Archive for Thursday, October 21, 2004

Homeowners responsible for sidewalks, city says

October 21, 2004

After several discussions about who's accountable for repairing sidewalks, the Eudora City Council agreed with the precedent -- that property owners should shoulder the cost.
The discussion was prompted by a complaint from a citizen who said he couldn't ride his motorized wheelchair in the 900 block of Church Street because of the sidewalk's condition. Although city leaders were in agreement that the sidewalk needed to be fixed, Mayor Ron Conner said city leaders also agreed the home or business owner was responsible for its repair.
The Council had discussed conducting a survey of Eudora's sidewalks to determine those that were in disrepair but agreed damaged sidewalks would be addressed on a case-by-case basis as citizens posted complaints.
Although property owners would be required to repair damaged sidewalks to city standards, Council member Scott Hopson suggested the city waive building permit fees as an incentive. Fellow Council member Tom Pyle also said it might be possible -- and less expensive -- for property owners to create a safe sidewalk by only replacing damaged squares rather than the whole walkway.
City Attorney Jerry Cooley said property owners would have to be careful to keep sidewalks on the right-of-way. Moreover, Conner expressed an interest in making sure replaced sidewalks were careful not to disrupt well-established trees, especially in Eudora's older section.
Pat McGrew, who lives in the older section of Eudora and has two sides of her house framed with sidewalks, told the Council she didn't think it was fair for property owners to bear the cost of sidewalk repair. McGrew said property owners had already paid for sidewalks in the cost of their property and such a policy was forcing them to pay twice.

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