A Midland councillor says the town’s design standards are pushing sidewalks too far onto people's properties, creating "dead space" that no one is using.
Councillors considered a report from the town’s engineering department at their general committee meeting Tuesday. It recommended maintaining the current design standards for sidewalks, which stipulate a 1.5-metre-wide concrete sidewalk on at least one side of each roadway and a 0.3-metre minimum distance between the property line and sidewalk.
But this proposal was met with opposition from Coun. Glen Canning, who said sidewalks are being pushed further and further onto people’s properties, creating large green spaces between the curb and sidewalk.
“Essentially, it creates a lawn that is dead space,” he said. “I never see people using them or walking on them.”
Canning said sidewalks closer to the road would eliminate these large expanses.
But Coun. Pat File pointed out these are put in place to deal with utility lines running along the street, as well as to serve as a place to put snow in the winter.
“This is done partly to make sure that there is a safe enough space to deal with the volume of snow we get,” she said. “These snowbanks can be well over six feet high.”
Coun. George MacDonald recommended the proposal on sidewalks be considered as part of the official plan review, which will guide the town on development into the future. The plan is currently in its design stages and a draft report is scheduled to be considered by council in December.