Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Sidewalk Repair – City or Homeowner Responsibility?

Sidewalk repair
Tree roots have caused a major fault on a side street in the neighborhood.

Los Angeles faces a crisis of concrete: an estimated 4,700 miles of the 11,000 miles of Los Angeles sidewalks are in disrepair. Some of that mangled mileage may be right in front of your house, it is in front of mine. I recently applied for a city permit to have the concrete poured myself (a $3,000 repair) and was given an estimated fee of $800 on top of my out-of-pocket. Like many others, I’ve put the plan on hold until the City sorts things out.

Once all Los Angeles sidewalk repairs were the duty of the landowner, but in 1973 the City, with help from federal funding, agreed to repair all sidewalks that were damaged due to tree roots. That funding has been dried up  for may years now, and a plan never put in place to keep on top of repairs. Angelenos feel that the City should still be doing the repairs, the City says it is the duty of the homeowner.

Earlier this month, the LA City Council approved a $27 million program to fix sidewalks around city facilities such as libraries, fire departments and city agencies. It will correct 275 public locations  where damaged sidewalks present a potential city liability.

Councilman Joe Buscaino, Chair of the City Council’s Public Works Committee, presented a plan in July 2014 to waive the fees for homeowners to do the repairs themselves, but this has not gone into effect leaving homeowners on hold, and hoping they won’t get slapped with an injury lawsuit from someone tripping on their messed-up sidewalks.

In the meantime, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment is  asking neighborhood councils to provide information on what kind of damaged sidewalks most need repair, and who should pay for them in a brief sidewalk survey. Your survey participation may get funds directed to the greater Wilshire area, and at minimum will let city officials know  who you think should be responsible for paying for the repairs.  Though the Bureau of Street Services was asking for submissions by Oct 30, the site is still accepting surveys, so take a minute and complete the survey today.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

Related Articles


  1. What are taxes being used for? This city’s infrastructure is a mess and the city wastes our tax dollars on everything but what benefits us. If they want the sidewalks to be our responsibility then I’m about to take mine out and make it a garden. It’s my land now. Thank you.

  2. The City used to have a 50/50 program. I had about 60′ of sidewalk replaced by the City, about 8 years ago. I paid about $1,800 for my 50% share. It included the City getting all permits, trimming the tree roots, fixing the sprinkler pipes they had to move etc. Looking back, it was a great deal. (although it took months before they started the work). Hope the Council can bring the 50/50 program back some day.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }