The University Park City Council delayed voting Tuesday on Legacy Hillcrest’s request to abandon a city-owned alley that bisects its two Hillcrest Avenue properties.
The alley abandonment, which has come before the City Council at least one other time, would allow Legacy officials to install a handicapped ramp, connecting the parking lot and the Chase Bank building. Councilmembers were displeased with the plan, but elected to delay the vote instead.
“You understand we have an obligation to determine it’s a compelling public interest to the city [to abandon the alley],” Councilman Bob Begert said to Legacy Hillcrest rep Preston Phillips. “And I’ll tell you, I don’t see it.”
Earlier in the hearing, Begert asked Phillips “Is it your position that the city has the responsibility to make your private property ADA-accessible?” After mulling over the question, Phillips responded “It wouldn’t be prudent for me to try to be an attorney.”
The decade-old project hit yet another snag late last year, when the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission (and City Council) denied its latest plans. Legacy is also suing the city’s Board of Adjustment, claiming the board met in an illegal special session.
On Tuesday, Phillips said the handicapped ramp is necessary because, while the Hillcrest-fronting entrance to the building is ADA accessible, the sidewalks from the parking lot to that entrance are not. Legacy officials are also hoping to re-lease a portion of the first floor; the empty space used to house the University Park Public Library.
Re-leasing the upper floors is also an option, Phillips said.
To check out the abandonment documents, head to the city’s website.