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Property Owners Face A Slippery Problem With Their Icy Sidewalks

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Clearing snow from sidewalks is the law in the city of Chicago.

A law that appears to be routinely ignored, sometimes by large property owners.

CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli has the story from near Chicago's Midway Airport where homeowners are fed up.

A large business center sold in 2016 to owners who shelled out tens of millions of dollars. But the-out-of-state property owners do not appear to be shelling out any money to keep the sidewalks surrounding the business clear.

And that has residents crying foul.

From the ground level, you might think you're looking at the arctic tundra. But it's not Alaska. It's the 5600 block of South Archer Avenue.

"It is the sidewalk right in front of the Midway Business Center which takes up an entire block on Archer Avenue. And it's a sidewalk that Lutricia Rogers regularly uses.

"It's dangerous," Rogers said. "You could slip and fall and break your back break your arm or break something."

Bernice Vanscoyk knows that all too well because she's been crossing the street to drop off letters at the post office for years. And she said it's always been difficult because she said they don't clear it for the pedestrians.

"They don't, no. Like you see.  Never," Vanscoyk said.

And what really annoys Vanscoyk is that the property owners see to it that drivers can safely make it inside the sprawling business center.

She said the parking lot is always cleared, just not the sidewalks surrounding the massive property.

"Only they plow by that truck where the car parks. That's it," Vanscoyk said.

CBS 2 reached out to the majority owner of the property and have yet to hear back. But the Midway Business Center is hardly alone in openly ignoring a law requiring property owners to clear snow from sidewalks.

A nearby strip mall is home to a senior center and a city clerk's office. Its owner seems to be as diligent about clearing the parking lot as he is lax about clearing the sidewalks.

"They need to get out here and do their job," Rogers said.

CBS 2 has yet to hear back from the owner of the strip mall. The Midway Business Center released a statement:

"Not only are the sidewalk conditions we saw in your report not acceptable by city standards, they are not acceptable by our standards. We take snow management very seriously at the Midway Business Center. We have a vendor take care of the interior of the property, while our Property Manager is responsible for the surrounding areas.

"Our Property Manager was out due to an unexpected family event this weekend, so the sidewalks were not done to our standards this week. We are putting new measures in place to ensure the sidewalks are given the same attention that our surface lot is given. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention."

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