Most stories do have two sides. And most issues have at least two sides.
In the case of whether planners should limit or even prohibit new private roads is a tough issue.
Recently, a family in Mount Washington was interested in selling a farm. They were not interested in becoming developers.
They wanted to get rid of the property for the best price to settle an estate.
The family retained an auction company to do that.
But the development would have private roads. They would not be built to county specifications and the individual property owners would be required to have a maintenance fund for the upkeep of the streets.
The county planners - who are burdened with the task of trying to look years down the road when making a decision - were concerned.
Some had attended government meetings where residents, unhappy with how the homeowners association was maintaining or not maintaining the roads, would appear.
Residents would ask the governmental leaders to take over maintenance of the road. The most common response would be - get it up to county or city specifications. They would complain that some people pay the maintenance fees and others don’t. But no ones wants to sue their neighbors for not paying the fees.
Bringing a road up to standards is a costly proposition. That means the gravel roads must be blacktopped, which could run around $50,000 a mile.
Many cities have gotten pro-active and will not allow any development unless all utilities, including roads, are built to specifications.
However, the county fiscal court members are asked on a regular basis to take over a road that doesn’t meet its specifications.
We’re not sure that an overall ban on any new private roads is the route to take. However, planners are looking to ways to address the issue.
It is an issue that should have been addressed years ago. We think with some conditions, this might be the ideal way to solve problems that will resurface time and time again in the future.