Nevada City OK’s potential closure of National Alley | TheUnion.com

Nevada City OK’s potential closure of National Alley

Nevada City's City Council on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to the new owners of the National Hotel to proceed with plans to "vacate" National Alley as a public right-of-way.

The alley, which runs alongside the historic hotel between the building and a narrow parking lot fronting the highway, is used by many as a shortcut to public parking behind the hotel.

The historic hotel on Broad Street was purchased in February by Jordan Fife, who has closed the business and is planning an extensive renovation with reopening slated for this fall as the National Exchange Hotel.

Fife has asked to close off National Alley and relocate utility easements, with a proposed new pedestrian walkway to be installed.

According to city planning staff, abandoning streets has been done in the past for a variety of reasons. Most recently, Nevada City vacated portions of Uren and Main streets in 1968 due to the construction of the freeway.

A "vacation" of National Alley will require an environmental review and will go to the planning commission for approval.

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Nevada City Mayor Duane Strawser noted National Alley was never meant to be a public street, and was used in the past by the hotel for guests' luggage.

Nevada City resident Brad Croul told the council the alley was his favorite shortcut, adding that its closure will put more traffic stress at the intersection of Spring and South Pine streets. But city staff noted that Caltrans has never wanted drivers to use National Alley to access the parking lot, as it stacks traffic up into the intersection of Broad Street and Union Alley.

The council voted unanimously to send the application to the planning commission for review.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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