10 March 2015
Plaguing some subdivisions around Fluvanna County is a pesky little problem that sometimes pops up when it snows then lays dormant for the rest of the year – but if left unchecked could blow up into a nightmare for the homeowners who live there.
The problem is this: No one will claim responsibility for the roads.
So when it snows, no one plows – as in the case of Needham Village, a nine-house subdivision off of Rt. 618 (Lake Monticello Road). Residents drive over the snow or remain inside their houses, waiting for it to melt. The slick road is seen by some residents as a nuisance – maybe even a tremendous nuisance – but, after all, one that only pops up two or three times a year.
Or parents drive their children all the way to where their subdivision hits the main road, as in the case of Taylor Ridge off Rt. 53, because school buses usually can’t drive on private roads. It’s an inconvenience – maybe even a terrible inconvenience – but it becomes routine.
But what happens when the roads start falling apart? When the potholes proliferate and the cracks in the asphalt branch like lightning bolts till chunks of the road break under the weight of the cars driving over it? Who pays for the road then?
It could be the homeowners.
How did this happen?
During the boom in the early 2000s developers flocked to create subdivisions – many right here in Fluvanna – and the thought of what could happen if they were left unfinished typically didn’t arise, said Steve Tugwell, senior planner for Fluvanna County, “because people were finishing them.”