Commission: Get rid of unused part of South 29th Street

What looks like a long gravel driveway right next to some railroad tracks in southern Fort Dodge is actually a city street.

Chances are it won’t be one much longer.

The city’s Plan and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that the local government give up ownership of what is actually 29th Street between 13th and 15th avenues south.

The road is a deadend on both the north and south sides, and doesn’t connect to the rest of South 29th Street.

Senior City Planner Maggie Murray told the commission that surveys being conducted in advance of a storm sewer project near 13th Avenue South and 29th Street revealed that the stretch of gravel is in fact a city street.

She said the city has no use for it. She added that the Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the nearby tracks, has expressed interest in acquiring it.

In a related matter, the commission also recommended vacating the southern portion of a north-south alley not far from the section of South 29th Street that may be vacated. Murray said vacating that alley may be necessary to meet the legal requirement that every parcel in the city has a direct street frontage. However, she said a real estate purchase one of the nearby property owners is working on may make vacating the alley unnecessary.

The commission’s action is just a recommendation. The matter now goes to the City Council, which will make the final decision.