Residents of Starkville have one more chance to weigh in on proposed amendments to the city”s sidewalk ordinance before the Board of Aldermen votes on the matter today in City Hall.
After a public hearing Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., the Starkville Board of Aldermen will consider whether to exempt Miley Drive, Pollard Road and portions of Industrial Park Road and Airport Road from the city”s sidewalk construction requirements. Aldermen held the first public hearing on the proposed exemptions in December.
Ward 1 Aldermen Ben Carver proposed the ordinance amendments, saying he wants the city to establish an industrial corridor between Industrial Park and Airport roads, south of Highway 12, where sidewalks wouldn”t be required with new construction or significant property improvements. Sidewalks should be built in residential areas and the city should take a “common sense” approach when addressing sidewalk issues, Carver has said.
As it is written, the sidewalk ordinance requires sidewalk construction with all new roads, buildings and residential subdivisions. For all other new, non-single-family residential or non-agricultural zoned development projects or construction improvements, which cost 50 percent or more of the appraised taxable value of the property, the installation of sidewalks is required prior to a final inspection and/or the city”s issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
Some Starkville residents, developers and businessmen have spoken out against the sidewalk ordinance. Many have rallied around the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District, which is located on Miley Drive and plans to construct a new senior center behind its existing facility. The GTPDD would be required to construct a $25,000 sidewalk along Miley Road and C.C. Clark Road, in accordance with the sidewalk ordinance, to build the senior center.
Rudy Johnson, executive director of the GTPDD, has threatened to move the organization and its more than 200 employees out of Starkville if the GTPDD has to pay for a sidewalk to build the senior center. Johnson spoke in favor of the street exemptions at the first public hearing on the matter in December and he had supporters.
Still, members of the city”s transportation committee spoke out against the proposed exemptions, saying they are working on a variance process and the introduction of these street exemptions is under-cutting their efforts.
The public hearing will be held during the Board of Aldermen”s regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, located at 101 Lampkin St.
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