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Sidewalks required with new construction

We're new here. We've been out walking around the neighborhood and wondering why there are short areas of sidewalk then no sidewalk. Two houses will have a sidewalk, then the rest of the block has no sidewalk. Very curious.

— Chris, Grants Pass

Grants Pass planning regulations call for sidewalks to be built when there is new construction, Chris, so the missing sidewalk links are likely in front of older houses built before the regulations were enacted.

Under city law, sidewalks must be built along the entire frontage of a lot or lots in cases of partitions, subdivisions, new developments and expansions of existing homes and buildings of more than 50 percent of the original floor area.

For expansions of apartments and business buildings of more than 25 percent but less than 50 percent of the original floor area, sidewalks may be required along a portion of the frontage that equals the percentage of the expansion.

Construction of new sidewalks can be temporarily postponed if street widening is planned within five years, because the newly installed sidewalks would have to be ripped up to make way for the wider street, under city rules.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.