A Washington man questioned the city’s sidewalk rules during the review of a preliminary plat near his home.
Tom Fenner, a former Franklin County presiding commissioner, owns a lot in the Weber Estates on Kuenzel Drive.
At the Tuesday, Feb. 20, Washington City Council meeting while the council reviewed the preliminary plat for The Overlook at Weber Farms, plat 3, Fenner stated he was required to add a sidewalk on the lot he is developing. He said there are two homes across the street, Lots 30 and 31 of the Overlook at Weber Farms, that were not required to install sidewalks during development.
Fenner further stated the property directly to the south of his lot, which is part of preliminary plat under review, will not be required to have a sidewalk, nor would any in the plat.
However property to the north of Fenner’s lot — in the Weber Estates — will be required to have sidewalks on both sides of the street.
“So in the interim, I have a sidewalk to nowhere,” he said.
According to city staff, the Weber Estates lots were platted when the city had more stringent sidewalk regulations. The city’s zoning, subdivision and development codes were revised in 2016.
The codes now only require sidewalks on one side of “major and collector” streets; and not be required on new subdivision streets.
“I have always felt that the responsibility of any elected official in considering any issue brought before them was: ‘What is the effect of this action on the health, safety and welfare of the citizens we serve?’ ” Fenner asked.
Fenner, who served as presiding commissioner from 1991-94, stated that was his “guidepost” during his service.
“My concern is that you, the elected city of Washington officials, both now and in the past, feel citizens you serve are safer and healthier walking on streets than on sidewalks,” he said.
“My hope is that sometime the city in its codes, would require any developer to at least have sidewalks on one side of all streets being developed.”
The council approved the preliminary plat.