Portland city inspectors Monday ordered Old Port landowner Joseph Soley to install an apparatus to prevent ice from falling off a cluster of his Exchange Street buildings, after ice damaged two parked cars and after they had repeatedly cited him for dangerous ice overhangs.

The city issued Soley the first violation notice for dangerous hanging ice 10 days before ice slabs tumbling from the roof of 1 Exchange St. destroyed the front and back windshields of a parked car.

Soley said he’s willing to comply with the city’s request for roof dams, but he doesn’t believe they will make much difference. He said he has had crews working since last month to keep his Exchange Street buildings free of ice but that this winter has been one of the snowiest he’s seen in the 30 years he’s been in Portland.

A city ordinance requires owners of downtown commercial property to clear snow and icicles that could fall on pedestrians. If the city identifies dangerous ice, it can issue a notice of violation to the owner, who then has four hours to correct the problem.

Between Feb. 12 and March 4, the city issued 15 violation letters to the owners of nine buildings located on Exchange, Commercial and Middle streets. The city’s Inspections Division returned to the properties in the days after the first inspections and found that some owners had cleaned them off. Others had not.

If a building gets three violations within 18 months, the city can require roof dams, systems that attach to the edge of the roof and are designed to keep large chunks of ice from falling off. The systems cost $500 to $1,000 to install for a span of about 45 feet, according to Robert Scammon of A-Plus Roofing in Brunswick.

The city issued two letters to 25 Middle St. The building at 1 Exchange St. had received three violation letters as of Feb. 23, two on that same day because problems were not corrected immediately, according to city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin.

The day before, on Sunday, Feb. 22, Adam Sousa had parked his car at a meter in front of 1 Exchange St. and left it there for the day. When he returned, a huge chunk of ice was protruding through the windshield. Warm temperatures caused some ice to shift, and it appears a chunk slid off the rubber roof atop 1 Exchange St. The roof slopes toward the street.

Interviewed Monday, Soley questioned why Sousa parked in front of the building all day. He insists there was yellow caution tape and signs warning of falling ice on the sidewalk. He also said that after the city sent the first notice, his crews immediately cleaned off ice hanging from the window sills and eaves of the building, built in the mid-1800s.

“I’ve been here 30 years and I’ve never seen snow like this,” Soley said. “There’s not much you can do about it.”

A reinspection by the city on Feb. 17 determined that the precarious ice had been removed from 1 Exchange St., Grondin said.

In the 10 days after the first violation letter, more than 11 inches of snow fell, according to the National Weather Service and almost 8 inches after the Feb. 17 reinspection. The workers were clearing ice from the window sills and other areas they could reach from windows on the third and fourth floors, not the snowpack on top of the roof.

Two days after ice damaged the car, Soley’s employees were on the roof, wearing safety harnesses and pushing the snow and ice off to the ground four stories below. Soley and his workers said they cleared off the adjacent building at 5-7 Exchange St., but on March 4 ice again fell and damaged the windshield of a parked car in front of that building.

Soley said he thinks it must have been a relatively small piece of ice that was falling fast because of the building’s height.

The city’s letter issued Monday, addressed to the company Eleven Exchange LLC, which is owned by Soley, says the ordinance makes clear the building owner’s duty “to remove all accumulations which pose a threat of falling onto streets or sidewalks. This has happened twice, and given the upcoming warming and melting cycle, there is risk it will happen again.”

The letter says the city plans to reinspect Soley’s properties Tuesday. On Monday, the rubber roof of 1 Exchange St. was bare. “We’ll do whatever they want,” Soley said Monday.

In all, the city issued violation letters to 1 Exchange, 9 Exchange, 10 Exchange, 34 Exchange, 25 Middle, 121 Commercial, 129 Commercial, 131 Middle and 43 Market streets. Soley was the only property owner or manager who could be reached Monday.