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City of San Angelo proposes sidewalk ordinance

The City of San Angelo is considering a sidewalk ordinance for new developments. The ordinance will apply to new neighborhoods or commercial buildings.
Credit: Esmeralda Perez

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The City of San Angelo is proposing a sidewalk ordinance as part of its comprehensive plan. The sidewalk ordinance amendment says the purpose is to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public.

The comprehensive plan was adopted by the San Angelo City Council as a way of creating a safer and convenient environment. The sidewalk policy is intended to apply to both public and private streets. 

A survey performed by Angelo State University and the San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization in 2013, showed 60% of participants traveled as a pedestrian at least once a week. In that study, a large majority agreed pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure should not be prioritized.

However, 86% of participants supported establishing sidewalk standards for development projects.

“The cost of these sidewalks is going to be a minimum of $5,000 per lot and that's on the low end. It’s not a cheap edition with the price of housing right now. We have so many other issues that we have to be dealing with to try to keep our housing cost down,” Home Builders Association of San Angelo Executive Officer Kristen Oliver said. 

Oliver mentioned there have been numerous developments that have been stopped because of the sidewalk ordinance, especially in low income areas. The City has made adjustments in the ordinance and the updated version says existing developments will not be considered.

“The City has adopted plans over the years that recommended looking at becoming more walkable and pedestrian friendly and one of the ways other cities have done that is by having sidewalk requirements for new development,” COSA Director of Planning and Development Services, Jon James, said. 

James said there is no funding from the City, because it will be a new requirement for new developments.