Delmont officials may vacate unpaved alley deemed a ‘potential hazard’ |

Delmont officials may vacate unpaved alley deemed a ‘potential hazard’

Patrick Varine
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Delmont officials in February tabled a decision to designate this alley above Trinity Church as one-way. At their March 12, 2019, meeting, they decided not to make it one-way, and will vote in April to potentially vacate the alley.

Delmont officials decided not to designate an alley beside Trinity United Church of Christ as one-way.

In fact, they decided Tuesday night that they may not want it at all.

Council voted 5-0 to advertise an ordinance vacating the alley — Spring Lane, which connects Lindsay Lane and East Pittsburgh Street — after hearing from local residents and considering their options. The alley is not level, with a sizable dip on the East Pittsburgh Street end that neighbors said frequently causes vehicles to bottom out and scrape.

“I think the borough needs to look at this as a liability,” Councilman Stan Cheyne said of the alley, which is unpaved and cannot be safely plowed by borough public works crews. “It’s our road, and we can’t maintain it.”

Solicitor Dan Hewitt agreed.

“What you’ve heard in the past two months is that this alley is a potential hazard,” he told council. “The next time someone scrapes and damages their truck, they could come to the borough and say, ‘Your road damaged my truck,’ and they’d be right.”

By vacating the alley, ownership reverts to the adjacent property owners, in this case Trinity church officials to the west and resident Shawn Blackham to the east. Legally speaking, the road would be split directly down the center, with each side belonging to its respective property owner.

Blackham has maintained the alley for the past two decades.

“I don’t mind maintaining it,” Blackham said “You can’t even pave it, because you’d have to raise the level of the road (on the East Pittsburgh Street end), and that will just cause more water to run off the road onto the neighboring properties.”

Council voted down an ordinance that would designate Spring Lane as one-way, and will vote on vacating the alley at its April meeting.

Council members David Piper and Ann Lantz were not present.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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