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Study says 40 percent of residential lots in the City of Decorah don't have sidewalks

Posted: Mon, Oct 9, 2017 8:27 PM

A study conducted by a property owner in the Bruening Addition says 40 percent of residential lots in the City of Decorah do not have a sidewalk.  The survey result was cited by Bruening Addition property owner Steve Chambliss as proof that the city is "tackling an extremely complicated issue."

The results were released Monday night as the Decorah Planning & Zoning Commission again discussed the city's 5-year plan to install sidewalks citywide.  Commission members asked for additional administrative rules to carry out the sidewalk policy.  Commission chair Brian Cook said there are no guidelines for where to put in utility boxes, trees or driveways.

City Administrator Chad Bird said he is developing a specific plan for sidewalks in the Bruening Addition which would include waivers for properties where sidewalks would not be required.  Planning & Zoning Commission member Joel Zook called for written details on the criteria for issuing exemptions.

Chambliss urged the city to take time to make sure the sidewalk program has communitywide support--and communitywide knowledge.  He noted that a new mayor and new city council members would soon take office and urged a "thorough, comprehensive approach" to the issue.

The Planning & Zoning Commission took no formal action on the issue Monday night.