Snow plow off-street parking?

6 Replies

I'm curious if you all tend to have off-street parking plowed. I'm purchasing a property with about 5 paved spaces off an alley so the only thing the service would clear would be the spots themselves.  If tenants are parked there, the plow won't be able to clear much, so I'm questioning if it is better to just limit the services to shoveling/salting the sidewalk, walkways and stoop.  What have you done for your properties?

@Jon Coleman You are in the thick of it out there! I only have to worry about it intermittently. If the town is plowing the alley, then I would think that there will be a build up of snow behind the cars that needs to be cleared when they do the sidewalk.

Maybe just explain the circumstances to the tenants? That if they are out of town and want their space cleared to let you know. But really the big decider is if you are charging for parking.  

@Patrick M. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!  Unfortunately the city does not plow the alleys and seems to just leave it up to the owners/residents to shovel (or not).  My last house had an alley and in my experience it was pretty mixed if people would clear their section.

I don't plan to charge anything for parking.  Finding parking doesn't seem to be an issue for this specific area so it doesn't have the same value add it might in places closer to city center.

A number of the properties off the alley are also MFHs but I'm unsure if those landlords have a plow come through to take care of either their spots or the alley itself.  It seems like one approach I could take would be to reach out to those owners/property managers to see about using the same service they do.  I imagine it'd save us both a bit in costs, would be more efficient and could be a benefit to all tenants if it means the whole alley will be plowed (as opposed to only parts of it being cleared).  

For your snow removal, do you pay per visit or per season?  Thanks!

Shared cost sounds like a plan.

I pay per visit and he knows not to bother if it is <4.5 inches. 2019-2020 was a zero snow, warm summer for us... not so much this year. I imagine it might be worthwhile for you to have a seasonal contract?

@Patrick M. I'll see if I can get in touch with the owners/PMs of the neighboring properties to discuss using the same vendor.  I'd much prefer a flat seasonal fee over per visit billing to make the expenses more predictable.

You bring up a good point about not having the vendor come out if it is under a certain amount.  The first quote I received was very granular and had fees broken down per inch, including visits with snowfall of a fraction of an inch.  When the snowfall is under 4.5 inches, do you still have the walkways done or do you skip it altogether?  Thanks!