Toccoa Planning Commission Sticks by Abandonment Recommendation

December 20, 2013

The Toccoa Planning Commission stands by its initial recommendation to abandon a city side street and part of an adjacent alley.

Thursday, the Planning Commission met and chose not to change its recommendation to the city commission that the city abandon Savannah Lane and part of an adjacent alley as requested by the Toccoa First United Methodist Church.

Toccoa Planning Director Connie Tabor said city commissioners asked the Planning Commission to look at the matter again in light of new suggestions brought forth by opponents of the proposed abandonment.

“I think what you all are charged with tonight is looking at this new information (and deciding) would that have impacted or changed the decision you made previously,” said Tabor.

Daughters of Hilda McCurdy, who owns property at the corner of Walnut and Savannah streets, proposed either extending the alley from North Walnut Street to the existing church parking lot or rerouting that easement to Short Street or thereabout and away from Ms. McCurdy’s property.

Some residents on Walnut Street have opposed the abandonment because Savannah Lane and the alley give them secondary, emergency access to their properties if Walnut Street were to be blocked.

In an effort to alleviate the residents’ concerns about access, the church had offered an eight-foot easement, the same width as the alley, down the side of its property to allow for emergency access, but that did not seem to satisfy the concerned residents.

First United Methodist Church Representative Bob Troup told city commissioners Monday the counter-proposal would not work.

Thursday, he told the Planning Commission that the simplest thing to do would be to simply abandon the road and the part of the alley that is surrounded by church property.

Toccoa City Commissioners will still have to take a final vote on the abandonment and also decide who gets the property after it is abandoned.

A decision on that is not expected until after the first of the year.

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