County may strengthen standards for new roads

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By Jenny Hartley

Developers will likely have to build roads to higher standards if they want them to be accepted into Lancaster County’s road system for maintenance.

County Council postponed final reading of new road standards at Monday’s meeting, moving the vote to a special meeting Dec. 8.

County Administrator Steve Willis told council members at a previous meeting that these standards are some of the toughest, if not the toughest, in the area.

Council has been faced with several requests from neighborhoods in the Panhandle over the past year to have their roads accepted for maintenance.

This means patching, not repaving.

Council voted down requests from the Glen Laurel neighborhood, with county public works officials saying the roads were not high quality.

Council also voted down a request from BridgeMill, where the roads exceed current county standards.

Council has recently voted to accept Sun City Carolina Lakes, Arlington and Clairemont roads into its system. Residents have argued that their roads should receive maintenance from the county since they pay county taxes.

Two readings of the ordinance to improve the county’s road standards have been approved by council members.

“I don’t think the roads need to be accepted automatically,” Estridge said at council’s Nov. 24 meeting. “We can’t maintain what we have.”

Council member Bryan Vaughn, who represents the Panhandle, said he wondered what the legal implications of refusing to accept roads are.

He said council has wavered in its stance over the last several months, voting down quality roads in BridgeMill and accepting those at Sun City, Arlington and Clairemont.

“I think this council has got a lot of egg on its face,” Vaughn said Nov. 24.

Council Chairman Rudy Carter said council needed to take a hard look at accepting roads.

Council approved accepting roads in the BridgeMill and BridgeHampton neighborhoods at Monday night’s meeting. The vote was 6-1, with Estridge voting against it.

“How do you tell someone who pays those tax dollars, ‘You can’t get your road fixed?’” Carter said. “Accepting these roads doesn’t automatically mean they’ll get repaired. It’s not going to guarantee you anything.”

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or at 283-1151