County trying to make it clear it doesn't have anything to do with subdivision roads
Several residents in the Cornerstone development first turned to Rowan County for help when they discovered their streets weren’t on the state maintenance list.
Joey Edwards, one of those involved in the court action, said this past week that county officials had developers sign paperwork that the county would maintain the road.
“Why would the county have the developers sign off and then the county do nothing about it?” Edwards asked. “The county turned their back on taxpayers and wouldn’t do anything.”
County planners say there are dozens of subdivisions across the county where roads haven’t been taken over by the state for various reasons.
In some cases, such as the Cornerstone development, residents were unaware they had to petition the Department of Transportation to add the streets to the maintenance list.
Last month, commissioners approved a change in the wording that will be recorded on all final plats for major subdivisions.
Senior Planner Shane Stewart said the new wording on the plat should let people know their roads are in limbo until taken over by the state.
The wording is:
“This subdivision contains private streets and storm drainage that were designed to NCDOT standards but will be maintained by the developer until the collective lot owners assume this responsibility. Enforcement of the maintenance certificate is the responsibility of the collective lot owners, not Rowan County. Additionally, NCDOT and Rowan County are not responsible for any maintenance associated with these improvements.”
“We’re trying to serve notice,” Stewart said. “We’re hoping it will make people extra cautious.”
Although the county requires developers to build the roads to state standards, that doesn’t assure they will be taken over by the state.
And Stewart said the option to go to court to force a developer to pay for repairs may get more difficult. Many developers are now using limited liability corporations, or LLCs, which will drastically reduce their financial exposure.