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Bel Air releases claim to public rights of way: Middle Alley, Lee Street Alley

Bel Air town commissioners agreed last week to release the town’s claim to two public rights of way, including one that connects George Street to Baltimore Pike between Hays Street and Archer Street.

Middle Alley, as it’s called, is about 5,300 square feet and bisects a group of commonly owned properties, “impacting the development potential of the parcels,” according to the resolution to release the property.

About 150 feet of the alley (about two-fifths) from George Street toward Baltimore Pike will remain a public right of way for adjacent property owners. The remaining three-fifths extending south to Baltimore Pike will no longer be accessible to the public, according to the resolution.

The contract purchaser of 215 and 227 to 229 Archer St., 208 Hays St. and 204 Baltimore Pike has agreed to close access where the public right of way stops and build a 6-foot board-on-board vinyl fence adjacent to the neighboring properties.

The town also agreed to relinquish Lee Street Alley, a 15-foot paper alley (about 3,750 square feet) between properties at 37 E. Lee St. (formerly Howard Street) and a property at 26 N. Hickory Ave., according to the resolution approved unanimously Dec. 3.

The town never acquired the alley and it’s no longer needed for public purposes.

“The town of Be Air has reviewed the right-of-way for public need or future infrastructure requirements and found no benefit for retention of the existing right-of-way,” according to the resolution.

The owner of 37 E. Lee Street has requested the ability to claim the property, according to the resolution.

False alarms

Repeated false alarms will cost business owners and homeowners more after passage of an amendment to the town code fines and penalties.

The penalty for three to nine false alarms in a calendar year will increase from $25 to $75, according to Bel Air director of administration Michael Krantz.

“It’s amazing, but it happens quite a bit,” Krantz said about the number of false alarms.

Bel Air Police Department officers have to respond each time an alarm sounds, not knowing if there is an emergency or a malfunction.

“Officers get on edge,” he said. “They can never make the assumption that it’s going to be a false alarm.”

The remaining fees did not change: $100 for the 10th false alarm and $200 for each false alarm thereafter.

Also at the Dec. 3 meeting, Greg Adolph was reappointed to the Board of Appeals and Jeanne Close was reappointed to the Cultural Arts Commission.

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