Even though the city Planning Commission liked the sound of the idea, the Crookston City Council, at a Ways & Means Committee this week, wanted nothing to do with a proposal requiring the construction of sidewalks in new residential subdivisions, once a 75 percent development threshold is met.
The council took no action on the subject, meaning the commission will simply be told that the council is not interested in enacting any type of ordinance requiring the construction of sidewalks in new neighborhoods.
Why? Basically, because the council has been there, done that, and "that" didn't go so well.
The city had a similar sidewalk requirement in place when the Evergreen Estates subdivision in the development phase, with homes being built throughout the northeast corner of town.
"And, man, did we get a lot of flak," Mayor Dave Genereux said. If a policy was put in place, the mayor thought it would be best to put sidewalks in much sooner, not potentially many years down the road, when trees have been planted and yards are established. "I'm just telling you, it's going to be a can of worms," Genereux added.
Homeowner complaints in Evergreen Estates pretty much nixed Public Works Director Pat Kelly's vision for a community full of sidewalks. It also pretty much nixed any established sidewalk policy on the city books at all, because almost anytime the city has proposed the construction of a sidewalk in recent years, impacted citizens have complained, and the council for the most part has ended up backing away from sidewalk plans.
"I think we've heard this a million times and we know how it ends," said At Large Council Member Wayne Melbye. "I say we don't put any sidewalks in anywhere they petition for it."
That happened a few years ago on St. Mary's Drive, and a sidewalk was subsequently constructed.
"Let other people arm wrestle with this if they think they want one," Melbye continued.