Some residents want the city to vacate an alley in the north section of the city so they can close it off against late night revelers, according to Alderman Mike Pigg.
Residents say blocking access to the site would end drug and party activities that worry neighbors.
Speaking at the March 7 board meeting, Pigg said residents had contacted him and they said it constituted a nuisance.
The late night gathering spot that developed at the end of an alley off West Bellevue, off North First Street, evolved after property owners purchased the entrance to the former “mushroom cave,” which Pigg said was notorious as a party spot.
“That was the biggest hot zone in the city’s history of drugs and parties,” he said. “A resident who had lived there for 20 years bought the opening to mushroom cave and cleaned up the broken glass, needles, condoms.”
Property owners put a privacy fence up, which created a new problem.
“Now they are going to the end of the dead end alley to party,” Pigg said.
Police Chief Matt Mansell said the site is notorious for drug usage, sexual encounters and homeless residents.
“The location is well known by street people,” he said.
Mansell said his department has received frequent calls when neighbors see vehicles or walkers who did not belong there.
“We’ve made numerous arrests for drug abuse and fugitive warrants,” he said. “Visitors also leave a lot of trash.”
Property owners want the city to vacate the alley and give it to property owners so they can eliminate tucked away vehicles and secure the property.
City Administrator Roth said anyone can request to have a street vacated.
“I reviewed the code section,” he said. “There is a process to vacate a street, which includes the publishing of notices, notification to adjoining property owners and an advertised public hearing.”
Roth said he could start the process without board action.
Once the process has been completed, an ordinance will be created and brought to the board for action.