Homeowners in downtown historic neighborhood upset over missing sidewalk

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Homeowners in a downtown historic neighborhood want their sidewalk back.

The owner of a home at Pine Street and 20th Street recently replaced the sidewalk with greenery.

"We were really surprised a week ago to find the sidewalk had been overtaken by someone’s yard so we'd love to have the street get its sidewalk back,” said Sue Benham.

Sue Benham has lived in the neighborhood since 1987 and told 23ABC people in the neighborhood use the sidewalks all the time.

“People push strollers and kids are on bikes and skateboards. It's just that kind of neighborhood where people walk and use sidewalks,” said Benham.

Some neighbors don’t mind the new hedges.

“I like it. It did take away from walking space, but made room for greenery and looks nicer in my opinion,” said Hayden Hickman.

But Nick Fidler, Acting Public Works Director, told 23ABC homeowners are not allowed to remove a sidewalk.

"The sidewalk is included in the roadway segment. It provides for the safe mobility of pedestrians. It's a requirement of the ADA, The Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide access to pedestrians,” explained Fidler.

Fidler told 23ABC the city received a complaint about the new hedges on Tuesday and code enforcement then notified the homeowner that he will have to build another sidewalk.

"The homeowner has made some very nice improvements and everybody on the streets tries to keep up their homes and make it nice and I hope they will still do that and enjoy being in the neighborhood, but the sidewalk is part of the neighborhood,” said Benham.

The homeowner told 23ABC he removed the sidewalk as a way to raise awareness about the problems it has been causing because the city wouldn't repair it.



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