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Can residents who live on a private road close that road to through traffic?

Julian March

Here’s the full question:

I live in the Arrondale section of homes. It’s located off Carolina Beach Road. We have tried for many years to get the County to help us with our roads. Kirkwood is the development in back of us. The main road in and out of both developments is Wingate Drive. I am on the corner of Windgate and Baylor. My question is, if the road from Carolina Beach Road to Baylor is not “accepted” as a County Road couldn’t we consider this part a private road? Apparently, our builder did not turn our development over to the County after our houses were built and now the road is in horrible shape. I feel its dangerous for the school buses to come down into the development and when I call this in to see if the County can fix these holes, they tell me they cannot as it a private road. What in the world can we do? If it is truly a private road, then could we close it to through traffic?


Here’s our answer:

Neighborhoods with private roads can ask New Hanover County for permission to restrict access to the road, said Chris O’Keefe, the county’s planning director.

Yet the county , which does not maintain roads, does not generally allow neighborhoods or homeowners associations to restrict access to roads that are used by other neighborhoods.

“If there’s actually through traffic,” O’Keefe said, “Then probably, the answer is no.”

When dealing with requests to restrict access to a road that is either new or existing, the county considers how it fits in with an overall transportation network, he said. A dead-end road, for example, that only serves a single group of houses would be a better candidate for restricting access than a road that connects to several other roads.

“When we put subdivisions together they rely on each other’s road systems to handle each other’s traffic,” he said. “We have to make sure there’s a way for traffic to continue functioning.”

You can contact the New Hanover County Planning Department at (910) 798-7165.

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3 Responses to “ Can residents who live on a private road close that road to through traffic?”

  1. On March 26, 2012 at 10:48 am property manager wrote:

    The streets in the subdivision have to belong to somebody, I would suggest looking at the plot plan for the two developments. then I would see to whom the streets IE common area is deeded to. It is more than likely that the streets are either a shared responsibility of the two HOA’S or the primary responsibilty of an individual HOA which means the homeowners within the subdivision would be financially responsible for the repair and upkeep of not only the roads but the storm water as well. Another issue could be that the subdivisions infrastructure could still be in the developers name if this is the case then the HOA has many options to choose from. all of these options are best explained by a real estate attorney that has considerable experience with HOA documents.

  2. On March 26, 2012 at 11:02 am Paula Spelts wrote:

    I live in Brunswick County and my husband and I own a lot in a development that is on a dead end road but we cannot restrict traffic because some of the homes are not in the POA. The developer turned it over to us about 5 years ago so now we have a POA and our dues are just enough to keep the road up. Also the main road entering the development is a state road. We inquired also about the county taking it over but the infrastructure would be outrageously expensive because we would have to bring it up to county standards first, i.e., sidewalks, curbing, etc. I thought it was a law that once the developer was out of the picture, there has to be a POA established. At least that is what we were told. I don’t like the POA but it could be a source of income to repair or pave the road.

  3. On March 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm property manager wrote:

    Two things
    1. counties in NC do not own roads
    2. For a developer to get approval for a subdivision plan the state requires that a set of restrictions and covenants be in place to assign the responsibility for the up keep of storm water infrastructure to someone I.E. The HOA. The state will not allow this responsibilty to be assigned to one individual unless he owns all the property associated with the watershed. If you look at the history of HOA’s you will find that the proliferation of these mini governments after the EPA passed the clean water act. This requirement by the state is due in large part to the state meeting federal mandates requiring erosion and sedimentation controls to be in place when land area of more than one acre is to be disturbed.

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