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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Many object to vacating borough road

  • The public hearing held by the Starrucca Borough Council Monday night brought with it vocal expression of citizens against vacating Kellogg Road in the borough.
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  • - The public hearing held by the Starrucca Borough Council Monday night brought with it vocal expression of citizens against vacating Kellogg Road in the borough.
    In the notice, signed by borough solicitor Anthony Waldron, it stated the purpose of the hearing was "to consider and/or adopt an ordinance vacating Kellogg Road."
    The road is stated to be "approximately one mile in length and does not connect to any other open public street or road in the borough or the adjacent township."
    The notice also gives details of the proposed ordinance, stating that the borough is responsible "for maintaining the public streets and roads" in the borough for the "public good."
    It continues on to say that in Section 1731 of the Pennsylvania Borough Code, 53 P.S. 46731, "authorizes the borough council to vacate any street or portion of a street previously opened."
    The proposed ordinance also states that the road in question, Kellogg Road, is a road in the borough "that does not serve the general public, as it is not a connecting street" and only serves "one home, with adjoining improved properties having access to another public road."
    During the hearing, Waldron said four parcels are located on Kellogg Road, one of which is improved with a home. The ordinance continues to state that the "continued maintenance" of the road "does not benefit the citizens and property owners of the borough, except for one, nor the traveling public."
    One owner is Darl Haynes, who lives in the home on Kellogg Road with his wife, Carol. Haynes also owns property with his brother, Darwin Haines, which is also located on that road. All three were present at the hearing.
    The ordinance concludes by stating that the borough "deems it expedient for the public good to vacate Kellogg Road as a public street within the borough."
    Council president Jack Downton spoke on behalf of the borough council after being placed under oath and was questioned by Waldron and attorney Ronald Bugaj.
    The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) code in Section 1731, item two, that council can, "Vacate or close any street or portion of a street previously opened or laid out, provided that no street or portion of a street providing the sole means of access to any tract of land shall be vacated without the consent of those to whom access would be denied. Vacation of a street shall terminate all public right in or to the street but shall not affect any private rights acquired by any of the owners of abutting property."
    Waldron also cited the Pennsylvania Road Law, that states that vacating a public road, where a municipality vacates the road voluntarily or by a petition of citizens, "severs the public's right to utilize, and the municipality's obligation to maintain, a road." It can also be vacated if it is deemed useless, vacant or financially burdensome.
    Page 2 of 2 - The hearing then moved into a section where comments from Downton and the property owners were given.
    Those comments will appear in a story in tomorrow's edition.
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