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City Council Votes to Continue Sidewalk Requirement for New Developments

Sidewalks will remain a requirement for all new single-family housing developments in Abilene.
Sidewalks will remain a requirement for all new single-family housing developments in Abilene.

Abilene City Council voted Thursday on certain proposed amendments to the existing sidewalk ordinance.

One possible change would have been to no longer require developers to build sidewalks when constructing new developments. However, Mayor Norm Archibald spoke strongly against this one particular proposed amendment, saying that he wanted Abilene to be “walkable,” just like peer cities of the same size, and those who must walk from place to place should not be treated as second class citizens.

The council approved four out of the five proposed amendments with the exception of the first as mentioned above.

The proposed amendments were:

1. Making sidewalks optional on local streets within new single family residential subdivisions.

2. Exempting sidewalk construction for platting or development in Agricultural-Open Space zoning for developments that do not trigger a site plan.

3. Exempting sidewalk construction for plats where no other street improvements are triggered.

4. Exempting sidewalk construction for plats along rural and TxDOT roadways with drainage ditches.

5. Adding the option for a sidewalk deferral to defer construction to some point in the future, rather than a waiver.

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