Town could take private roads into system

Special to the Tribune

Weaverville – Last week, the Tribune reported that the Town Council of Weaverville voted in January to take applications from the town citizens who own private roads and would like to turn their roads over to the town for maintaining.

In a press release, the town said it “…is proud to maintain a public street system within the town’s municipal limits. The streets and sidewalks within the town’s public street system are all open to public traffic and are maintained by the town. The town has an interest in maintaining only those streets that were built to town street standards since maintenance of streets is costly to the town’s taxpayers.”

Currently, the town has approximately 20 miles of town streets. “The town’s street (construction) standards are designed to yield a street that will have a useful life of approximately 20 years.” Weaverville’s street improvement plan calls for the repaving of roughly one mile per year at a typical cost of about half a million dollars.

The new ordinance adopted last month by the town council lays out “…a public street commitment process…for existing and new streets to be considered for acceptance into the town’s public street system and established street standards for both town streets and private streets.”

Existing Private Streets

According to the release private streets, which “…currently existing or under construction have until May 1, 2020, to submit an application for a public street commitment to the Town Manager at Town Hall, 30 South Main Street, Weaverville, NC, 28787.

“Town Council will consider all applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. At one or more of its upcoming regular meetings, Town Council will consider the applications and take action to either decline to accept the streets into the public street system or commit to accepting the streets and establish any conditions to the acceptance. Existing private roads that do not submit an application by May 1, 2020, will not be taken into the town’s public street system.”

The release goes on to say, “With monetary burdens in mind, if an existing street was not constructed to Town street standards or was not observed by Town representatives during critical phases of the construction, the acceptance of the street will likely be conditioned upon inspections and testing to determine the condition of the street and any related sidewalk or stormwater system. All testing and inspection work (which would be paid for by the road’s owner) must be concluded within three months of the commitment and any required repair work must be completed not later than nine months from the date of commitment.”

New Streets

“For new development, developers must declare whether they want their streets to be private or public at the outset of the project. Developers of streets wishing for acceptance into the town’s public street system must submit an application and receive a decision concerning a public street commitment prior to development approval. If a public street commitment is issued for new residential streets, then such streets must be constructed to town street standards and undergo on-site visits and observations by town representatives during critical phases of the construction of the street.”

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