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Los Angeles Has A $1.3 Billion Plan To Fix Its Terrible Sidewalks

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Forced last year to spend over $1 billion to fix Los Angeles' notoriously terrible sidewalks, the city is close to approving a plan that would get the repairs done.On Monday, two City Council committees backed a plan that some have dubbed a "fix and release," where the city would initially shoulder the cost of repairs for sidewalks adjacent to businesses and homes, but the responsibility would eventually transfer to the property owners. Under the plan, each repair comes with a warranty that would guarantee one more repair by the city.

The L.A. Times reports that the warranty would last 20 years for sidewalks adjacent to a residential property and 5 years for ones adjacent to businesses. Homeowners would also get a rebate if they proactively fixed damaged sidewalks before the city did.

The plan, drawn up by City Hall, still needs to be approved by the City Council, but has support from its members. "We're finally at a point where we're taking on what has been a seemingly impossible challenge to past councils," said councilman Paul Krekorian, reports The Daily News.

The plan comes in the wake of a settlement after the city was sued by disabled residents and advocacy groups over the sorry state of their sidewalks. As part of the settlement, a reported $1.3 billion has been set aside for repairs.

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Under the plan, the city would also roll back an ordinance that made the city financially responsible for sidewalks damaged by trees. While state law says property owners are financially responsible for sidewalk repairs, the city of Los Angeles took on the responsibility for tree-damaged sidewalks when there was plenty of federal money for the repairs during the 1970s. Since then the federal funding has dried up, which is what "got us in this mess to begin with," councilman Joe Buscaino told the Times.

Although the plan has been hailed by a few homeowners advocates as "a step in the right direction," some homeowners feel that the city should be responsible after years of disrepair.

If approved, the program could start as early as July.