By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Back in April, I wrote a blog about Golden Hills subdivision in Virginia. Golden Hills was developed in the 1990s with the intent to turn over maintenance of roads to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
But today the County Commission insists the roads in Golden Hills are private, not public, even though Golden Hills was developed without a mandatory homeowners’ association to fund and maintain those roads.
That’s right: Golden Hills is not subject to a homeowners association (HOA) – never has been, and it was never intended. Homeowners were told at the time they purchased that there is no HOA, and that the roads were to be VDOT maintained. In fact, surrounding residential development is also served by state maintained roads.
Documentation obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request states that roads in Golden Hills were to be completed by the builder, with Greene County holding a bond until the finished roads could be approved. Once approved, VDOT would take over maintenance of the roads.
But somehow, folks in Green County Commission at the time released the builder’s bond too early. So when the developer died, leaving the roads unfinished, there wasn’t enough money left to complete the work.
Although they did some work on the roads in 2005, Green County has failed to complete the roads up to VDOT code. In addition, the County won’t remove snow or repair potholes. After a decade without adequate maintenance, the roads are in bad shape.
Same taxes, lower level of services
The roads are filled with crater sized potholes and areas of poor drainage that collect water and cause further erosion and destruction of the road’s surface.
Golden Hills homeowners pay taxes just the same as everyone else in Greene County. The homeowners believe they are entitled to the same level of services.
Owners of Association Governed Housing will relate to this story, because they are doubly taxed – once the by the local government in the form of property taxes and again by their HOA in the form of assessments. HOA residents pay the same rate of property tax as their non-HOA neighbors, but they received a lower level of services.
In Greene County, however, it appears that even non-HOA Golden Hill homeowners are also being denied County services they have paid for.
Homeowner David Underwood has produced the following documentary explaining the dispute and the frustrations of homeowners dealing with their forgotten roads. Here you can see the deplorable condition of Wood and Haney Roads. Share this video with your contacts in Virginia, in order to educate voters about how their elected officials are failing to represent their interests.