Series 107 2006 ORDINANCES/RESOLUTIONS
Section 107-191; Policy Res. 48-06 A; Establishing a policy on requests for variances to subdivision regulation requirements for construction of sidewalks along unimproved streets
Council Bill No.
PR 48-06 A
A POLICY RESOLUTION
establishing a policy on requests for variances to subdivision regulation
requirements for construction of sidewalks along unimproved streets.
WHEREAS, Chapter 25 of the City Code generally requires sidewalks to be
constructed on both sides of all streets within a subdivision; and
WHEREAS, the City frequently receives requests for variances from these
requirements when development occurs along unimproved streets which
are not being constructed or reconstructed as part of the subdivision; and
WHEREAS, the City is committed to assuring safe pedestrian
accommodations throughout the City while recognizing that there are
occasions when standard sidewalks are not appropriate at the time of
subdivision or development; and
WHEREAS, the City Council deems it necessary to adopt a policy statement
to serve as a guide in reviewing and acting on requests for variances for
sidewalks along unimproved streets in the City.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
COLUMBIA, MISSOURI, AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The City Council shall review each request
for a sidewalk
variance along an unimproved street in the context that there must be a
reasonable relationship between the proposed activity of a landowner and
the requirement that the landowner construct a sidewalk and in the context
that the public safety and welfare make it desirable to encourage
pedestrian movement by providing safe walkways and sidewalks away
from traffic lanes of streets.
SECTION 2. The City Council shall grant the requested variance without
conditions only if it determines that the sidewalk is not needed or that the
impact of the proposed development does not justify the requirement that
the sidewalk be constructed.
SECTION 3. In determining the need for a sidewalk variance and in
determining whether the impact of the proposed development justifies the
requirement that the sidewalk be constructed, the City Council shall
consider but not be limited to the following factors:
a. The cost of constructing the sidewalk relative to the cost of the
b. Whether the terrain is such that sidewalks or walkways
c. Whether the sidewalk would be located in a developed
area, on a low
traffic volume local street without sidewalks;
d. Current or future parks, schools or other pedestrian
the development for which a sidewalk or walkway would provide access.
SECTION 4. If the City Council finds that the proposed use of the land
would justify the requirement that a sidewalk be constructed and that in the
interest of public safety and welfare there is an immediate or near future
need for a sidewalk or walkway at the location of the variance request, the
City Council will approve the variance request only if an alternative
walkway is provided or if the property owner pays the City for future
construction of the sidewalk pursuant to Section 7 or if some other
equitable arrangement for construction of a sidewalk or other pedestrian
infrastructure improvement is made.
SECTION 5. Alternative walkways are defined as all weather pedestrian
facilities constructed in accordance with plans and specifications
approved by the Public Works Department. Alternative walkways may
deviate in vertical and horizontal separation from the roadway in order to
take advantage of natural contours and minimize the disturbance to trees
and natural areas but must meet all requirements for handicap
accessibility. Alternative walkways must be located on public easements
but a walkway easement may be conditioned that if the walkways are no
longer needed for a public purpose, the walkway easements will be
SECTION 6. When alternative walkways are permitted, plans, specifications
and easements must be submitted prior to approval of the final plat
abutting the unimproved street and construction must occur prior to the
first certificate of occupancy within the platted area.
SECTION 7. If the City Council determines that the public safety and
welfare would not be jeopardized, the Council may allow the property
owner, in lieu of constructing an alternative walkway, to pay the City the
equivalent cost of construction of a conventional sidewalk. The equivalent
cost of construction of a conventional sidewalk shall be defined as the
City s average cost of constructing portland cement concrete sidewalks by
public bid during the two (2) calendar years prior to the year in which the
variance request is submitted. Payment of the equivalent cost of a
conventional sidewalk shall occur:
a. Prior to approval of the
first final plat when the variance is
approved in connection with a preliminary plat;
b. Prior to issuance of the
first building permit when approved with
a final plat or planned development where no variance request has been
made with the preliminary plat; or
c. Prior to issuance of the
certificate of occupancy when variance
requests are approved on individual lots where final plats have been
approved without variance request.
Each payment made under this section shall be used to construct a
sidewalk along the unimproved street adjacent to the property for which
the payment was made. The sidewalk shall be constructed when the street
is constructed to City standards.
SECTION 8. In all cases, when alternative walkways or payments under
Section 7 are approved as fulfilling the subdivision requirements for
construction of sidewalks, the action of Council shall be noted on a final
plat of the properties affected. In cases where final plats have been
previously approved, re-platting may be required.
SECTION 9. The grant of a variance to the subdivision regulations
requirement for construction of a sidewalk shall not affect the power of the
City Council to later install a sidewalk adjacent to the property and levy a
special assessment against the property for construction of the sidewalk.
SECTION 10. This resolution replaces Policy Resolution 171-01A which is
hereby repealed in its entirety.
ADOPTED this 20th day of March, 2006.