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Snow Removal in Cottonwood Heights | Frequently Asked Questions

Post Date:01/23/2020

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The unique topography and location of Cottonwood Heights makes our community one of the most beautiful and vibrant areas in the Salt Lake Valley. One of the unique challenges of life in Cottonwood Heights is the means by which snow is plowed from our streets. There are three distinct elevations in our city, including the lower areas west of Highland Drive, the bench between Highland Drive and Wasatch Blvd. and the neighborhoods above Wasatch Boulevard, in the foothills of the mountains.  


These higher elevations are prime dumping grounds when winter storms roll in, causing Cottonwood Heights to register some of the deeper accumulation totals, compared to other communities. Lake effect storms increase these challenges. 


The city has a great responsibility to clear the roads as soon as possible, and depending on the severity, timing and length of any particular storm, the time it takes to complete plowing may vary. The city has guidelines that dictate its responsibility, but there are other responsibilities specific to residents (Link to city code regarding snowplowing here). 


The overall goal of this responsibility is made easier when we partner with neighbors to speed up the process – clearing the roads of any obstacles that stand in the way of our trucks. Keeping streets clear of parked vehicles, emptied garbage cans and snow from driveways and sidewalks is essential to prompt plowing. We can accomplish as we work together.  


Many have very valid questions about plowing in Cottonwood Heights. As such, we have supplied the following list of frequently asked questions to address these concerns. 


As always, we welcome concerns and questions, and we ask that you review these commonly asked questions to see if your inquiry has already been answered: 


I saw a Cottonwood Heights snowplow driving around during the storm with its blade up. Why wasn’t it plowing?  

It is the goal of the Public Works Department to plow streets systematically and efficiently. When snowplows are moving from one location to another to re-load salt they lose weight (ballast) in the truck and therefore lift their plows to go reload; or, if roads are ice packed the plows will be salting areas and have their plows lifted. Plowing wears down the blades so leaving it in contact with the roadway when there is not a need causes unnecessary wear on the equipment.  


Why can’t I park on the street during a storm?  

Not only is it a violation of city code, it prevents the plows from plowing the entire street. All cars must be removed from the road during storms for safety and plowing efficiency.  

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What can I do if cars parked on the street are causing a hazard or restricting plowing operations?  

You can report these to the police department through a non-emergency dispatch number by calling 801-743-7000.  


Who is responsible for clearing sidewalks in front of city-owned property?  

Sidewalks along Cottonwood Heights property are contracted to be cleared by Cottonwood Heights Recreation District. If there is an issue with sidewalk snow clearing on these sidewalks please contact City Hall at 801-944-7000.  


Why can’t I blow the snow from my driveway and sidewalk into the city street?  

By blowing this snow after the plows have been through an area creates ice patches that are dangerous to the traveling public. It is better to blow this snow into your lawns; it keeps the roads clear.  


Who do I call to report problems with snow removal?  

You should contact Cottonwood Heights at 801-944-7000 during regular office hours Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or send an email to if you feel we have missed a road or an area within 24 hours after the end of the storm. Someone will be dispatched to review and send a truck if needed.  


During a snowstorm, our trucks are out and working in the assigned areas and routes; we do not stop a plow in one area to move it to another area because of phone calls. A phone call or an email does not alter the routes of the snowplow drivers. This would be a very inefficient system and the chances of roads getting missed is greatly increased.  

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