County required to maintain Sun City roads

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By Jenny Hartley

County maintenance crews will eventually be seen patching streets in Sun City Carolina Lakes.

There has been recent debate over what roads Lancaster County will accept for maintenance. County officials say the county has little money for road maintenance.

County Administrator Steve Willis initially said the county would likely not accept Sun City Carolina Lakes' roads. He said the guard shack at the entrance to the community would have to be torn down, since the county doesn't accept roads in gated communities.

But officials later realized that Sun City's development agreement with the county includes county maintenance of the retirement community's roads.

Sun City roads discussed

Del Webb and Pulte Homes officials were on hand at County Council's Aug. 25 meeting to answer any questions council members may have about the roads at Sun City Carolina Lakes.

David Cushing, vice president of land for Pulte Homes, the parent developing company of Sun City Carolina Lakes, said the roads in Sun City have been built to government standards.

Pulte officials have had an "on-going dialogue" with county officials over the past year on acceptance of the roads, Cushing said.

County officials have assured them that the county will accept the roads as long as the guard house at the entrance of the community will not restrict access to Sun City.

Council members asked Cushing and Pulte Homes' Jon Hardy about construction traffic on Sun City streets.

Hardy said construction on Del Webb Boulevard, the main road into Sun City from U.S. 521, is finished, except for 28 small, ranch-style homes near the U.S. 521 entrance.

Pulte Homes will fix any damage to that part of the road until the construction of those homes is complete.

Cushing added that the roads in Sun City have 10 to 12 inches of asphalt, to accommodate heavy construction trucks.

"I would think our concerns would mirror some of your residents' concerns," Councilman Fred Thomas said.

"They mirror my concerns, because I live there," Hardy said.

Accepting the roads in Sun City into the county's road system doesn't require a vote by County Council, since it is stated in the community's already-approved development agreement with the county.

Councilman Larry Honeycutt requested a map of the streets the county would have to accept.

Other roads not accepted

Council already voted recently not to accept the Glen Laurel and BridgeMill subdivision roads into its maintenance system.

The Glen Laurel roads aren't up to county standards, and the roads are already filled with potholes and cracked pavement, according to officials.

BridgeMill's roads are in good shape and exceed county standards.

Public works officials are working with developers on strengthening the county's road standards.

Public Works Director Darin Robinson and road engineer Jeff Catoe are revising a draft of the road standards and will meet with developers again.

A decision on upping the standards will ultimately be up to County Council.

The only county in the area with weaker standards than Lancaster County is Kershaw County, Willis said.

"They're about due, after 20 years" for a revision, he said.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-11511