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On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My True Love Saved Me a Parking Space?

If you’ve ever considered living in a major city for the holidays, you’ve probably thought it was just like the movies, right? Everything seems glamorous, from the tree lighting and snow-covered sidewalks to window shopping, and the countless cups of hot chocolate. But is it really? With noise ordinances, minimal parking, and piles of snow, Boston, among other cities, might be on your naughty list this year!

If you rent or own a property in the city, it’s important to know these things during the winter months.

If you are planning on having a holiday party, be sure to be aware of local ordinances and restrictions. The Boston Municipal Code requests reasonable standards for noise levels between the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. To avoid any holiday troubles, we recommend using common courtesy and informing your neighbors that you plan on hosting an event. A simple heads up that there may be more noise than usual, or more cars on the street or driveway can save you the headache of an unhappy confrontation later. The key to avoiding conflicts with your neighbors is to be transparent, friendly, and reasonable. This intention relieves the tension and minimizes the potential for conflict. If someone violates the rules and regulations in either a residential apartment or a condominium, they may be subject to a disciplinary action or fine.

The best course of action to combat unbearable noise levels or accessibility issues on your property due to your neighbors is to utilize the 311 Constituent Service Center. The service center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and they can connect you with a constituent service representative to support a non-emergency request to deal with the disturbance.

If you have a car in the city, but do not have a private parking space, it’s important to be mindful of your city’s parking restrictions during a snow emergency. If a snow emergency is announced, you must remove your vehicle from designated parking spaces within two hours to ensure public safety. Main roads need to be clear for plows and emergency vehicles, meaning your usual street parking might be unavailable at this time and you will need to move your car. If you are unable to comply with the city’s regulations you may be subject to a ticket or a tow.

It can be a pain to shovel your car out from a snowstorm, which is why the city of Boston offers resources to help you. Residents can take advantage of discounted garage parking, free designated city parking lots, and are allowed to use space savers after a snowstorm in certain neighborhoods. If your neighborhood allows space savers, it’s important to note that they can only be utilized for 48 hours after the city declares a snow emergency has ended.

To shovel or not to shovel? According to the city of Boston, you must clear sidewalks and curb ramps within three hours after it has stopped snowing. If it snowed overnight, you have three hours after sunrise to remove any snow from your property. The goal of this mandate is to allow pedestrians to utilize the sidewalks without risk of injury. Snow removal responsibilities can vary depending on your living situation.

  • As a property owner, you are fully responsible for snow removal. Failure to comply will result in ticketing or a potential lawsuit if a pedestrian is injured.
  • As a renter, it’s critical you speak to your landlord to determine how snow removal is managed. Your landlord might deem you responsible for snow removal, or they might work with a property manager who will be responsible. These terms should be outlined in your lease, but if not, it is important to communicate with your landlord or property manager. If you live in a multiple family apartment and are responsible for snow removal, connect with your neighbors to determine a schedule that works best.
  • As a condominium owner, you must review your HOA rules and regulations to determine if you are responsible for snow removal or if the condominium is. Unit owners decide collectively who is responsible for snow removal or they may decide to hire someone for snow removal purposes. It’s always best to complete a thorough document review to understand the unique rules and regulations that may apply to your condo community.

Living in the city during the holidays can feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie, but it is best to go into the winter months with a clear understanding of what is considered a neighborhood annoyance or city violation. Familiarize yourself with your city’s rules and regulations for a seamless winter and holiday party season. Happy Holidays and have a Happy New Year from all of us at Ligris.

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