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Commission recommends against alley proposal

Property owner wanted city property vacated

-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
This unpaved alley extends north from the curve in the road where Fifth Avenue North becomes Hawkeye Avenue in Fort Dodge. The city’s Plan and Zoning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend rejecting a request from a nearby property owner who wanted a portion of the alley to be vacated.

On the north side of the curve in the road where Fifth Avenue North becomes Hawkeye Avenue there is what appears to be an unpaved driveway.

It is actually an alley and related right-of-way owned by the city of Fort Dodge. A recommendation issued Tuesday by the city’s Plan and Zoning Commission would keep it that way.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend rejecting a request from a nearby property owner who wanted the city to vacate part of the property.

Arreola Properties, which owns a house at 134 Fifth Ave. N., asked city officials to vacate a piece of the alley on the west side of the house. It requested a 20-foot wide by 70-foot long section where a garage would eventually be built.

Responding to that request, a nearby property owner asked city officials to grant him an easement that would allow him to travel through the property if it was vacated and sold to Arreola Properties. Wesley Ray owns a home at 132 Fifth Ave. N., which is located more than 200 feet north of the street. The alley is one of two ways to reach that house.

Carissa Harvey, the city’s strategic planner, and Brooke Flattery, the associate city planner, recommended rejecting the request from Arreola Properties. They told commission members that the city engineering staff has indicated it may need that right-of-way for a future project to reduce the curve in the road at that spot.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend rejection of the request to vacate the alley.

“I’m not a big fan of giving away alleys,” commission Chairman Mike Doyle said.

The matter now goes to the City Council for final action.

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