We have been working on a downtown streetscape design and are coming close to having the City Commission taking action on adoption of the plan. I am finding myself a philosophical odds with other city staff and the city Commission in regards to the role the downtown property owners should play in funding the project. They content that the sidewalk is owned by the property owner and that they are responsible for "maintenance", which means that they should replace it when it is a deteriorated. I don't think that "maintenance" and "replacement" is the same, but they do.
How can sidewalks be privately owned when they are in the public ROW. They exhibit none of the legal characteristics of private property. The adjancent property owner can not keep people from using it. They can not sell the sidewalk to somone else. they can not charge for the use of the sidewalk. They can not destroy the sidewalk. Their property legal description does not include the sidewalk. How can sidewalks in ROW be private property?
Anyway, here's my question. Have downtown property owners been required to fund downtown streetscape improvements in your town... or has the City been the only source of local funding?