NEWS HEADLINES

City of Decatur approves county’s variance request

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, January 10, 2018
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The Decatur City Council Monday approved a variance request by Wise County related to requirements for sidewalks and curb and gutter for property along Old Reunion Road.

The city and county have been working for about a year on platting the property commonly known as the “Poor Farm” and the Wise County Fairgrounds, City Planning Director Dedra Ragland said. The platting process triggered requirements for sidewalks and curb and gutter along 4,100 feet of Old Reunion Road.

“They [said], ‘No, no that’s a little much. That’s not what we really want to do at this time. That’s a lot of area for construction of curb, gutter and sidewalks,'” Ragland said.

In a letter from the county, County Engineer Chad Davis estimated the cost of providing sidewalks and roadway work to be around $512,500.

City Engineer Earl Smith reviewed the criteria for granting a variance and recommended delaying the work.

“It’s not reasonable to think we could go in and design and build curb along one side of the road without rebuilding at least a half section of the road, because of drainage issues and things like that which will certainly come up. It looks to me like the most reasonable thing to do is to delay this,” he said.

The council unanimously approved the variance request.

That was one of several property-related items on the council’s agenda. In other business, the council:

  • approved a replat application for property at 1300 South Trinity by Mark Southard.
  • approved a preliminary and final plat request for a 6.8-acre tract off Farm Road 730 South by Gary Coker.
  • approved a sidewalk variance request at 1800 South College by Ben Bennington.
  • approved a preliminary and final plat for the same property at 1800 South College.
  • held the first public hearing for a voluntary annexation request for property at 1101 Fortenberry Road by Jody Forman and LaDonna Wren.

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