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Council votes to abandon alley near hospital

March 16, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Borough Council had a case of deja vu Wednesday when a representative for the Waynesboro Hospital again asked the council to vacate part of an alley that is east of Dickinson Avenue and parallel to Roadside Avenue.

This time, the council approved the alley abandonment, allowing the hospital to proceed with plans to extend its upper parking lot.

Last year, the council's vote to abandon the alley died for lack of a second.

Bill Dick, the hospital's attorney for the matter, said the alley is only really an alley on paper and has been closed for decades.

"We're trying to get rid of an alley and, honestly, an alley that doesn't really exist," Dick said.

It was recorded in a deed book after a 1902 survey, according to Dick.

"The hospital is the sole owner of all property abutting the alley," he said.

When the hospital presented its request last year, the council encouraged hospital officials to get written approval from nearby property owners. Dick said four of the seven property owners agreed, and one, the borough manager, made no comment to avoid a conflict of interest.

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"We have had a majority of those people ... saying they have no interest in that portion of the alley. The owners aren't interested in having the alley opened up," Dick said.

One property owner, Ricky Yeakle of 217 Dickinson Ave., expressed concerns about losing a right of way in case he decides to build a garage. Part of that right of way is currently overgrown.

"I only didn't clean it up because it isn't mine," he said.

The council's decision only divested itself of the alley. The hospital will have to address the right of way concerns with property owners, said Lloyd Reichard, council's solicitor.

"The hospital is certainly willing to let Mr. Yeakle cross the parking lot ... to get to the back of his property. We certainly are not interested in blocking him. We will not build anything across there to prevent him from going up there," Dick later said.

In urging council to vacate the alley, Dick said the additional parking will alleviate the burden on the lower lot and better "allow people to use this gem (hospital) that we've got."

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