City con­sid­er­ing pri­vate sale of Dun­das al­ley

Res­i­dents can com­ment on pro­posed clo­sure of back lane be­hind Sy­den­ham Street

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - CRAIG CAMP­BELL

Res­i­dents have less than a week to com­ment on an ap­pli­ca­tion to close a pub­lic al­ley that runs be­hind five Sy­den­ham Street homes, just south of an ele­men­tary school.

The pub­lic al­ley be­hind 63 to 71 Sy­den­ham St. is one of 11 un­der re­view across the city fol­low­ing re­quests to pur­chase the in­for­mal road­ways from the city for pri­vate use.

So far this year, one pri­vate sale of a pub­lic, city-owned al­ley has been ap­proved, on Bar­ton Street East. Since 2014, eight city al­leys have been sold to pri­vate prop­erty own­ers. No Dun­das or An­caster al­leys were among them.

A no­tice of the pro­posal to close and sell the al­ley that con­nects Alma Street and Vic­to­ria Street was cir­cu­lated to nearby prop­erty own­ers within a 120-me­tre 400 foot ra­dius on July 14. The dead­line for com­ments is Aug. 4.

One of the prop­er­ties within the ra­dius is St. Au­gus­tine Catholic Ele­men­tary School at 25 Alma St. It’s not clear if the school or the Hamil­ton Went­worth Catholic District School Board is aware of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Reached by email last week, St. Au­gus­tine prin­ci­pal Marc Trotta re­sponded: “I would be happy to bring feed­back from my school com­mu­nity through school coun­cil; how­ever we will not con­vene un­til Septem­ber.”

Ac­cord­ing to the no­tice, if no re­sponse is re­ceived by the dead­line, staff will as­sume that spe­cific prop­erty owner has no ob­jec­tion.

But area res­i­dent Bob James is at­tempt­ing to rally his neigh­bours, en­cour­ag­ing them to regis­ter their opin­ions with the city. James wants peo­ple in the area — and out­side the area — to have their voices heard. He also wants to let area ten­ants, who weren’t nec­es­sar­ily in­formed of the ap­pli­ca­tion, know they can also pro­vide com­ments.

“Re­mem­ber that this al­ley­way has been pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble for gen­er­a­tions,” James states in a let­ter to his neigh­bours. “It has been used as a pedes­trian through­way be­tween Vic­to­ria and Alma Streets, al­low­ing peo­ple to pass safely with­out walk­ing on busy Sy­den­ham Street.”

James sug­gested the pub­lic al­ley has been used by par­ents pick­ing up or drop­ping off stu­dents at St. Au­gus­tine, and by stu­dents walk­ing or cy­cling to and from school.

Pub­lic works depart­ment spokesper­son Jas­mine Gra­ham said spe­cific de­tails of the ap­pli­ca­tion won’t be made pub­lic un­til a re­port goes to the city’s pub­lic works com­mit­tee. The clo­sure is sub­ject to com­mit­tee ap­proval.

Com­ments sup­port­ing or op­pos­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion to close the al­ley must be for­warded to Mar­i­lyn Pre­ston, in the City of Hamil­ton’s pub­lic works depart­ment, by Thurs­day, Aug. 4.

Re­mem­ber that this al­ley­way has been pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble for gen­er­a­tions. BOB JAMES, AREA RES­I­DENT

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