Sidewalk Repair Program

Properly maintained sidewalks allow for safe pedestrian travel, add value to individual properties, and, decreases the liability faced by a homeowner in the event someone sues after being injured by damaged sidewalk that is in front of their residence.

Safe sidewalks are a priority for the Department of Public Works. There are 380 miles of sidewalks in the City of San Mateo and, in order to help maintain them, we have developed a 15-Year Sidewalk Repair Program to inspect and schedule repairs in an effective and cost-efficient way.

Sidewalk Repair Program Overview

In 2009, the City Council approved a 15-Year Sidewalk Repair Plan to ensure that property owners and the City work together to repair damaged sidewalks.

Property owners are legally and financially responsible for maintaining the sidewalk fronting their property in accordance with the City of San Mateo Municipal Code Chapter 17.24. The legal authority to implement the Sidewalk Repair Program comes from the California State Streets and Highway Code § 5610.

Each year, we inspect a different priority neighborhood to identify damaged sidewalks. The damaged areas are marked with white spray paint. The inspection is followed up with a notice letting property owners know repair options, the estimated cost and the legal ramifications of non-compliance. Sidewalk repairs caused by tree root damage are either paid in full by the owner or split 50%-50% with the City, depending if the tree is on private property or in the public right-of-way.

One of the repair options is to have the City work with a contractor on your behalf. Through a public bidding process, the City awards a contract to a contractor to do all the repair work in the priority area for that year. Doing the repairs under one contract can save the resident on repair costs. Residents still have the option of working with their own contractor.

How to Comply

When the property owner receives notice from the City, they are required by law to complete the repairs within 90 days. If, after 90 days, the property owner has not completed the repairs, the City will notify the property owner that the City will undertake the repairs and bill the property owner.

If the property owner does not pay the invoice within 60 days of receipt, the City can place a tax lien against the property to recover its costs.

Program Neighborhood by Year

The City operates the Sidewalk Repair Program in a designated project area each year. The following list describes the current priority plan based on the 2008 Administrative Report about the program.  Priority is based on the number of trees, number of tree-related problems and time since past repairs. This schedule is tentative and subject to change


  • Aragon (North & South)
  • South Shoreview (North)
  • South Shoreview (South)
  • Baywood Knolls
  • Northwest Hillsdale
  • Hayward Park
  • Sunnybrae Phase I
  • Sunnybrae Phase II


  • Country Club Heights
  • Southwest Hillsdale
  • North Central, San Mateo Heights
  • College Heights, San Mateo Village
  • Southeast Hillsdale, Parkside
  • East San Mateo, 25th Avenue, Laurelwood
  • Northeast Hillsdale, North Shoreview, Mariner’s Island
  • Foothill Terrace, Central Business District, 19th Avenue, Baywood, Lauriedale

Not Located In a Priority Area?

Remember: property owners can and are required to make necessary repairs when they become apparent, even if you live outside of the priority area for the year.

More Information