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Local

Batavia approves rules for wider driveways

BATAVIA – Residents now may have wider driveways.

Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke on Tuesday had to break a 7-7 tie after Batavia aldermen deadlocked on whether to amend the city’s zoning code and subdivision regulations for driveways. Schielke voted in favor of the amendment, which states that “where additional curb cut or driveway width is needed to provide safe and efficient vehicle maneuvering space to accommodate existing conditions, the wider improvements may be considered.”

Sixth Ward Alderman Robert Liva opposed the changes.

“I don’t see any practical purpose for it,” Liva said. “This just creates more impervious surfaces.”

Second Ward Alderman Victor Dietz supported the amendment.

“It’s not quite everything my constituents wanted, but it’s the best we can get at this point,” Dietz said.

The city’s zoning code regulates improvements on private property. For single-family homes, driveways may be up to 14 feet wide for a single-car garage or driveway that does not access a garage. The minimum driveway width is 10 feet.

Batavia Planning and Zoning officer Joel Strassman said there are potential stormwater management impacts to allowing wider driveways. The City Council Community Development Committee had voted 4-2 to recommend approval of the amendment.

Strassman noted the consensus of the committee was while not all homeowners can have the driveway they want, the slight increase in width for single-family driveways on private property will provide more space to park and maneuver cars.

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