Officials respond to curb-and-gutter letter

By Jason L. Wren and Martin Woodruff | Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013

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This is in response to Rose Stuber’s letter in the Messenger’s Jan. 30 edition (“Are ordinances applied to all?”), and other comments and questions recently from other citizens regarding the City of Decatur’s enforcement of its curb-and-gutter ordinance.

The City has enforced that ordinance consistently and equally to all, including with respect to the development of properties along Deer Park Road. A property owner may comply with the ordinance if funds sufficient to pay for curb and gutter are placed in escrow. That allows the City to later use the escrowed funds to build curbs and gutters as roadways are improved.

In the case of Deer Park Road, the City intends, at some point in the future, to perform street improvements on that road. The Public Works Department, therefore, offered the option of escrowing the funds for curb and gutter to both Crossroads Church and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church chose to seek a variance and requested that the curb and gutter requirement be waived altogether. That variance was denied. Instead of escrowing the funds as offered, the church then opted to build the curbs.

Crossroads Church did not seek a variance. Instead, they accepted the City’s offer to escrow the funds for curb and gutter, thus complying with the ordinance.

The development of other properties along Deer Park Road, such as Rann Elementary, pre-dates the ordinance. If new construction occurs in connection with the already developed properties, the City would apply the ordinance to those properties, just as it has consistently applied it to all properties recently.

We encourage those with questions about city operations to feel free to contact City Manager Brett Shannon at City Hall, 940-393-0200.

Thank you,
Jason L. Wren, Mayor Pro Tem
Martin Woodruff, Mayor

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