The City of Sun Prairie took the first step in relocating Angell Street on June 16 by introducing a discontinuance resolution, approving a certified survey map and scheduling an Aug. 4 public hearing.
There’s just one problem, according to a staff memo: Nobody is certain Angell Street between Church and Columbus streets has ever been dedicated as a public right-of-way.
In approving the certified survey map (CSM), alders acted on an approval recommendation from the Sun Prairie Plan Commission.
The map reconfigures three lots and two outlots located north of the Bank of Sun Prairie at 117 Columbus Street and 126 Church Street into two lots.
The resulting two-lot plat between Church and Columbus would be used for the creation of the Angell Street Municipal Parking Lot and the new alignment of Angell Street.
A cost-sharing agreement for the construction of the new lot has been approved between the city and the Bank of Sun Prairie which stipulates the city will receive portions of the Sun Prairie Municipal Building parking lot currently owned by the bank in exchange for providing the bank with dedicated parking stalls during the bank’s normal business hours in the new Angell Street Municipal Lot.
The Bank of Sun Prairie will receive Lot 2, a smaller area located near 212 E. Main Street. The design of the lot has been approved through the Public Works Committee.
The project has been submitted for bids with the aim of construction occurring this fall. Included in the reconfiguration will be the relocation of Angell Street to the north of the parking facility. The relocation will reduce pedestrian and vehicular conflicts near the backs of businesses located along Main Street.
There’s just one problem, according to a memo from City Planner Philip Gritzmacher Jr.
“Although Angell Street functions like and visually appears to be a local street, the street has not, to staff’s knowledge, been dedicated as public right-of-way,” Gritzmacher wrote in a memo to the Sun Prairie Plan Commission on June 9. Commissioners voted 8-0 to recommend council approval.
Community Development Director Scott Kugler said during the June 16 council meeting that he’s heard no objections to the reconfiguration of Angell Street. District 1 Alder Steve Stocker asked whether or not the reconfiguration of the street requires a public hearing. “Anyone can contact me . . . but there’s nothing there that requires a public hearing,” Kugler said, referring to the relocation of Angell Street. Kugler said the city has been in contact with adjacent property owners and the city has had the opportunity to talk with neighboring property owners.
“At this point, we have heard no objections,” Kugler said , adding that he is more than happy to explain the plan and answer questions.
“Thank you,” Stocker said. “I will pass that on.”
In order to reconfigure the street, however, the city will need to abandon Angell Street in its current form. Introduction of the resolution to discontinue the street is needed at least 40 days prior to the City holding a public hearing regarding this request.
Notice of the public hearing for the discontinuance will be provided per the requirements of the State Statutes, and all property owners adjacent to the rights-of-way proposed for discontinuance will receive notice of this request.
A memo to alders about the hearing stated a title search of parcels in this block did not find clear evidence that Angell Street was ever dedicated as a public right of way, “and it appears that the parcels upon which the roadway is currently located are simply owned by the City of Sun Prairie.”
However, to ensure that any interest in the area as a public street is divested, the hearing process to discontinue the street is recommended. Alders took no action on the resolution scheduling the public hearing, but did approve the CSM as part of its consent agenda.