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City Forces Homeowner To Rip Up His Own Yard And Pay For $8,500 Sidewalk

City Forces Homeowner To Rip Up His Own Yard And Pay For $8,500 Sidewalk

Image source: Pixabay.com

Homeowners apparently will be forced to pay the city to rip up their front yards and install sidewalks under a proposal in Grand Forks, N.D.

“Sidewalks aren’t protestable,” City Council President Dana Sande told The Grand Forks Herald. “So once the city determines that the sidewalks should go into your neighborhood, you have one of three options: you can either put the sidewalk in yourself, you can hire a contractor to put it in, or you can have the city hire a contractor to put them in and be special assessed the fee. There are no other options.”

The council is requiring all homeowners to put in sidewalks in a plan to make Grand Forks “more connected,” The Herald reported. The sidewalk requirement has been on the books for many years but a previous council granted some homeowners a 10-year exemption. The present council has decided not to honor that provision.

“They’re just automatically going to do it and automatically put it on our specials and we’re just going to have to pay for it, so we don’t have a say,” homeowner Jared Johnson told WDAZ-TV.

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Johnson estimates the sidewalk he does not want would cost $8,500. That would add about $100 a month to his property tax bill.

No Choice: Put in Sidewalk or Else

Residents have no choice.

“They were granted a 10-year extension, so other neighborhoods could come and ask the same thing,” Sande said. “I would doubt the city would have much appetite for offering extensions for sidewalks, though, because, again, sidewalks are about community.”

That means property owners like Johnson will see a higher tax bill and lose part of their property. Around half of Johnson’s neighbors have signed a petition against sidewalks.

“It’ll be a foot off of our property marker up on the corner, then it’ll cut across here in the driveway which will take away a lot of our driveway space, unfortunately,” Johnson said.

What do you think? Should homeowners be forced to pay for sidewalks on their own property? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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4 comments

  1. Audrie Lawrence

    I think that is stupid, that Johnson has to do that and especially pay $8,500 for it.

  2. This is what all governments(feds on down) do when they’re going broke. Steal, gouge, cheat anyway they can to extract that which is not theirs. What’s theft by any other name?

  3. In most states the first eight feet of a property from the curb belong to the city. If they want sidewalks, then it is incumbent on the city to pay for them.
    This is bull.

  4. Grand Forks is snow & ice 7 to 8 months out of the year.
    High winds and low temps abound. It’s not ‘walkable’ so
    trying to make it more ‘connected’ is silly.

    There really shouldn’t even be a town there at all.

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