Planned Alley Has Homeowners Angry With The City

Deborah Fitts came home from working the night shift as a nurse, to find city crews preparing to build an alleyway just 7 feet from her home. The alley will run from the 800 block of North Court Street in Longview to the edge of High Street.

Deborah and other neighbors are upset the city never informed them about the alley. Longview city crews have already begun clearing brush to build an alleyway. Neighbors here say the city never notified them before the work began.

"I think that would have been the most appropriate and respectful thing to do. I would wonder how they would feel if someone did this to them," says Deborah.

The alley will take away Deborah's drive way, leaving her only the front lawn to park her car. It will also be just 7 feet from her home. "My biggest concern right now is my safety. This alley runs right down side a bedroom window."

For Deborah's neighbors, the alley will run along their back yards. "I am concerned about the alley because traffic in and out all times at night and during the day. It's been very quiet and peaceful over here," says Christene Davis.

Why the need for the alley? The city says it's to provide a rear entrance for new homes that will soon be built in the neighborhood. City Manager Rickey Childer's says the land has belonged to the city since the 1930's. "Back at that time they dedicated the alleys but they were never placed. As the years past, people started developing. They didn't check first and put drive-ways in where it was actually city right of ways. We're out there re-claiming our right of ways."

Deborah has lived in her home for 35 years and says the land belongs to her. The neighbors say they will fight to keep the alley out. "I assure you we have rights and will not rest until we pursue this if it has to be through the courts."

A homeowner on the other side of the planned alleyway will also lose her driveway. The alley will be just 3 feet from her home. The city says they will work with both homeowners to find alternate parking.

Amy Tatum reporting.