Property owners must ensure their sidewalks are safe by repairing cracks and damage. Apply for a permit to do the repairs yourself, or split the cost of repairs with the City under the 50-50 program.
Property owners in Berkeley are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their property in a safe condition, including repairing cracks, deterioration, and other damage. See BMC 16.04.010 for additional information.
Please report online or call 311 to report a sidewalk that is in an unsafe condition. City crews will install a “make-safe” measure to temporarily address the issue. “Make-safes” are not intended to be permanent repairs. To repair your damaged sidewalk, you can choose to hire a contractor at your own cost, or request support from the City in repairing the sidewalk through the 50-50 program. The City will perform the repair, then bill the property owner for half the cost.
Request support with sidewalk repairs through the 50-50 program
To request support with sidewalk repairs through the City’s 50-50 program, please call (510) 981-2489 to report your sidewalk issue and request a temporary “make-safe” repair by the City. You will then be sent a notice with a 50-50 application via mail to the mailing address designated on Alameda County’s assessment roll.
Please submit your completed application either:
- By mail: 1947 Center St, 4th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
- By email: PWSidewalks@berkeleyca.gov
City staff will review your request to be added to the 50-50 program. If your request is approved, the City will add you to a waitlist. Being on the waitlist does not relieve your responsibility as property owner to maintain a safe and usable sidewalk.
The City will notify you at least one month prior to scheduling the work. The City (or a City-hired contractor) will notify you 1-2 weeks before construction begins, and post "No Parking" signs 72 hours in advance of the work. Following completion of the work, the City will send you an invoice for your half of the repair cost.
Performing repairs yourself
Property owners can hire a contractor to repair the sidewalk after getting the appropriate permits, but will not qualify for funding from the City.
To repair the sidewalk yourself, first get a quote from a licensed concrete contractor who has a City of Berkeley business license (learn more about hiring contractors). The contractor should submit a line drawing to apply for an Engineering Permit at the Permit Service Center.
Damage by tree roots
All trees in the strip between the sidewalk and street are City property, and cannot be pruned or removed by anyone except City staff, even if the tree is causing damage to the sidewalk. Learn more about City trees and how to request services by the City’s Urban Forestry Unit.
If a City tree causes damage to a sidewalk, the City will pay half the cost of repairs under the 50-50 program. If the same tree causes damage again within 10 years, the City will pay the full cost of repairs. If the same tree causes damage a third time, the City will pay the full cost of repairs and the property owner can request removal of the tree, at their own expense.
If a tree on your private property is causing damage to the sidewalk, it is your responsibility to remove or prune the tree yourself unless the tree is a coast live oak. The City of Berkeley has protections for coast live oak trees.