Annapolis civility ends over the white line.
Annapolitans can chuck that anchor into Ego Alley because the city’s true symbol is a tire overstepping the painted boundary.
“Don’t impede on me.”
It might as well be stamped on every parking spot in the Sailing Capital of the World. Actually, we mean Annapolis, but thanks for reading Rhode Island.
Competition is so fierce for prime parking it can lead to court. This isn’t appearing before judges Wapner or Judy, either. We’re talking about big boy court with real attorneys in suits and ties, law clerks and expert witnesses.
To be clear, we are talking about TWO parking spaces behind 9 Cornhill St. One must traverse Schwrar’s Alley to get to the spaces belonging to 9 Cornhill.
And there’s the rub. It’s how we get:
Shannie Properties LLC v. Buddy’s Crabs & Ribs Inc.
The lawsuit, seeking unfettered access to parking spots and “an amount less than $75,000,” was filed March 2, 2017. This came after a May 2, 2016, letter from Annapolis attorney Jonathan Hodgson identifying the perceived problem and request to keep Schwrar’s Alley open for “proper and unimpeded use for all persons entitled to use it.”
Buddy’s Crabs’ truck and employee vehicles regularly block access to privately owned parking spots by clogging Schwrar’s Alley, according to court documents. The attorney for Ron Hollander, the man behind Shannie Properties, lays out how Harvey Blonder’s crab house is violating his client’s rights.
Remember, this isn’t just any property — it’s TWO parking spots about two blocks from Market Space. The Schwrar’s Alley fracas includes claims of improperly stored garbage and personal endangerment because vehicles and other obstacles could prevent firefighters from entering during emergencies. Among the allegations are:
- “Arrogant disregard for the rights of the owners of other abutting property to use the alley.”
- Defendant’s dumpster/garbage truck … leaves the alley to “Disgorge its cargo of commercial refuse.”
- “Defendant’s conduct endangers life and public safety, offends the senses and constitutes an unreasonable, intrusive and burdensome obstruction.”
The war on Schwrar escalated to the point Hollander’s property line was marked by an iron pipe — three inches in diameter and filled with concrete. That pipe had to be replaced, court documents state.
“On both occasions, the posts … were destroyed and removed … a feat that could only be done with great physical effort and determination.” (Emphasis added).
Now, after 17 months of litigation and an ignored order for mediation, the fate of Schwrar’s Alley rests with Circuit Judge Alison L. Asti.
The trial was held in mid-July. A decision is expected soon.
Blonder says he’s had businesses backing up to Schwrar’s Alley since 1979. Buddy’s has been there since 2005. Blonder says he’s been a good neighbor and will continue to be one.
Hollander’s attorney counters by saying Blonder would be more neighborly if he “ceased using the alley as a private parking lot,” according to court documents.
The gloves are off so let this be a cautionary tale for all Annapolitans eyeing that perfect parking space.
Don’t take that spot — take them to court.
Jimmy DeButts can be reached at 410-280-5915 or follow on Twitter @jd3217.