NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Future Nacogdoches County business owners will soon be required to pay out of pocket due to a new sidewalk city ordinance.
On Tuesday the city of Nacogdoches unveiled their first ever sidewalk ordinance for local businesses.
The new ordinance will require all upcoming businesses within the high traffic areas of town to have a properly designated sidewalk.
City of Nacogdoches engineer Steve Bartlett said this will be a first for Nacogdoches.
"This ordinance will require the owner or the developer to install sidewalks when they either put in a new building for the first time or a building addition of twenty five hundred square foot or more." Bartlett said.
The new ordinance will not affect current business owners unless they expand those twenty five hundred feet.
At the moment this ordinance is not a city wide requirement, affecting only future businesses that fall within the proposed urban care overlay district.
"In this case we're going to create this urban core district which will be an overlay on North Street, South Street and University Dr. so it means this rule applies to properties that front or are within that district boundary." Bartlett said.
A big reason for this new proposal is due to safety concerns being brought up regarding the high traffic areas of town.
City of Nacogdoches planning director Larissa Philpot said that safety has always been a primary focus.
"Pedestrian safety is something that's been in important it's been in the news a lot lately and so this is something we hope can make some headway into improving pedestrian safety in Nacogdoches." Philpot said.
The meeting about the new ordinance was open to the public in order to get additional feedback before it's brought before the planning and zoning commission next month.
"It's important because not everyone not everyone drives a car everywhere they go, sidewalks are really important to the health of a community." Philpot said.
The overlay district outlines are still being discussed but are expected to be finalized by October.
The new sidewalk ordinance is expected to be approved on September 12th by city council with it expected to go into effect on January 1st, 2017.