By Lauren Zeugner
SYRACUSE — The Syracuse Town Council chose to table a request from Doug and Jeannine Schrock regarding an alley vacation during its regular meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 21. The council will review the matter at its Dec. 19 meeting.
Local attorney Steve Snyder explained the Schrocks would like a short portion of an alleyway, located adjacent to two lots they recently purchased, vacated. By eliminating the public right-of-way the Schrocks would have greater setbacks for the new home they intend to build.
Snyder explained by eliminating the right-of-way, the property would automatically revert to the Schrocks since the alleyway was originally platted to the lots they purchased. He noted the area is fully developed and adjacent properties have access to area streets and do not use the alley. The alley also does not serve as access to anyone’s property.
Councilman Paul Stoelting asked if the adjacent property owners to the north would have any claim on the alleyway if the right-of-way was eliminated. Town attorney Jay Rigdon explained since the alleyway is in the plat it would go to the Schrocks.
After some more questions from the council, Councilman Larry Siegel, who represents the district the property is located in, told the council “I can’t vote against any of my neighbors. I’ll let you decide.”
Councilman Bill Musser commented several times Siegel has never voted to vacate town property.
Several neighbors attended the meeting to remonstrate the request. Corey Mast told the council he and his neighbors have maintained the right-of-way for years, keeping it mowed and using it to bring in boats and other vehicles for storage.
Mast even paid to have a large flower box and tree removed so the power company could access the area. Tree removal companies have also used the right-of-way to access the area and remove limbs and trees from the neighbors yards.
Mast told the council area children also use the right of way to access other housing additions without having to go out onto the road.
“People have to live with the restrictions they have to build,” he told the council.
Don Yoder, another neighbor, told the council he’s lived there 18 years and maintained the space. Another neighbor told the council, “This affects all of us even if we didn’t get notice. … None of us asked for more than what we bought. … Those lots are narrow, there’s no way to get trucks in.”
Stoelting asked Mark Aurich, public works superintendent, about accessing utilities in the area. Aurich said he didn’t know exactly what public utilities were in the area and would like some time to investigate before the council made a decision.
The matter was tabled for 30 days so Aurich can investigate whether access to public utilities will be affected.