Fellsmere leaders consider creating alleys behind downtown shops

FELLSMERE — Alleyways could be coming to Downtown Fellsmere behind the businesses that line Broadway.

The Fellsmere City Council discussed the possibility earlier this month to address the potential future needs of the area once more businesses move in. Before Broadway becomes fully developed with mom-and-pop businesses, the city’s leaders sat down to determine how best to handle increased demand for parking and improve traffic flow on the roadway.

Such suggestions include requiring businesses to provide on-site parking behind the store and eliminating extra driveways onto Broadway.

Community Development Director Mark Mathes told the council during the planning workshop that the city could require cross-access agreements between individual parking lots behind the businesses to help ease parking concerns.

Doing so, he said, could cut down on the number of drivers accessing the alley trying to find parking.

“I think, in the future, it’s going to be necessary,” Mayor Susan Adams said.

Currently, trash haulers access the unimproved alleys to collect commercial garbage.

By removing several driveways and curb cuts on Broadway in front of businesses, the city could add a number of parking spots. Instead of drivers turning into the businesses from Broadway into the parking lots, they could access parking through the rear alley.

An exception to the proposed plan would be the Fellsmere Feed Store, which has two driveways on Broadway. Mathes explained that the feed store is a unique “nostalgia” use on Broadway.

Currently, the feed store uses both drives to accommodate deliveries.

As Broadway develops, the city could require pedestrian walkways between the businesses every so many feet to allow for access to the parking lots.

The alley would not be the “dirty, dingy” alleys of New York City, according to Mathes. Instead, it would be landscaped, lit and aesthetically pleasing.

Vice Mayor Joel Tyson asked if the work on the alleyway on the east side of Broadway could be timed to allow for the sewer line to be installed.

Earlier this year, the city received a grant to pay for extending a sewer line along the east side of Broadway, which the Fellsmere Inn plans to tie into.

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