Snow and the Law

During and after snow events, residents bear the responsibility for removing their vehicles from snow emergency routes and clearing snow, ice and sleet from sidewalks in front of their property.

Sec. 114-623. - Parking on snow emergency routes

(a)   Whenever the city manager finds, on the basis of falling snow, sleet or freezing rain, or on the basis of a forecast by the U.S. Weather Service or other weather service of snow, sleet, or freezing rain, that weather conditions will make it necessary that motor vehicle traffic be expedited and that parking on city streets be prohibited or restricted for snow plowing and other purposes, the manager shall put into effect a parking prohibition on parts of or all snow emergency routes as necessary by declaring it in a manner prescribed by this division.

(b)   Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a parking prohibition shall automatically go into effect on any part of any snow emergency route on which there has been an accumulation of snow and ice of four inches or more.

Once in effect, a prohibition under this section shall remain in effect until terminated by an announcement of the manager in accordance with this division. While the prohibition is in effect, no person shall park or allow to remain parked any vehicle on any portion of a snow emergency route to which it applies. (Code 1978, § 17-386.2) State Law reference— Regulation of parking, Code of Virginia, § 46.2-1220.

Sec. 114-625. - Parking on local streets

(a)   Whenever the city manager finds, on the basis of falling snow, sleet or freezing rain, or on the basis of a forecast by the U.S. Weather Service or other weather service of snow, sleet, or freezing rain, that weather conditions will make it necessary that motor vehicle traffic be expedited and that parking on city streets be prohibited or restricted for snow plowing and other purposes, the manager may put into effect a parking prohibition on parts of or all local streets as necessary by declaring it in a manner prescribed by this division. The prohibition shall remain in effect until terminated by announcement of the manager in accordance with this division, except that any street area which has become substantially clear of snow and ice from curb to median line for the length of the entire block shall be automatically excluded therefrom.

(b)While the prohibition is in effect, no person shall park or allow to remain parked any vehicle on any street to which it applies. (Code 1978, § 17-386.4(a), (b)) State Law reference— Delegation of authority to make and enforce regulations, Code of Virginia, § 46.2-1220.

Sec. 114-624. - Parking in snow emergency push areas


No person shall park in a snow emergency push area which has been signed as a snow emergency push area under the authority of the city manager or his designee. (Code 1978, § 17-386.3) State Law reference— Regulation of parking, Code of Virginia, § 46.2-1220.

Sec. 102-7. - Removal of snow and ice from sidewalks


It shall be the duty of the occupant of any property which has a sidewalk of brick, wood or concrete abutting on such property to have all snow removed from such sidewalk within 12 hours after it has ceased falling; provided that, if snow falls during the night, it shall be removed by 5:00 p.m. on the following day. The same requirements shall exist with respect to ice or sleet on sidewalks, except that ice and sleet, if it cannot be removed without injury to the sidewalk, shall be covered, within the time required in this section, with sawdust, ashes or other material which will render the sidewalk safe for travel. When there is no occupant of such property, it shall be the duty of the owner thereof to have snow, ice and sleet removed or covered as provided in this section. If after such reasonable notice as the city may prescribe the owner or occupant of the property affected by the provisions of this section shall fail to abate or obviate the condition, the director of public works may do so and charge and collect the cost thereof from the owner or occupant of the property affected in any manner provided by law for the collection of Commonwealth or local taxes. (Code 1978, § 28-32) State Law reference— Removal of snow and other nuisances, Code of Virginia, § 15.2-1115.

If you have questions regarding snow removal in your area, please call:

​(703) 257-8347 (during regular business hours) ​
​(703) 257-8353 (outside regular business hours)