• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Currently, Otto is heading a planning group subcommittee that is focused on improving the condition of streets and sidewalks. The group has identified 6.35 miles of streets that need to be repaved and 6175 linear feet of sidewalks missing or in disrepair. But that is only a fraction of the total work needed in San Ysidro.

During the subcommittee’s February 4 meeting, subcommittee member and planning group chair Michael Freedman spoke about the importance of identifying needed improvements. At the same time, he expressed frustration that, despite identifying projects, San Ysidro’s list of needed improvements continues to grow. “If projects are not included in the City’s Capital Improvements Program, then it’s very difficult to get any funding,” he said. “But here we are still waiting for projects to get done that we identified 18 years ago.”

Two hours after his meeting with Councilmember Alvarez, Juan Mariscal sits outside his wife Irma’s small apparel store, El Regalo, on West San Ysidro Boulevard. Mariscal doubts that San Ysidro’s infrastructure will ever catch up to the rest of the city’s.

He points north. “You see, there is sidewalk there, and then it stops. It’s nothing but dirt.”

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


nostalgic March 4, 2011 @ 6:06 a.m.

Most people think it is the city's responsibility to provide sidewalks, but in fact, it is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. The city does have a 50-50% program, where they will help property owners who want to replace broken sidewalks. The city has other sidewalk programs, but this is only because they are generous, not because they admit to the responsibility.


SurfPuppy619 March 4, 2011 @ 8:37 a.m.

Most people think it is the city's responsibility to provide sidewalks, but in fact, it is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.

Nope, it is not the private proieprty owners responsibility-I have no idea who told you that lie but it is false. The private property owner is no more responsible for sidewalks than they are for the road that runs in front of their property or the main sewer line under the street.

Sidewalks are not the repsoniblity of the property owner, it is the muni that is responsible.

As a licensed real estate broker who did a numer of transactions with commercial properties I have had numerous cases of muni's wanting the private property owner or potential owner to cover the muni's costs of installing sidewalks where there were none before, in exchange for granting a variance or something else to the property owner. It never works. The potential buyer of property just moves on to another site, the muni loses jobs and tax revenue, and gov is just being gov wrecking the job market and economy.


tomjohnston March 4, 2011 @ 12:21 p.m.

I think both posters are partially correct. We live in Los Angeles, but we have owned a condo on Coronado for quite a while. I have never had any sidewalk issues in Coronado, but the city does do sidewalk repairs. There was an open bid in December for a contract to do sidewalk repairs. Up in LA , the cities special projects division does sidewalk repairs. At one time they did have a 50/50 program to help residents with sidewalk repairs, but budget issues kept them from funding it for the past couple of years. At least that’s what the very polite form letter we received said. LA does exclude damages caused by city owned trees, which the city of Los Angeles takes responsibility for. I know from personal experience that they will take care of it, but it’s a long drawn out ordeal to get it done; it took 9 or 10 months. According to the special services division website, there is something called The State of California Improvement Act of 1911 that provides cities the”authority to require property owners to effect repairs to sidewalks abutting their property Should the property owner fail to effect such repairs, City forces are authorized to make the repairs and the property owner is assessed for the cost.” A quick search of San Diego’s city website found this page: http://www.sandiego.gov/street-div/sidewalk.shtml
I don’t know about installing new sidewalks, but apparently property owners and the city are responsible for repairing damaged sidewalks. Normal wear and tear or age damage is the responsibility of the homeowner and the city claims responsibility for damage caused by “vehicle accidents, water main breaks and natural subsidence” and damage done by city owned trees. And it seems that the city does have a 50/50 program for some repairs.


SurfPuppy619 March 4, 2011 @ 5:26 p.m.

Normal wear and tear or age damage is the responsibility of the homeowner

Sidewalks that have aged are not the responsility of the property owner. If the property owner has a tree or in some other way their property damages the sidewalk then the muni could certainly bill the property owner-no argument there. But sidewalks are not real proeprty that the owner has exlcusive acess to, they cannot be charged for normal wear and tear from pedistrian use.

Concrete has a life span like all materials and when they meet their life span they are the muni's problem.

Sidewalks are a municipal core service the same as street repair, traffic lights, street lights and so forth.


tomjohnston March 5, 2011 @ 8:15 a.m.

apparently you like to argue for arguement's sake. That's fine with me. you apparently also did not bother to investigate the link that I so kindly provided. If you want to dispute what the city of San Diego says on their website, have at it. As far as I'm concerned, if a city, be it SD or LA says "Normal wear and tear or age damage is the responsibility of the homeowner", I'm not going to waste my time argueing with them. Since you purport yourself to be an attorney, from what I've read, maybe your one of those who likes to file nuisance lawsuits, for no good reason, just to be a pain in the ass. I don't know and really I don't care. In this case the facts seem to speak volumes. The city of SD says Normal wear and tear or age damage is the responsibility of the homeowner. Case closed


rodor March 4, 2011 @ 7:12 p.m.

"Normal wear and tear or age damage is the responsibility of the homeowner, who can take advantage of the City’s 50/50 Cost Sharing Program to have repairs done."


Read it Billy Bob< I mean SurfPuppy, It's the homeowners responsibility for normal wear and tear.

Thank you for the link Tom Johnston, that was very enlightening!!


nostalgic March 4, 2011 @ 8:19 p.m.

If someone trips on a broken sidewalk, they can sue the property owner. The owner of the tree with the root that dislodged the sidewalk will be liable. All you have to do is look at the sidewalks in San Diego, and know it's NOBODY'S responsibility.


tomjohnston March 5, 2011 @ 8:29 a.m.

I can't speak for SD, but in LA, if it's a city owned and maintained tree, the city is liable. We had that exact situation in our neighbor hood several years ago. After 3 or 4 months of nothing being done, several of us had to go downtown and deal with it in person. We just happened to take one of our neighbors along, who was in his late 70's at the time. We casually mentioned how it was hard for him to navigate around a portion of sidewalk that had been uplifted about 5" by tree roots and how fortunate he was not to have been injured when he tripped and fell. I think the picturesa and the casual use of the word lawsuit may have also been beneficial. There was an engineer out within about a week, although it still took at least 4-5 months to get it fixed although they did remove the offending piece of sidewalk and put up a temp barricade pretty quickly; all done to absolve the city of any future liability, I'm sure


Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!