Private roads spark development discussion among county commissioners

M. Dean Smith/Carter Observer

The proposal for a residential development south of Ardmore sparked heavy discussion of road maintenance during Monday’s meeting of the Carter County Commission. The proposal was tabled for at least a week so the developer can add language specifying that the development’s streets are private and will not be maintained by the county.

“I think we need to create a standard for when people do this on a road system, it keeps people off our backs,” Commissioner Bill Baker told his colleagues during Monday’s regular meeting.

Baker and Commission Chair Joe David McReynolds said they’ve received multiple calls in the past regarding needed road maintenance in areas outside of the county’s responsibility.

“I got a call just this last week. Somebody called me wondering why we ain’t maintaining their road. They paid taxes and all this stuff. I said ‘it’s a guy that had farmland that opened it up to lots,'” McReynolds said.

According to Oklahoma Real Estate Commission code, a seller must disclose certain information about a residential property to potential buyers. Among information required for disclosure is “property shared in common with the adjoining landowners, such as fences, driveways, and roads whose use or responsibility has an effect on the property.”

Baker said he believes developers and initial sellers may remember to disclose that information, but the second and third owners of some properties may not have been informed of a private road until after a property is purchased. He said one constituent told him that a bank would not lend for construction on a recently purchased property because it was on a private road.

Commissioners studied maps provided by the developer of the proposed barndominiums just south of Cisco Road on State Highway 77 with vigorous discussion about private roads. They noticed the only language about roads in Monday’s proposal regarded a ban on street parking, and commissioners voted to table the proposal until language is clearer about road maintenance.

In other business, the commission

  • extended the county-wide burn ban for seven days;
  • approved five bore-only road crossing permits for Enable Midstream Partners;
  • approved two ODOT 324a forms to purchase rights-of-way for a bridge upgrade in the northwest portion of the county;
  • approved county officer reports;
  • approved requisitions and purchase orders for County Highway, General Government, and all cash accounts.