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Downtown property owners ask county to vacate alley

A group of property owners are asking the County of San Diego to give up possession of the alley that runs behind their buildings on Main Ave. between Fig St. and Alvarado St. in downtown Fallbrook.

Vince Ross, vice president of the Fallbrook Village Association, said the group filed an Application to Vacate with the county on May 27.

"It was filed by a civil engineer," said Ross. "This is the first step, and it's a complicated process because of all the departments involved."

The alley runs behind the following businesses on S. Main Ave.: Fallbrook Art Center, Cafe Des Artists, Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, Salon Ana, Old 395 Sports and Spirits, The Espresso Lounge, Juice Vault, and Fallbrook Active Nutrition.

Ross said property owners are making this move out of safety concerns for patrons of the businesses. If they are able to take possession of the alley, the owners plan to close the road to vehicle traffic and make it a pedestrian walkway.

"The big issue is safety," said Ross. "We're getting more and more people racing down this alley, using it as a pass-through. They never stop; they have no intention of stopping."

Mary Perhacs, CEO of Fallbrook Art Center, and Michael Calvanese, owner of Cafe Des Artists, both said alley traffic is a danger to their customers.

"Patrons and artists have had close calls coming from the parking lot behind our building," said Perhacs.

"I quite often walk my senior customers through the alley to the parking area," said Calvanese.

Roy Moosa, property owner and president of the Fallbrook Village Association, believes making the alley a pedestrian walkway would be beneficial to downtown.

"We have been trying very hard to make our town center more pedestrian friendly," said Moosa. "We hope the various county and municipal agencies will help us in this effort."

Ross said the property owners are putting up a significant amount of money in an effort to gain control of the alley.

"It's a simple thing, but an important thing," said Ross. "The property owners, you have to give them credit for the way they've come together on this thing."


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