Where the Sidewalk Ends

Our city is becoming well-known for pushing maintenance that they should probably be doing themselves off on homeowners, especially those constructing new buildings. Our latest, and hopefully last, issue with the city is the sidewalk in front of our home.

view-of-frontyard

Our lot is on a corner, and we convinced the city against us having to construct a sidewalk on the side of our house because there are only ditches on that street (no sidewalks at all anywhere else), but now we’re dealing with our front sidewalk. According to the city, our front sidewalk is in poor condition and must be replaced by us to their specifications: 5 feet wide, 75 feet long, with an ADA-certified wheelchair ramp.

We take issues with this. The other sidewalks throughout the neighborhood are only three feet wide, none in better shape than ours. The city spent much money in the past year updating other corners with wheelchair ramps, but did not do ours. There are also many improvements planned along our street, including bike trails and park improvements, which may mean that the city will actually improve the road and the sidewalk in the near future. But, of course, the biggest issue is the money it will cost to build a sidewalk that we hadn’t planned for at all. Our neighborhood management district has estimated it will cost about $7000. That’s not a small amount of money, and it means that we’ll have to cut something out of our project somewhere to pay for it, which is just sad.

We’re all for a more walkable city with sidewalks that aren’t cracked and broken, but we’re just not sure it should be our responsibility to pay for it. At the very least, we shouldn’t be punished for building a home; instead, we should have the option of fixing the sidewalk in the future. We’ve turned in our paperwork to appear before the city to try to plea our case with photos and documentation, but it’s really up to them. Again.

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6 thoughts on “Where the Sidewalk Ends

  1. The nerve of some cities. This reminds me of the story years ago where a man was forced to fix his sidewalk at his own expense so he fixed it and then installed a tollbooth at either end and charged pedestrians who wanted to use it.

  2. April ow that hurts! It’s definitely worth appealing, if you can keep it businesslike with the points above, but I really feel for you. I hope you get to talk to a reasonable human being.

    In England and Wales (luckily not – yet – Scotland) a horror called “Community Infrastructure Levy” has just been introduced, where self-builders can be charged an extra $40- $800 per sq metre, on the whim of the council. I’m surprised you haven’t heard the howls of outrage across the ocean.

    http://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/project-tips/planning-permission/community-infrastructure-levy-when-levy-breaks

    I have tentatively started a blog on our build, looking at it from the garden and landscape perspective. I’m still figuring out how to use WP – so forgive any glitches!

  3. Sorry April for using your comments section as my learning ground – my gravatar was linked to a blog not in use. I’m trying again, but if I’ve mucked it up I’m at andthegarden.wordpress.com. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: A Step Forward « Rock n Roll Problems

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