LaGrange discusses thoroughfare ordinance update

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, January 11, 2023

On Tuesday, the LaGrange City Council discussed a potential update to the city’s ordinance that regulates thoroughfares.

City Planner Mark Kostial said an update to the city’s thoroughfare design standards is long overdue, as it hasn’t been updated for many years.

“We went back through and looked at our code of ordinances, and our thoroughfare design standards hadn’t been updated, arguably to any degree, for roughly the past two decades,” Kostial said.

Kostial said city staff has worked with Borders Design Solutions and looked at similar standards in place for Troup County, Auburn and Carrollton, along with corresponding Georgia Department of Transportation standards to update the ordinance.

The updated design standards were unanimously recommended for approval by the Board of Planning and Zoning appeals on Dec. 12.

The updated ordinance would provide contemporary construction standards for both public and private streets.

The ordinance provides standards for drainage and pipelines, pipe bedding, curbs and gutters, street naming, clearing and grading requirements, block lengths and dimensional radius requirements for cul-de-sacs.

The new standards also include composition and compaction standards for streets before they have their base and top coat put down.

The proposed ordinance also deals with utility infrastructure installations and minimum right-of-way lengths.

Kostial said right-of-ways fluctuate significantly within the city, so the update will help streamline them.

The new standards do not regulate sidewalks.

Kostial said that the UDO already requires sidewalks within all subdivisions and anywhere a new development immediately adjoins an existing sidewalk. The minimum sidewalk width is also already set in the code at fice feet.
The updated standards are primarily to for thoroughfares for motor vehicles rather than pedestrian sidewalks. It covers travel lanes, acceleration lanes, deceleration lanes, curbs and gutters, etc., he said.

City Attorney Jeff Todd said no public hearing is required for the change, but it is an ordinance, so it will require two readings.