If you manage a homeowner's association and need repair work done on your roadways, there are a few important things you need to consider. Your main concern is likely the cost of the repairs. However, the cost may be taken care of in part by the county, but only if the roadways are annotated as dedicated on the plat description and you comply to certain criteria set forth by your county, your state, and federal regulations. Here's what you need to know.
The plat description of your roadways
The plat is the legal description of a property. It includes information on boundaries, easements, roadways, rights of way access, and flood zones. The description of the roadways within your development determines if the homeowner's association, property owners, or county are responsible for the roadways and, thus, the repairs of them. Here are the descriptions to look for:
- Private. Homeowner's association and/or property owners are responsible for roadways that are private.
- Dedicated. A dedication is the first step in the process of transferring ownership from a private party to the local government. While the private party is likely responsible for roadways, depending on local regulations, the roadways need to be constructed, maintained, and repaired according to local, state, and federal regulations.
- Public. County or state Transportation Departments are responsible for public roadways.
If you don't have a copy of the plat, you can get one from the local county courthouse. Plats are kept in the land records office and are available for viewing and printing by the public. If the plat says the roadways are public, contact your county Transportation Department to submit a request for roadway repairs. If the roadways are private or dedicated, your homeowner's association and/or the property owners in your community are, depending on the stipulations within your homeowner's association contract with the homeowners.
Complying with regulations for private & dedicated roadways
If the roadways are dedicated, meaning they are slated to be controlled by the county or state in the future, it's a good idea to comply with regulations for the roadway repairs you need. That way, when the county or state takes over responsibility for the roadways, you won't have to worry about meeting the regulations at that time.
If they are private roadways, it's still a good idea to comply to the regulations in case there is a chance that the roadways will become dedicated or public in the future. Here are a few important things to obtain.
- Grading permit for moving earth. This requirement depends on the amount of earth that needs to be moved, which varies from one area to the next. A local roadway repair service will know when grading permits are required.
- Encroachment permit. This permit is necessary for tie-ins to county or state maintained roadways, such as your community's roadway access points. It allows for safe transition from one roadway to the next.
- Engineering plans. Most county, state, and federal transportation departments require engineering plans drawn up by civil engineers and approved by the department.
- Construction and/or repairs. The construction of roadways and the repairs of them should be done according to regulations and inspected by the transportation departments.
When contracting with a roadway repair service, it's important that you let them know that you want to repair your roadways as if they are public even though they are private or dedicated. That way, they will handle the repairs based on requirements and regulations even though they are not necessary for private roadways. You can look at this web-site for more information and examples of road repair.
If your roadways are private and you would like them to become public, contact your local transportation department to determine if your roadways are currently eligible and how to go through the transitional process if they are.