Most alleys that exist within the city limits of Rock Hill were created as service entrances to homes for garbage pick up and other services. In the past, it was considered inappropriate to disrupt the front of a home or property with a driveway. Some people had garages that were only accessed by the alley so the yard would not have a driveway or curbcut. Today, more people have cars and do not consider it inappropriate to have a front driveway. Also, trash collection is more automated so it is picked up at the front curbside rather than the back alley.
The most common requests for alley closings come from property owners adjacent to the alley. The alley may have been dedicated for public use but was never accepted by the City and if this is the case, the land may still be in the name of the original developer of that area.
Whenever adjacent property owners petition the court to close an alley to the general public and award them land title to the property, nearby property owners, the City and anyone with a special interest must be notified and be given the opportunity to oppose or agree with the proposed closing. Notice must also be published in a local newspaper as a legal advertisement.
When individuals wish to close an alley, it is important that they go through the proper court action. An attorney handling the closing will notify the City so that the City may determine if there are any utility rights-of-way, fire and garbage truck accesses that need to be protected.
It is illegal to block an alley without proper court action. Anyone considering an alley closing should contact an attorney to assist them with the legal aspects because the court is the only means to determine whether or not an alley could and should be closed.