Couple opposes closing of alleys in West Jeff


(Posted Dec. 14, 2015)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Two residents voiced their opinions about a request to vacate two alleys in West Jefferson. Village council held a public hearing on the matter on Dec. 7.

Arnie Booth, zoning and code inspector, is seeking to vacate several alleys that are no longer of use as alleys or thoroughfares. The two alleys under discussion sit between Washington and Jackson streets and Washington and Depot streets.

“They don’t serve any purpose,” Booth said, noting that grass has grown over both of them.

Vacating the alleys would mean that each 12-foot-wide stretch would be divided in half, giving adjacent property owners an extra six feet of property.

“You’re telling me I can’t drive on it?” asked Chris Elkins who lives at 100 Jackson St. “And you’re telling me I’m going to have to pay more in taxes?”

Chris said she has taken care of the alley behind several properties. Her husband, Steve, said he has mowed half of it.

“We took care of our part,” Chris said. “No one else did.”

Ron Garver, council president, commented, “It has no reason to be an alley… I asked Arnie (Booth) to enforce the code and clean up the town. We’re holding a public hearing to get input.”

The proposal to vacate the alleys was advertised for several weeks as required by law.

“It affects 20 property owners and only one in 20 shows up. That tells me there is no interest,” Garver said.

The public hearing lasted 18 minutes after which a first reading was given to the two ordinances calling for the alley vacations. A second reading and possible vote will come at council’s next meeting on Dec. 21.

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