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In Belmont, parking on sidewalks could lead to new setback requirements for garages

In Belmont, a city in Gaston County, residents are parking on sidewalks. And it’s driving city officials crazy.

Now, the city is proposing new setback requirements for garages, in hopes of eliminating the problem.

The city has been discussing the issue for a year, Elson Baldwin, planning director for the city, said.

The city already requires front setbacks for garages, he said. But a deeper setback, such as 10 feet — although that figure is not set in stone — might solve the problem, giving residents more room to park in their driveways instead of on sidewalks, which forces pedestrians to walk in the street, he said.

The change probably would not affect already platted subdivisions, but it would have an impact on plans for new developments.

The city’s planning board is still drafting the proposed zoning changes, he said, adding that the city has studied the setback requirements of Huntersville and Davidson, both in north Mecklenburg County.

The planning board will discuss the proposal at a 7 p.m. meeting today at Belmont City Hall, 115 N. Main St.

Baldwin said the board is expected to vote on the proposal March 15.

The City Council would then have to approve the plan, a vote that could take place in April.

Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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