Sale of several city right-of-ways raises neighborhood concern

The Board of Aldermen is scheduled to discuss tonight the transfer of several city-owned right-of-ways to abutting property owners in the Colonial Avenue area. The issue came up last month but the aldermen tabled it because a number of neighbors said they were confused about the proposal.

At the Board of Aldermen’s meeting tonight, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at Milford City Hall, the aldermen are expected to discuss three transfers, two on Colonial Avenue and one on Riverside Drive.

The right-of-ways serve as an access way to several properties in that area of the city, and at last month’s meeting residents asked the aldermen what would happen to their access if a neighbor bought it.

Assistant City Attorney Debra S. Kelly explained last month that the city acquired the slivers of property through foreclosure. In 2009 the city had moved to abandon the little pieces of land, but Kelly said that due to a technicality the land could not be abandoned but had to be sold.

She said the matter came up because neighbors sometimes got into arguments about use of the accessways and police didn’t know how to deal with it.

“The police department was in a quandary about how to approach this,” she said.

Kelly also said the city has no desire to maintain the pieces of land and therefore thought it best to be rid of them.

Some residents who spoke at last month’s Board of Aldermen’s meeting said they don’t want to own the property either and want things kept as they’ve been.

A Riverside Drive resident said he and his neighbors have been maintaining their right-of-way for several years, and he said he wanted some explanation as to what is happening now. He didn’t know if the buyer would have to start paying additional property tax on the land.

Debbie Ann Levanti lives at 69 Riverside Drive, and she said she needs her right of way for access to the rear of her property.

“It should remain the way it is in our property deeds,” she said.

Mostly, the neighbors just said they needed more information.