Union Bridge Town Council votes to take control of alley

March 02, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

A three-year dispute over ownership of a Union Bridge alley ended last night when the Town Council voted to take over its maintenance.

The council said it would assume responsibility for the lane, located between a house at 17 S. Main St. and a duplex at 17-19 S. Main St.

Sam Myers, who lives in the duplex and owns the property, said he and his tenant had been threatened whenever they use the partially grassed-over alley by Robert Bell. Mr. Bell rents the adjacent property from Russell Doehrer, who lives elsewhere.

Mr. Myers said Mr. Bell often called his home to complain that Mr. Myers' tenant, Patricia Dolly, had been on his property when she or her children used the alley.

"He and his wife were constantly calling over here saying, 'Your tenant parked on our property' or 'Your tenant dragged a Christmas tree across our property,' " Mr. Myers said. "He said he just didn't want anyone walking on his property."

Ms. Dolly said she filed assault charges against Mr. Bell after he "grabbed my arm and raised his arm back as if to hit me" as she was mowing grass that had grown over the alley.

"There had been the yelling and the screaming to me about getting out of the alley, and then he grabbed me," said Ms. Dolly. "He took my mower and put it in his shed, too."

Mr. Myers and Ms. Dolly asked the council several months ago to investigate the ownership of the alley.

Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. said town officials found that the alley was marked as a right of way on a town property map.

"It will be surveyed and maintained by the town and each party will get a certified letter concerning the ownership," Mr. Jones said. "Hopefully, by reading the letter, all of the problems will be solved."

Mr. Myers said it didn't matter to him whether the council maintained the alley, said it was his, or found out the property belonged to Mr. Bell. He said he just wanted the matter resolved.

"I don't care what happens as long as [the council makes] a decision and follows through on it," said Mr. Myers, whose property has been in his family for over 60 years. "I'm just tired of the harassment."

Neither Mr. Bell nor Mr. Doehrer were present at the meeting, which was called specially to discuss the alley.

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