Once intended as a road, a piece of township land in Hawkesville will instead serve to increase the size of three Geddes Street properties.
Martha Street was mapped in the settlement’s original road plans in the 1800s, running right through the middle of Hawkesville from Ament Line, across Broadway Street and into the backyards of properties on Geddes Street. Currently, only a small portion of Martha Street, running south from Broadway Street, is in use and maintained by the township.
A land transfer between two neighbours shone a light on the unopened road allowance, prompting Wellesley to deem its land surplus so that it could be divvied up between three property owners.
Wellesley council last week approved the sale of the surplus land to the owners of 1170, 1182 and 1192 Geddes St., as well as a severance application from 1198 Geddes St. The decision clears the way for planner Geoff van der Baaren close the road allowance and arrange to sell the land, a 10-metre strip behind the homes that totals 0.3 acres that is already maintained and used by the homeowners.
The portion of the street up for discussion runs north from Orville Court. Property owners at 1198, 1192 and 1204 Geddes St. currently use the unmaintained portion of the street to access the rear of their properties. Van der Baaren says there is a liability issue there, and recommended council move forward with the sale and severance.
“What was happening was that the property at 1198 Geddes St. had a little bit of an l-shaped piece on the back that they are severing off and adding to the property at 1192 Geddes St. They wanted to maintain their access to the rear of the property, so they were accessing the property through the unopened Martha Street road allowance. The intent was that we no longer wanted to have any responsibility for that road allowance. We were never going to open it as a street. There are some liability concerns with people going back and forth over that street, so we thought that would be a good opportunity to deal with transferring ownership of that section of Martha Street to some of the abutting land owners,” he told council.
The right-of-way will be maintained for property owners, and the rest of the road will be added to the back end of the three Geddes Street properties.