City considering private sale of Dundas alley
Residents can comment on proposed closure of back lane behind Sydenham Street
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