Appeals to close alleys increase

Every couple of years, someone in Westminster wants the city's approval to close an alley.

Tonight, the mayor and Common Council will act upon three such requests. A fourth is pending.


"It's unusual that we have four pending at one time," said Thomas B. Beyard, director of planning and public works. "It's particularly unusual we've had three come up at once."

Beyard said the expansion of several Westminster churches is partially driving the increase in requests. Last year, the city approved an alley closing on the property of Ascension Episcopal Church on North Court Street. A request from Grace Lutheran Church will be discussed tonight.


In the spring, the city passed a zoning change to allow churches and similar institutions to build parking lots in residential neighborhoods.

Also tonight, Karen K. Blandford, manager of housing and community development, will unveil a combination of assistance programs that will make it easier for renters in town to become homeowners. One of the programs is in partnership with Union Street United Methodist Church in Westminster. Three of the programs involve Interfaith Housing of Western Maryland, based in Frederick.

"Everyone's dream in America is to own their own home," Beyard said. "It's a big initiative of the federal government, too. We're happy to participate and get involved."

Other agenda items include:

Extending the deadline for Tyler-Donegan Inc. to submit final site plans for renovating the former Farmers Supply Co. site downtown.

A request from York Waste Disposal to expand the solid waste and recycling collection schedule from four days a week to five days a week.

Zoning the 54-acre property on state Route 97 south of Meadow Branch Road that the town annexed at its meeting in January as "Restricted Industrial."