(a)   Policy Statement.  Sidewalks are a fundamental component of the City's transportation and recreation system and provide inherent safety and value to the adjacent property owner, the surrounding neighborhood and the general public.
   The provision of sidewalks in planned subdivisions shall be required based upon the following public benefits:
            (1)   Enhanced safety for children playing on their block and in a neighborhood; and
            (2)   Protection of children and adults walking to and from schools, park, neighbors, neighborhood shopping and public transit stops or walking recreationally.
   Whenever a development plan is submitted, it shall be a requirement of the owner/ developer to install sidewalks, curbs and gutters based upon the specifications established by the City. This requirement applies to all developments, including residential, commercial, office, retail and industrial.
   The City's Planning and Zoning Code shall be amended to require all infrastructure improvements for any development. The City's Subdivision Regulations shall also be amended to identify specific criteria for consideration of any deferrals of sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The criteria for deferral of infrastructure improvements shall be reviewed by the Planning Commission with a recommendation to City Council for review and final approval.
   If sidewalk, curb and gutter improvements are deferred by the Planning Commission in accordance with the established criteria, a deposit equal to the estimated cost of the improvements shall be made to the Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Improvement Fund. Such escrowed funds will be available to the City at the point in time that sidewalks, curb and gutters are declared a necessity by Council for the thoroughfare or street in question. In cases where the improvements covered by the deposit are completed and installed through other financial means besides assessments, such as grants, the amount deposited shall be refunded, with any applicable interest, to the original owner or developer who made the deposit.
   (b)   Maintenance Requirements. 
            (1)   The repair of existing sidewalks, curbs and gutters shall be the responsibility of the property owner. The costs associated with these repairs shall be paid directly by the property owner or placed as an assessment on the property tax duplicate in accordance with the City's Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Program. A financial assistance program will also be available to property owners who meet the program's eligibility guidelines and requirements.
            (2)   The City will strive to notify property owners in advance, by letter, of streets and lots included in the City's Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Program. The City will attempt to provide property owners, two years in advance, with a notice of the inclusion of their property in the Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Program, with a one-year notice prior to the actual work. Due to changes that can occur over time in the streets scheduled for the Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter Program, the two-year notice will include a statement alerting property owners that the schedule of streets might change, which could affect the actual date that their street and property would be included in the Program. In cases where the list of streets included in the program changes during annual updates of the City's Capital Improvement Plan, the City will strive to give as much advance notice as possible to the affected property owners.
   (c)   Missing Gap Requirements.
            (1)   As the City has developed, certain subdivisions developed without sidewalks, curbs and gutters being required. Such areas may represent a “missing gap”, wherein adjacent or contiguous properties are currently served by sidewalks, curbs and gutters. It shall be the policy of the City to install sidewalks, curbs and gutters in those missing gap areas when said installation is determined to be necessary and physically and financially feasible. A recommendation to City Council for the installation of sidewalks, curbs and gutters in such areas shall be made by the City Engineer in each specific case.
            (2)   The cost for installation of sidewalks, curbs and gutters under this provision will be paid for by the City. The actual installation of the improvements would be done under a City contract. After installation of any sidewalk, curb and gutter by the City, on-going maintenance, repair or replacement of the sidewalk, curb and gutter will become the responsibility of the property owner in accordance with subsection (b) hereof.
   (d)   Petitions for Sidewalks, Curbs and Gutters.  If property owners of an area without sidewalks, curbs and gutters request the installation of the same, the cost for these improvements shall be borne entirely by the affected property owners. This request must be accomplished through a petition signed by a majority of the affected property owners. The installation of any missing gaps in sidewalks, curbs and gutters under this provision should be done for the entire affected block.
   (e)   Tree Replacement Program.  With the installation, repair or replacement of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, it is necessary at times to remove trees that physically affect the work or have impacted and damaged the adjacent sidewalk, curb or gutter. Given the importance and value of trees to the community and to neighborhoods, the City will work with property owners to replace trees removed by sidewalk, curb and gutter work. The City will make available to property owners a list of approved trees and recommended locations where the trees should be planted. The cost for the replacement trees and the installation will be paid for by the City.
   (f)   Effective Date. This section will be in effect for any missing sections of sidewalks, curbs and gutters not installed under the 1995 and 1996 programs and for all future sidewalk, curb and gutter programs.
(Ord. 5149.  Passed 6-3-97.)