Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Leland to consider requiring sidewalks on existing streets for new subdivisions

Leland's planning department identified a potential hole in its code that -- as it stands -- would not require sidewalks to be installed on existing streets in redeveloped subdivisions.

Appleton Way in Leland was cited as an example of a street that a developer would be required to complete and install full sidewalks in if the subdivision was ever redeveloped. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Google Maps)

LELAND — Sidewalk connectivity is a priority for Leland, and the town is taking another step toward creating a more walkable town.

This week, Leland’s planning board voted to approve a text amendment that would require developers to install new sidewalks on existing streets for new subdivisions.

Related: As Leland pursues walkability, townhouse developments may have to provide sidewalks

The change would not require any retroactive requirements, Leland’s planning and inspections director, Ben Andrea, said Tuesday.

If Leland’s Town Council also votes to change the amendment, the code would be triggered by the redevelopment of existing neighborhoods.

“With our current ordinance, the town could not require that [developers] put sidewalks on existing streets,” Matt Kirkland, Leland’s senior planner, said in regards to new subdivisions.

Other jurisdictions, including Wilmington, have similar requirements for existing streets, Kirkland said. General Statute §160A-372 limits a municipalities’ ability to require improvements. Because of this, Kirkland said, requiring connectivity for subdivisions adjacent to a proposed subdivision is not possible.

According to Andrea, home builders in the area were briefed on the change. None reported any opposition to it, he said.

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