Nacogdoches' new sidewalk ordinance taking shape

KTRE staff
KTRE staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches city planners continue the necessary steps to establish sidewalks in the city.

This week, maps were unveiled to show where property owners could be required to construct sidewalks. East Texas News found out where the boundaries lie.

Property owners and businesses along the two busiest thoroughfares in Nacogdoches are now within the proposed Urban Core Overlay District. It's where people walk the most.

"You can walk from South Street, inside the loop, so those gas stations and all those restaurants down there, all the way to Walmart,in theory as this ordinance begins to take place, if passed," said Amy Mehaffey, Nacogdoches' communications director. "On University, it's everything north of Main Street to the loop."

It's the zone where business owners could be footing the bill for sidewalks, typically $75 per running foot for a sidewalk retrofit.

"We wouldn't go back retroactively and require sidewalks on current buildings, but over time, the way this would work, say a new building is being constructed and if you are over a certain cost on a remodel of your current building, then you would trigger this ordinance," Mehaffey said.

Right now, there are sidewalks along parts of the roadways. Then there are places where they suddenly stop, only to be picked up again a couple of business lots down.

"We need to connect a lot of these areas, and so where we do have empty lots, this will make it possible when you build something on the lots you're connecting the sidewalks in front of your location," Mehaffey said.

Some developers volunteer the improvements. Panda Express, now under construction, built a sidewalk even though it's not required to do so at this time. In addition, Texas Department of Transportation has sidewalks on the drawing board for Austin and Starr Streets.

Planning and zoning have approved the proposed boundaries for sidewalk construction.

The first of two public hearings will be held before Nacogdoches City Council on Tuesday, July 18.

Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.