The Planning and Zoning Staff does not recommend approval for that part of the amendment because they believe that many of the new developments would be created without sidewalks if the developers are given a choice.
Many homeowners explain that while a sidewalk was not the greatest decision factor in their home buying process, they are still glad to have them. Homeowners with children, especially, say that they feel as though sidewalks are important for the safety of their children.
Currently, home builders are required by the city to build sidewalks on newly developed local streets and some say that they do not mind the extra cost.
"It's a little bit of an added expense to each house and I know that at some point you begin to price home buyers out of the market, but I feel like its an added bonus for these houses to have the sidewalks" says Abilene home builder, Wesley Stockard.
Long time Abilene land developer, Aaron Waldrop, says that he thinks that the need for sidewalks are a case to case situation. His reasoning is that while it is an extra cost to him, many homeowners park where their vehicles block the sidewalk anyway, which makes him feel that he could spend his money differently.
"It's just money that shouldn't have been spent.. you could put that money in the house, maybe an appliance package, window dressings, that in my view, would be of more benefit to the homeowner than a blocked sidewalk." says Waldrop
There will be a public hearing on this matter at the March 27th council meeting.
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