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Neighbors Want Unused Rights Of Way To Remain Public

Two Rockwood residents told the Spokane City Council on Monday they want to clean up the overgrown, debris-ridden city lots next to their properties, but they want to own the land first.

Their neighbors say that’s a bad idea.

Council members delayed until Feb. 2 a decision on the two separate proposals to vacate sections of Conklin Street on the South Hill. During the interim, they want the proponents to talk with neighbors about their concerns.

Dennis and Judy Graham are asking the city to vacate Conklin from 18th to 19th avenues. On their application, the Grahams say they want to “discourage negative activity” in the overgrown area.

Dan and Leasa Glover want the city to vacate Conklin from 17th Avenue to 155 feet south of 17th. On their application, the Glovers say they want to build a driveway access to their garage.

In separate hearings, Dennis Graham and Dan Glover told the council that the unpaved, rubbish-filled properties attract teenagers, who smoke cigarettes, drink beer and make out on the city lots.

“It sure is a distraction to the beauty of our home to have this beside it, overgrown with trees and debris,” Glover said.

Graham argued that the steepness of Conklin between 18th and 19th made it an impractical site for a road. Sledders who continually brave the sheer incline risk serious injury, and the city risks heavy liability.

Rockwood resident Pam Reuland opposed both vacations, saying her sixth-grade daughter cuts across the unpaved sections of Conklin on her way to Hutton Elementary School.

She suggested neighbors meet with Graham and Glover to discuss ways to improve the right of way without selling it to private landowners.

“There’s a very large benefit to see if we can work something out,” Reuland said.

Rockwood resident Sue Wisener expressed a similar interest, saying the land should be preserved as shared green space.

, DataTimes

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