Town Council discussed potential amendments and updates to "Policy 3901- Design Standards and Procedures for Development and Subdivision Infrastructure" on July 13, 2022. This was last reviewed in 2003 and no updates have been made since, so these changes are necessary to keep developing standards modern.

While most people don't give too much thought to construction and development in their day-to-day lives, the new amendments and updates being made could directly impact your own yards and communities. Here's what you need to know from yesterday's meeting:

One of the changes that most directly impacts individuals is the new driveway changes. The dimensions of driveways will be limited to up to the main entrance, which could limit how much you can pave. The Town of Strathmore's Ethan Wilson explains that if you already have an extended gravel lot you can pave it, but you will no longer be able to replace a grass lot with pavement if it would extend beyond your main entrance.

"A lot of the intent around this is to not get a completely concrete covered lot. So in a scenario where gravel is there already you are going from a semi-impermeable surface to an impermeable surface. So the change in the amount of storm water coming off of that pad is minimal. But say you had a front yard that was completely grass right now and you came to the town and said 'I want to pave my entire front yard,' we would likely say no," he said.

Changes will also be made to how parks and amenities are developed. Wilson said there are many communities that don't have access to things like playgrounds, pathways and irrigation, and the changes made will make sure those can be added where possible. On top of this, an update is being made that says a park must be developed before any additional development around it, to ensure that communities get the parks they were promised.

"We don't want a developer to skip the recreational amenities. They could defer it and say 'phase one, ok we're not building the park yet,' but by the time phase two comes around the other side of what's supposed to be a park, the park must be done."

While many other topics and changes were discussed, like how to handle overflow and underground pipe construction, these were some of the topics that have the most immediate impact on residents. While there's no doubt that all topics discussed were important, these are the ones that could most heavily impact how you live, and deciding what houses or communities you might choose to move to.

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