WARRENTON — Developers with plans to build new subdivisions in Warrenton will be required to provide parks.
The City Commission unanimously approved recommendations Tuesday night from staff and the Planning Commission to add new standards for subdivisions as well as street width to the development code.
The code change does not affect the many housing projects in the works now, but will impact future plans, Planning Director Skip Urling said.
Any new subdivision with 20 lots or more will be required to provide a neighborhood park. Developers will have to devote at least 5 percent of the project area to parkland. Residents of the subdivision will be responsible for the maintenance.
Planning Commissioner Paul Mitchell has been a vocal proponent of requiring developers to include parks in their plans. As new plans came before the commission this year, he consistently asked what, if any, parks were already located nearby or if the developers planned to provide a playground or park area.
Requiring parks in subdivisions provides “more opportunities for residents within a shorter service radius,” concluded a staff report submitted to the Planning Commission in November. “It would enhance the quality of place offered by the city.”
With the park requirement, City Commissioners also established new road standards Tuesday.
New local roads are now required to meet a pavement width of 36 feet rather than the range of 28 to 36 feet more typical in Warrenton.
In past discussions about the many new developments in the works or under construction, Fire Chief Tim Demers said he was concerned about fire engines being able to turn around in streets and access the new buildings in case of fire.
Wider streets will also allow cars to park on both sides of the road. In some neighborhoods, cars ride up onto the sidewalk to park — a misguided effort to park on the street but keep the road clear that eliminates the ability for pedestrians to use the sidewalk, city commissioners have noted.
The requirement applies to any new road construction, including work done by the city.