HARKER HEIGHTS — City Council members met Tuesday to discuss the possible abandonment of right of way sections along South Ann Boulevard.
When the city was originally incorporated, plans indicate South Ann Boulevard was intended to be a main street, said Fred Morris, the city’s planning and development director.
“Well, that never happened, so now we have this huge amount of right of way in the street,” Morris said.
The right of way along the street varies from 80 to 140 feet, he said.
The matter recently was discovered when a resident wanted to add a master suite to the front of his home, but wasn’t able to because of building setback regulations.
The resident inquired about the city’s right of way, Morris said.
After staff looked into the matter, Morris said there’s no immediate need for the city to have the amount of right of way as it does
now along South Ann Boulevard.
Moving it back to 10 feet behind the curb still gives the city enough space and allows for necessary easement access, he said.
City Manager David Mitchell said South Ann Boulevard already is a wide road.
“We need to have a conversation with the citizens,” Mitchell said. “If we were to go in and relinquish that (land) back, you’re going to add ... taxable value to their lots.”
Mitchell said it would be more cost effective to look at residents’ cases individually because if the city abandoned all of the right of way at once, it could mean the additional property would increase owners’ values.
Councilman Pat Christ said he’d prefer staff to look at the matter on a case-by-case basis so property owners wouldn’t suddenly have added value they may not want.
However, Christ said he’d also like the staff to mail out letters to the property owners to let them know their options and to schedule a future meeting with them.
Councilman Spencer Smith said the meeting should be after Labor Day, after residents are back from vacations.
Following Tuesday’s meeting, Morris said the areas of possible abandonment for property owners who choose the option does not affect the city’s improvements for a separate project to widen areas near Farm-to-Market 2410 from South Ann B
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