City wants sidewalks along Liberty Ave

By Melanie Williamson

The Vermilion Board of Zoning Appeals met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, August 28. The meeting was attended by board members Kevin Sorrell, Jerry Schrenk, Bob Voltz, Guy LeBlanc, as well as Vermilion Building Inspector Bill DiFucci and council representative Barb Brady.

One of the topics addressed at the meeting was the issue of sidewalks along Liberty Avenue in light of a request to not have them installed. The project manager for the building project at Liberty Avenue and Pebbleshores Jim Coggins submitted a variance request for no sidewalks along Liberty Avenue; along the whole frontage of the development.

Through some discussion, it was determined that sidewalks have already been installed within the development from apartment to apartment, and they are planning to install a sidewalk going north and south on Pebbleshores Cove. They were specifically looking to not install sidewalks along Liberty Avenue. When asked, Coggins stated that not putting sidewalks along Liberty Avenue would save them approximately $30,000.

Local resident Don Neiding stated that he believed it was important to have sidewalks all along Liberty Avenue because it creates a safety issue where sidewalks are missing. Council woman Barb Brady added to the discussion stating that sidewalks along Liberty Avenue is on the city council’s agenda as council may push the issue of forcing sidewalks.

Local resident Ken Cassell said it would appear that the sidewalks should be required there as he just went through this a month ago on Sunnyside Road and the Zoning Board required them there.  The potential of traffic on Sunnyside Road is much less than it is on Liberty Avenue and there is certainly a lot more population with the apartments they are building. Therefore, it would appear that it should be absolutely necessary to have sidewalks on Liberty Avenue.  He said the board had said a month ago that they want them in the entire area, so he would suggest that if they are going to adhere to that, then they should be required.

After more discussion, the board voted unanimously to deny the variance request ensuring that sidewalks will be installed along the front of the development on Liberty Avenue.

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