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Vacation of alley sent to council

SALEM — The proposed closing of an alley between North Lundy Avenue and North Broadway behind the First Presbyterian Church will go to city council next.

The Streets, Alleys and Sidewalks Committee agreed Tuesday to forward the proposed alley vacation to council. Councilman Steve Faber, who chairs the committee, said three readings will be necessary before council, along with a public hearing before the third reading to approve it.

The city Planning Commission had already given its approval of the alley vacation last month.

During the brief committee meeting, Councilman Dennis Plegge, who was in attendance, asked what that means when an alley is vacated and whether the alley has to be blocked off.

Faber explained that in some cases, the alley may already be blocked by trees or grass. He said it’s up to property owners what they do with the alley since it becomes part of their property. In most cases, an alley is split between the owners bordering the alley.

Councilwoman Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey, who also serves on the committee, said the process is outlined in the city ordinances and the Ohio Revised Code, noting that accepting part of the alley also means accepting the tax liability for that land.

In this case, the alley splits church property on the north and south, so that part will go to the church. The alley also goes between properties owned by John Biddle and the 314 Group LLC where Hack, Steer & Company is located, both at the North Broadway end. They signed the petition to vacate the alley along with church officials who sought the closing.

If approved by council, the section of alley between Biddle’s property and the 314 Group LLC property will be split between them. A driveway easement agreement has been signed by Biddle, the 314 Group LLC and church officials.

Biddle needs access to a garage off of the alley and the 314 Group LLC needs access to parking at the rear of its building.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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