Archbold Village Council overruled its own committee during its Monday, June 3 meeting, voting to allow a sidewalk on only one side of Lindau Street.
Tony Warncke, 1205 Lindau Street, appeared at the May 8 council meeting to oppose two sidewalks. At that time, council referred the matter to the streets and sidewalks committee.
Kevin Eicher, committee chairman, said the committee met Monday, May 20, and after a half-hour of discussion, voted to recommend sidewalks on both sides of the street.
Vaughn Bentz, a councilman, said the subdivision regulations, which are referred to but not included in the village ordinances, state that where there are three homes per acre, sidewalks are to be built on both sides of the street.
No Sidewalk Examples
Warncke, who was at the Monday meeting, said he researched village street projects built or rebuilt since 1964, and found numerous examples of areas where the subdivision code was ignored.
•Woodland Oaks I and II– no sidewalks.
•Olds Lane, Flory Lane, Charles Street– no sidewalks.
•North Pointe Estates, which includes a community park– no sidewalks.
He said when Buehrer Street was reconstructed, a sidewalk on only one side of the street was built.
Bob Seaman, village engineer, noted North Pointe and Woodland Oaks do not meet the density requirements.
Why would council strictly adhere to the subdivision regulations if they had not adhered to them in the past, Warncke asked.
Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor, said in the past, council had made mistakes by not requiring sidewalks.
He said when North Pointe was first built, there was only one home in the neighborhood, so the decision was made not to require sidewalks.
But North Pointe grew, “and we realized we made a mistake. It should have sidewalks,” he said.
Now, he said, money for sidewalk construction is placed in an escrow account, and when 75% of the lots in a subdivision are sold, sidewalks will be built.
Wyse noted the Murbach Street extension east of Meadow Road is only one lot away from qualifying for sidewalks.
In a later interview, Howell said once sidewalks are built in the Murbach Street extension, sidewalks will be added along Murbach from Lincoln Street east to the extension.
Warncke said the village tree committee, which oversees trees in the village right-of-way, favors saving trees where possible. If two sidewalks were built on Lindau, a large oak tree would come down.
Seaman said the village engineering staff had looked at the tree in question, and decided it could stay, even if two sidewalks were built.
At one point, Warncke began to make a statement, but Eicher tried to cut him off. Wyse allowed Warncke to finish.
Warncke said Eicher had told him he didn’t care about councils before or after the current council; he was head of the streets and sidewalk committee, and this is the way it (two sidewalks) would be.
Eicher denied making such a statement.
Warncke also said Phil Rich, who lives in the neighborhood, was opposed to two sidewalks, asking why should the character or ambience of the neighborhood be changed with such low foot and vehicle traffic.
Bentz said he lives on a cul-de-sac. He has children ages five and eight, and would prefer sidewalks.
Duane Dowdy, 1100 Lindau Street, said he appreciated the rebuilding of roads in the neighborhood. He said he has two small children, and that he likes sidewalks, “but I understand Tony’s point of view.”
Bruce Sauber, who lives at 1201 S. Buehrer St., at the corner of Buehrer and West Lugbill Road, said a sidewalk in a neighbor’s yard on the north side of West Lugbill Road would make it difficult to park in their driveway.
Warncke and Sauber both made the point that sidewalks in the neighborhood don’t connect to other areas, so there really is no need for them.
Kenny Cowell, a councilman, said he was in favor of following village ordinances and trying to establish some form of continuity, but common sense has to prevail.
He said in his opinion, sidewalks “aren’t that big a deal,” but that some are dead-set against them.
Fryman suggested duplicating what the village had done on Buehrer Street. Kevin Morton, a councilman agreed.
Wyse told council there was a recommendation from the streets and sidewalks committee to build sidewalks on both sides of the street, and he asked for a motion to approve that recommendation.
None was forthcoming. Since there was no motion, the issue died, and Wyse called for the question to be returned to the committee.
But Fryman made a motion to build one sidewalk on Lindau Street, on the east side of the street.
Eicher said he agreed with Fryman, and seconded Fryman’s motion.
Wyse suggested the issue go back to committee, but Fryman asked, “How much more discussion do we need, Jim?”
Ed Leininger, a councilman, said years ago, residents on the south side of West Lutz Road had opposed building a sidewalk, and the project was stopped.
But later, a sidewalk was built at the request of residents.
He said a second sidewalk could be built on Lindau at a later date.
Council voted 5-1 to build one sidewalk on the east side of Lindau Street, then 5-1 again to build just one sidewalk on the north side of West Lugbill Road.
In both cases, Bentz cast the lone “no” vote.-corrected 6.12.13