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8. C. 1.
Resolution to Abandon a Portion of Sperry Road
Jim Dyer, Corporation Counsel, Corporation Counsel
Resolved that the Calhoun County Commission does approve the abandonment and discontinuation of jurisdiction and maintenance of the improved and certifed portion of Sperry Road South of Michigan Avenue, and the existing right of way to the southern end of the Quenched Ministries proprerty line.
Administration recommends approval of the resolution, which would relieve the County of the obligation to maintain and repair a land locked right of way, and permit Quenched Ministries to develop the property that it owns on both sides of the right of way.
This action is the final step of a process started by the Commission on September 15, 2016, when it authorized litigation to amend the Level Park Plat to permit the abandonment of this portion of Sperry Road. On September 19, 2019, the Commission granted a license to use the right of way to install additional lighting.
Sperry Avenue, South of Michigan Avenue, is a dead-end road within the Level Park subdivision. It is classified as a County Local, Hard Surface Road. The current paved portion of Sperry ends at a wooded area with a substantial elevation drop of 20-30 feet. The continuation of the platted right of way crosses into a valley that leads to the flood plain of the Kalamazoo River. However, the platted right of way does not end at, or provide access to, the river.
Since it was platted in 1903, none of the streets in the Level Park subdivision have been improved beyond about half way down their dedicated right of way. Sperry is no exception. The improved road portion of the right of way is only 347 feet. The unimproved portion of the right of way continues South for an additional 1188 feet. At least half of the extended, unused portion of the right of way is within the FEMA defined flood plain hazard zone but does not appear to be in the regulated floodplain itself. The Kalamazoo River is 800 feet further South beyond the platted right of way, with other intervening parcels between the end of the Sperry right of way and the river.
Given these topographic challenges, for more than 100 years there has been no development on Sperry south of the existing paved road way, the since doing so would require building within that river flood plain.
The Road Department has no plans to expand the improved portion of Sperry Road, or the other streets within this subdivision for that matter. There has also been no developer request for extension of these roads of any recent vintage
Since approximately 2009, Quenched Ministries has owned all of the property on either side of the improved portion of Sperry Road. This effectively makes this public street the point of ingress for the parking lot of Quenched Ministries facilities. A copy of an aerial view of Sperry Avenue and the surrounding property is attached for your consideration. It shows the Quenched Ministries property outlined in red, with the improved portion of Sperry Avenue in between in white. On September 15, 2015, the Calhoun County Commission authorized the filing of a petition to amend the subdivision plat to facilitate the ultimate abandonment of Sperry Road.
Abandoning this portion of Sperry Road and the unused right of way that is currently land locked by the Quenched Ministries property would convert the ownership of the existing right of way to Quenched Ministries. The County would no longer be legally obligated to maintain and potentially repair a portion of the parking lot of the existing church.
As suggested by the Commission.
The administration recommends that the Commission does approves the abandonment and discontinuation of jurisdiction and maintenance of the improved portion certifed of Sperry Road South of Michigan Avenue, and the existing right of way to the southern end of the Quenched Ministries proprerty line.
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