs
Vertical separation of more than one-half (1/2) inch
Ramping: rise or depression of more than one (1) inch within eight (8) inches, in conjunction with a vertical separation
Hole or opening in a break or construction joint of one (1) inches or more
Breaking away or spalling of concrete with a depth of more than one-half (1/2) inch
Curb and Gutter Repairs
Vertical separation of more than one-half (1/2) inch in an area where pedestrians normally travel
Broken away section adjacent to a marginal walk or driveway approach