Planning Commission OKs alley vacation at library


SIDNEY — The Sidney Planning Commission OK’d the request for the vacation of a portion of the north-south alley at Amos Memorial Public Library during its Monday evening meeting.

The approved petition was from the Shelby County Libraries for the vacation of a portion of the north-south alley, north of North Street between Main and Miami Avenues. The alley right-of-way is located between the Amos library building and the associated library parking facility in the south half of the block between North Street and Lane Street, Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth explained.

This alley right-of-way is an improved (paved) part of the city’s transportation network, Dulworth said. Generally, she said, city staff does not recommend vacating an improved and used portion of the city’s right-of-way. In this case, the primary users of the alley are library patrons. She noted city staff requested the library provide feedback from adjacent property owners to the north-south alley in the north half of the block, as those properties would be affected more than anyone else in the community if the south half of the alley is vacated. All property owners in the north half have provided their consent, and those letters were provided for commission members’ review.

Commission member Merrill Asher expressed concern about vehicles coming from the alley dropping off handicapped individuals being able to easily re-enter the parking lot to park. Library representative Susan Cline assured that any vehicles in that situation would be able to re-enter the parking lot.

The commission resolved to recommend for the Sidney City Council to approve the right-of-way vacation petition under the following two conditions:

• If City Council approves the right-of-way vacation, the library must put in place temporary barricades at the entrance to the alley at North Street to gauge the effect of the removal of the southern entrance to the alley/drive aisle.

•Include in the vacation ordinance, that if at any point in the future, the library expands their off-street parking to the south, adjacent to North Street, the existing alley/drive entrance is permanently removed and a new drive entrance is constructed directly into the parking facility.

This item will appear before the Sidney City Council for consideration of approval at a future meeting.

In other business, Dulworth introduced the city’s new City Planner Tim Hurysz to commission members.

Also Monday, Board Chair Tom Ehler and Vice Chair David Gross were both absent. Board member Patricia Miller conducted the meeting as the appointed chair pro tem, in the absence of both the board chair and vice chair. Ehler and Gross’ absences were excused by the commission.

By Sheryl Roadcap

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