DuBOIS — The DuBois City Council acted Monday to deal with the thorny issues of sidewalks and rights of way.
The city Planning Commission reviewed the sidewalk ordinance and concluded that it is worded appropriately but has not been uniformly enforced.
Examples abounded during an hour-long discussion, including whether the current owner of a property that does not have a sidewalk in front of it but did before the former owner removed it should be required to install a new sidewalk.
Planning Commission Chairwoman Nancy Moore, commission member and city councilwoman Diane Bernardo and city solicitor Toni Cherry reported on the commission’s reasoning.
The current ordinance does not require all properties to have sidewalks but the city may require their installation if the city engineer deems it necessary.
It also provides remedies for hazardous situations.
The question for the council and administration is how to enforce the ordinance and keep residents safe while keeping in mind the differences in sections within the city that create difficult situations.
One possible solution may be to require that sidewalk inspections be required before properties can be sold.
The sidewalk discussion overlapped at times with the right of way issue.
The council passed a first reading of Council Bill 1933, which will amend the zoning ordinance to prohibit parking in any public right of way in the city and make explicit what is currently implied.
Among the various issues that can arise is what happens when a residence is converted into apartments but the owner fails to appear before the planning commission to make sure there is sufficient parking for multiple units, as required by the code.
A public hearing on the right of way amendment will be held at 6:50 p.m. Monday, April 9, prior to the council’s regular meeting.