This may end up being moved to The Pit.
My wife and I just got a homeowners’ petition from the city yesterday regarding a recent request for the installation of new sidewalks on OUR side of the street (only). We live in an early 1970s neighborhood, well-established and maintained, with 1800-2200 square foot single-story and split-level homes. There are no sidewalks on either side of the street, but there are curbs and they are well-maintained and cleaned regularly.
The city is considering a 3-1/2’ setback for a 6’ sidewalk. That’s 20% of my front yard and driveway. We would be the only one of four parallel, through streets in the development to get a sidewalk.
I am definitely a cranky old man, so I’ll gladly point out why I vehemently oppose this: I don’t want to lose 20% of my yard. Since there’s no parking on my side of the street, I will lose the ability to park one more car in my driveway when guests are here. I’m going to end up with 100% of the dog waste from inconsiderate owners, since they will certainly flock to the sidewalk side…plus, it will be 10’ closer to the house, my cars, and my carport. It’s going to attract the cyclists, skateboarders, and eScooter users (even though our city makes it illegal to ride eScooters on the sidewalks). I lose control over 10’ of my property to EVERYBODY, since I can’t control who uses the sidewalk or what they do on it. (Bunch of kids hanging around under the streetlight late at night? Can’t do a thing about it if they’re on the sidewalk.) I presume I will need to clear the sidewalk of snow and ice as well, tripling the area I’m now responsible for. And I could go on at even more length.
Any suggestions? We are already doing some social media and plan to go around the neighborhood speaking individually with the other owners. We will, of course, return our petition voting against the idea, but it only takes 50% of the homeowners + 1 vote for it to be approved.
BTW, I know I’ll get some comments about how great sidewalks are. I agree that they are helpful to some people. If they are important to you, then buy a home in a neighborhood that has them. Don’t ruin my front yard because you want a sidewalk.