JUNEAU — A family in Juneau is suing the city over new sidewalks to be added in front of their home.
Jacqueline and Jeffrey Slayton filed a lawsuit against the city last month about the project that will remake Downie Drive and Leonard Avenue with new curb and gutter, driveway aprons and new sidewalks. It is estimated that homeowners will have to pay for about 16 percent of the roughly $488,000 project cost in special assessments. The streets end in a cul-de-sac.
The construction is going ahead this summer. The project was modified to reduce the size of the grass terrace by four feet after residents in the neighborhood spoke out against it. Organizers say residents are unanimously against the project.
Residents on Leonard and Downie oppose the new sidewalks because they don’t want changes to the quiet neighborhood, believe the sidewalks would bring safety issues and are concerned about how the work will reduce their trees, driveways and yard space. They feel they did not have adequate notice about the construction and its costs.
In the complaint, filed in Dodge County Circuit Court, the Slaytons said they are concerned that the sidewalks would create a safety risk for them, their children and the elderly. They said that they chose the neighborhood because it didn’t have sidewalks, and that the changes would not benefit their property value.
The suit also claims residents received unequal treatment and exceptions and that the special assessment is illegal.
The Slaytons are seeking damages. They are also seeking the special assessment to be declared illegal, or that it be modified.
The Juneau Common Council meets Tuesday and is set to meet in closed session, which is allowed when there are legal matters at issue. City Attorney Ethan Geis said they will learn more about what the Slaytons are requesting in their appeal of the special assessment.