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Subject: From private to public roads
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06/20/2020 4:33 PM  
Has any Association been successful in converting their private Association roads to public roads maintained by the city?


06/20/2020 5:34 PM  
I suppose it is possible, I would expect your property taxes to increase significantly because the shared cost of maintenance will be shifting from the association to your local governing body.


06/20/2020 5:34 PM  
Yes we had to do it when we changed to separate water meters. It's not an easy process. Your HOA will need to make the changes into your CC&R's that your streets are considered PUBLIC. Otherwise it misleads members to thinking they have private streets. Which can be an issue when dealing with possible legal issues and protection. Recommend making other updates to your documentation while your at it.

Keep in mind this isn't a "free ride" off the city's back. There is some responsibility still on the HOA. Those will vary per each situation. Your HOA can not have any private signage. So if your HOA like ours had special street signs, they have to go. They have to be the standard reflective types.

Stop signs, yields and other traffic control signage will need to be put up as well. Which means the HOA may need to keep it so can see the signs. We had to deny a person installing a 6 foot fence because it would have blocked driver's views of the sign. Also had to trim a few trees here and there.

Changes may need to be made to allowing street parking. It's no longer the HOA's control. It's the City's. So need a car towed in violation? The HOA has to call the city to report it.

We had an additional issue because our streets were not built wide enough. Could not widen them. So could ONLY park on 1 side of the street. Which we determined with the city fire marshall to be the side where NO fire Hydrants were on. Happened to be on the right side for us.

This also lead to the issue our HOA does not allow signs other than "For Sale/Rent". Meaning the city adding their no parking between the signs were not going to work. Those signs would have been an eyesore and made mowing difficult. So we had to go to the city's Code department for us to have "red curbs" painted for no parking instead. There had to be an ordinance as well to enforce it.

Was it worth it? Yes. Did it take awhile to incorporate? Yes. It's just simple as turning over the streets to the city. The HOA has to do a few things as well. Otherwise, may as well keep the streets if that is a better option for your HOA.

Former HOA President


06/21/2020 5:18 AM  
I've heard of it being successful.

The following typically happens:

1) the current roads must meed applicable road design laws (for my community, the roads are too narrow and therefore, becoming public would not happen unless the Association paid to widen them, taking land and homes to do so).

2) The City/County might set up a special tax district for the development to pay for the additional maintenance on the roads.


06/21/2020 6:49 AM  
With exception of Let's comment, I agree.

Most private roads will need evaluation by licensed engineering firm that prepares report for the jurisdiction on the type, condition, signage, striping, etc, to serve as the basis for consideration.

Technical and political coordination also involved - some areas simply don't like this idea, so, in this regard, good luck.

We looked at this in two neighborhoods and determined the cost so high, and level of effort to accomplish so hard and long, that we gave up.


06/21/2020 7:45 AM  
There is a community near mine that has a public street bordering the east of their property, and a special annual maintenance assessment for that specific road is on everyone's property tax bill. In another community just up the street from mine, owners pay an individual special assessment for that community's streets.

So an increase in property taxes can happen. It all depends on how what the local municipality needs to make the economics work.


06/21/2020 8:44 AM  
Will add what is the PURPOSE of wanting or needing to be Public roads?

Our situation we HAD to be Public roads because we added access to a public utility. (Water department). Other situations some HOA's want to be "Public" roads because they think will lower their expenses. Which isn't necessarily a good idea depending on your needs/wants in your HOA.

Having streets become "Public" can really effect any kind of "private" feel or control your HOA may currently enjoy. It's not like you can decide who/when someone can enter your HOA. No security gates installed. Public road laws have to be followed. You may be limited in getting rid of multiple cars parked out front of properties.

There are trade-offs of going "Public". It's not just an expense thing but you lose alot of controls.

Former HOA President
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > From private to public roads

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