Riverside residents may be unfamiliar with an ordinance change under consideration by the Village Board of Trustees, a change that, if approved, will cost them and the village a lot of money.

According to the proposed ordinance, all sidewalks and driveway aprons must be constructed with exposed aggregate concrete, eliminating all other options, such as permeable pavers, broom-finished concrete, or asphalt.

The proposed changed was instigated by the personal opinions of two residents, who happen to be trustees, Lonnie Sacchi and Jim Reynolds. Their view is that all new sidewalks and driveway aprons should look the same as our existing sidewalks, which, since the 1970s, have been constructed with exposed aggregate concrete.

There are three problems with their proposal. First, uniformity of appearance will not be achieved even if the ordinance is approved, because the look of exposed aggregate concrete varies within and between contractors.

Second, according to our Public Works Department, regular concrete lasts longer than exposed aggregate, so the village will have to replace sidewalks and aprons more often. Third, exposed aggregate costs 40 percent more than regular concrete. This means that every sidewalk and road project in Riverside will cost substantially more. Residents wanting to replace their driveway aprons will have to pay a 40-percent tax just to appease the desires of two trustees.

If uniformity is desired, it can be achieved with less-expensive, more-durable, and more environmentally friendly options. Or, given Riverside’s already eclectic and interesting architecture, why not let residents choose the driveway apron they want? Why take away our choices? Why make us pay more?

Given the lack of any material benefit to our village, and the substantial costs to both individual residents and our village as a whole, the board should not approve this change. If you agree, let your elected officials know.

Jill Mateo
Riverside