Steve Cottrell: Nevada City’s National Alley not private property, but public street |

Steve Cottrell: Nevada City’s National Alley not private property, but public street

I’d like to respond to a rumor I’m told is floating around Nevada City these days.

Someone has apparently claimed that I believe National Alley is private property. Bad rumor. National Alley is a public street and anyone suggesting that I have an opinion to the contrary, has been misinformed.

National Alley has consistently been shown as a public street on all official city maps: 19th century Bradley Map, 20th century Uren Map and 21st century Falconi Map.

When the Rector Bros. decided to expand the hotel in the 1890s and build what used to be called the Annex, with street-level retail shops, they did so by purchasing the lot now used by the hotel for parking. And when the Rectors purchased that lot, National Alley already existed.

If City Hall utilized the Searls Historical Library as a resource, I’m confident historians there would confirm that the alley was not created for the benefit of hotel guests, nor is it owned by the hotel. It’s a public street.

I sincerely wish the new hotel owner great success, but vacating a public street for commercial purposes might be viewed by some as a gift of public property.

Steve Cottrell

Nevada City Council 1992-2008

St. Augustine, Florida

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