UP City Council Delays Legacy Alley Abandonment

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.

14 thoughts on “UP City Council Delays Legacy Alley Abandonment

  • June 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm
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    Oh wahhh wahhh, boo hoo hoo! I’m filthy f’n rich, I own a huge chunk of Park Cities real estate but I still need the city’s help to build a wheelchair ramp. Oh wahhh, boo hoo! What a canard. Pathetic.

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  • June 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm
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    PCP should clarify the first sentence of this post. The alley does not bisect Legacy’s Hillcrest property. It runs between two seperate properties just like every other alley in the city. Wow. Can’t believe I’ve summoned enough energy to comment twice on this tired subject. Pathetic!

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  • June 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm
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    Near and Dear- Good distinction. I’ve changed it.

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  • June 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm
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    I’m beyond confused. Why would any city be responsible for making sure a privately owned property is ADA compliant?

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  • June 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm
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    Ugh. Reading, talking or thinking about Chase Bank building has become a kind of living death for me.

    Hell isn’t fire and pitchforks, it is this.

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  • June 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm
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    The city abandoneds property all the the time and gets good money for it, look how much they abandoned for SMU.

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  • June 7, 2012 at 7:38 am
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    bm- This a ruse, a charade, an end-run to grab more land and expand their footprint. Legacy has said on public record that they will be redeveloping the property to existing code. Now they say they want to just lease out the existing space. So which is it? Give up the alley and you could have a bigger building than what they are allowed today. The taxpayers have a right to see their plans first. Time to quit playing games. Man up and go through the process just like everyone else.

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  • June 7, 2012 at 8:43 am
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    Neal made me laugh! Good one.

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  • June 7, 2012 at 8:45 am
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    Legacy sues the city, then wants a favor? As a taxpayer, I say no. Legacy is wasting my money defedning a frivolous lawsuit. Hmmmm, I may sue them for non-compliant ADA building access. (Me yelling:) “Honey, where’s mom’s wheelchair? In the garage?”……….

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  • June 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm
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    To be clear; Legacy is asking the city to give them the alley so they can build a wheelchair ramp from their parking lot on one side of the alley to their building on the otherside? If this is truly the case, could they not just set up a down ramp from the parking lot to be level with the alley/sidewalk and then an up ramp on the otherside of the alley up to the building? What a bunch of clowns that want the city to fix their beyond simple problem.

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  • June 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm
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    Where was all the fuss when SMU was paying the city 15 MIL for the “abandonment” oh, sorry it’s SMU!

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  • June 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm
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    SMU had long term plans on the table so everyone could see what they wanted to do with the land for decades to come. Legacy is just up to their old tricks, trying to get concessions and advantages without actually telling people what they are going to do. There must be 50 ways to make that building handicap accessible, but… Surprise! The only option that will work for Legacy’s consultant is the one that allows them to accomplish one of their long term goals which is to meld that alley into their property. My eye.

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  • June 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm
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    The alley is no use to the city, Legacy owns property on both sides of the alley. The city can waste the money they get from the alley on some corner park. This has been going on for 11 years!

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  • June 8, 2012 at 10:35 am
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    To be clear, the alley doesn’t bisect “its two Hillcrest Avenue properties.” It bisects two of Legacy’s FIVE Hillcrest Avenue properties. Legacy owns 6517 Hillcrest, 3410 Haynie, 3412 Haynie, 3424 Haynie, and 3428 Haynie. Legacy’s intentions on Haynie Avenue far exceed a wheelchair ramp!

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