By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Homeowners are beginning to realize that private community roads can be expensive maintenance headaches.
Kirk Ferentz, football coach, University of Iowa, continues a long-running battle with his neighbors, cancelling a settlement agreement announced in February.
Ferentz refuses to join a homeowners’ association created by his neighbors (including a real estate developer) to collect $9,500 per property owner, in order to pave a private road serving just four homes.
The Ferentz’s have opposed paving the road, preferring the privacy of an unpaved surface.
A judge previously ruled that Ferentz was not required to join the HOA.
But neighbors along Saddle Club Road still want the court to force Ferentz to remove trees and a privacy fence he has reportedly placed in the easement of the disputed road.
Ferentz, neighbors headed back to court in property dispute
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Talk about a false start.
University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz and his neighbors are headed back to court in their long-running property dispute after a settlement both sides announced in February never came together.
In Louisiana, according to a report on WBRZ, a 2.5 mile stretch of road is currently maintained in a piecemeal fashion, by 6 different HOAs. A seventh, newer community does not have a homeowners’ association — yet.
So there’s no money to maintain one section of the road, which has fallen into a severe state of disrepair.
The Parish (municipality) says it cannot repair a private road.
However, River Highlands Road homeowners could consider the option of forming a road district to tax themselves to pay for road repairs. After the road is brought up to safety and quality standards required by code, it could be dedicated to Ascension Parish for future maintenance.
Property owners on a nearby road — Bayou Terrace Drive — opted for a road district, so their respective HOAs would not have to maintain small portions of the same road.
But will homeowners on River Highlands Road agree to do the same?
This report begs the question: what were local development planners thinking when they decided to assign maintenance of small sections of a single road to 7 different private homeowners’ associations?
Homeowners look for private road maintenance solution
ST. AMANT – A road that’s part Ascension, part Livingston Parish is torn up on the Ascension side. The parish says because it’s a private road, it’s not it’s responsibility.
Off Highway 22 and down River Highlands Road are a handful of neighborhoods. It’s a two and half mile stretch that’s part Maurepas and part St. Amant. Near the end is a concrete section of road that has bumps, holes and cracks. Neighbors have placed caution cones in the mess to alert drivers of the potentially hazardous area.
“There was some rebar sticking up and I heard someone had a flat tire,” said Carlton Haycook.
The nuisance has encouraged drivers to drive over the curb and onto grass to avoid the area. In the last month this technique has destroyed the curb that’s now missing large chunks of concrete.
Along with trucks, school buses travel down River Highlands a dozen times a day. Haycook says the buses have a difficult time getting around the busted road.
“It’s just progressively getting worse,” said Haycook.
Finding a way to fix the issue is becoming just as difficult as avoiding the massive hole.
The entire road is private, which means the parish can’t make repairs or improvements.
Ascension Parish says residents of Bayou Terrace Drive, on the opposite side of Highway 22, formed a road district and taxed themselves. The proceeds were used to improve the road. Once that road was brought up to standard, the parish council voted to take the road into the parish maintenance system. Homeowners on River Highlands could potentially do the some thing, but the parish says it cannot accept a road that does not meet the standards.
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Meanwhile, in North Carolina, two adjacent HOAs share roads to enter and exit the subdivision. Residents of Woodlake must travel through Ocean Forest Lakes to get to and from their homes.
That’s kind of like having to walk through one bedroom to get to another one. It’s not a convenient layout, and very unpopular with home buyers.
As is typical of many private or planned communities, there’s no street grid system, just one or two roads into and out of each subdivision, causing bottleneck traffic on “artery” roads.
In this case, according to Port City Daily News, the developer of Woodlake made a deal with Ocean Forest Lakes HOA, arranging for a limited monetary contribution to Ocean Forest Lake’s road maintenance fund.
But Ocean Forest Lakes HOA thinks the amount of the contribution is far too low.
Potholes now fill one heavily-traveled intersection where the two HOA communities meet.
The damage is on Ocean Forest Lakes’ side, but the HOA President says they have no intention of fixing the potholes, because they have been caused, in her opinion, due to traffic in and out of Woodlake.
Essentially, poor development planning decisions have led to mutual resentment and a Hatfields vs. McCoys battle over who should pay to fix the road.
Will the matter end up mired in a legal battle?
What happens when developments disagree over road repairs? Turns out, nothing
Damaged signs, an agreement one side says is not being followed, a potential lawsuit: and it all started over a pothole.
By Benjamin Schachtman
NEW HANOVER COUNTY — What started a year and a half ago as a pothole in the Ocean Forest Lakes development is slowly carving the road in two. The pothole is now threatening to expose utility lines and is putting drivers at risk.
The pothole is right near the intersection of Ontario Road and Okechobee Road, where the Ocean Forest Lakes development meets the neighboring Woodlake development. Woodlake, a more recent development, is isolated from major nearby thoroughfares – Carolina Beach and River roads – and its residents drive through Ocean Forest Lakes or neighboring Lord’s Creek to exit their development.
Neither New Hanover County or the North Carolina Department of Transportation are responsible for the private roads — so the burden falls on the developments and Homeowners Associations (HOAs).
According to Jimmy Paige, president of Ocean Forest Lake’s Homeowners Association, the development has no intention of paying for repairs even though the pothole is inside the Ocean Forest Lakes development. Paige said that the wear and tear on the road was due exclusively to Woodlake residents.
1 thought on “Homeowners, HOAs battle each other over private road maintenance”
Roads were I live are privately owned and expensive to maintain. The developer did not prepare them to meet county standards, so we can’t turn them back to the county to maintain without huge expenses to bring them up to standard. I would prefer we not maintain them and that decision does not come from a financial perspective. People naturally drive slower on roads with gravel. A few pot holes slow traffic down. I do not know this, but I also suspect there is less crime in neighborhoods with gravel, since it’s slower for thieves to exit. We have seniors that are speed demons (yes, with macular degeneration), so much so that I do not even walk the dogs for fear one could get clipped. I much prefer this man’s attitude and integrity standing up to the bullies!! One of the best ways to save on HOA expenses in a private community is to change back to gravel. There is nothing in the State Statutes or our CC&Rs stating roads must be paved.
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