Private roads

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by coachlisacmt, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. coachlisacmt

    coachlisacmt Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    California
    I need advice....
    I am a single woman who worked extremely hard to buy my property while raising two sons and putting them through college. I live on a dirt road about .75 of a mile in. The road actually goes 4 miles back to the end. We have a road committe that people voluntarily donate money to. We also donate our physical labor to keep up the road. There are about 20 of us total on the road who participate on the committee. Each property owner has about 20-70 acres. There are about 60 landowners over the 4 miles. THE PROBLEM - We have some people who do not participate in anyway, drive extremely fast on the road and ruin the road. Tonight on my way in to my property a Subaru (? on spelling) Outback was on my bumper all the way. As I was almost to my property it passed me on the left (the road isn't very wide) and through rocks all over my truck. I don't get upset to easily but this upset me. I followed the car to see where it went. It turned into the long driveway of the worst family we have living on our road. They constantly have different people living there and continually have problems down there. I came home and called some of the other committee members. It just seems unfair that some people do all the work and others can be so rude and uncaring.......
     
  2. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    194
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    washington/british columbia
    Private roads are a pain but shouldn't be a total pain.
    We had problems with speeders, and dust control, and the comittee agreed to put speedbumps and made deliberate large potholes in the gravel to slow people down, it easy to make these by burying trees on an angle just below the surface with a little sticking up, make it uncomfortable by placing them on an angle and people will either slow down, or lose control on the gravel and spin or roll over, their choice.
    We had a young fellow not paying attention and going too fast roll his truck at the end of our driveway before the bumps were put in, that pretty much sealed the deal after writing off a nice relatively new truck, fortunately he and his friend weren't seriously hurt, but dad was plenty ****ed about his truck, and the neighbor wasn't too happy about the tree that got cleaned out on his property in the process either.
    Post a speed limit and try to get everyone on the comittee involved, we've had people stand in front of vehicles coming fast when they heard them coming, pretty brave, and usually really gets the message across, face to face confrontations usually do get the message across.
    Good luck
     

  3. coachlisacmt

    coachlisacmt Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    California
    Burying trees is a good idea. I will bring that up at the next committee meeting. I am not so sure about standing in front of the vehicles. Even though we live in California (people think we are all passive vegetarians) many of my neighbors carry guns. Most of us own at least one gun. I am not worried about the majority of them but the ones who react from their emotions or mix carrying a gun with large amounts of alcohol could be a problem. The people who passed me tonight are a group of people who live in another man's house for free. There is one main woman who lives there with her kids but the rest come and go. Since they have no real investment it seems that they could care less about other people.
    We have posted a speed limit sign of 10 mph. We also have a sign posted at the bottom of the road that reads " Private Roads/ Private Property." We did this to discourage people driving off the highway just to see what is up here. Overall, we have alot of good people living up here but it only seems to take a few to make things uncomfortable. Thanks for the advice........
     
  4. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    854
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Is there any way that you or the comittee could talk to the owner of that particular property? Or at least write her a letter? Let her know what is happening and stress that her "guest" are also her responsibility. Since it's actually a private road that is owned and maintained by the property owners..if there was an accident and somebody got hurt, or worse, the injured party has the right to sue all property owners, and they can claim anything they want such as bad road condition, no lights, ANYTHING! Your homeowners insurence would probably cover you.. but that's not the point. HER guest would be the problem, thus by association that could make her the responsible party as the owner of her property.

    We had a simular situation with a homeowners "guest", although it had to do with a community park. In our case a child died, the childs mother who was the guest, then sued all of us homeowners, including the owner of the home they were staying at. The accident happend on a Tues... when just about everybody wasn't even home! But, they sued all of us because as homeowners, we also owned the park. It got messy, but when it was all said and done it came down to the fact that the host, or I should say person who allowed them to stay in his home, was held responsible and had to settle the case with a big fat judgement, because he had been informed of the potential problem and did nothing about it. I was stunned that the courts in this state gave her the judgement at all, because our side proved that she was negligent and that's why the child was injured in the first place. But, the courts do tend to take the side of the injured party more often then not.

    The same logic may apply in your situation. Perhaps if she is made aware of it, she will do something about it... :confused:
     
  5. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    South West MI
    I looked at some property a while back that was 1330 feet deep and 240 wide. At the back was a real nice hunk of land that was allready sold. To buy the piece up front you had to agree to put an access road to the guy in the back with no price break.I laughed and never called back. Now every piece has been sold except that one.


    mikell
     
  6. coachlisacmt

    coachlisacmt Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    California
    The man that owns the property is about as responsible as the people living there. He comes up every once in awhile to hang out with them. I don't think they would have enough assests to sue them for anyway.
    The story about being sued was interesting. It's something I never considered. I think I should bring it up at the next road committee meeting.
    The sad part is everyone else is pretty nice up here. We have a few true mountain men, they only come out of the woods once in awhile and are very nice. These people just seem to be free-loaders.
     
  7. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    11,301
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    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    I would NOT put a hazzard in a road.I know a case where this moron teenager was always speeding down the road raising dust clouds.The homeowner put in a speed bump,kid hit it speeding while drunk,wrecked car and was seriuosly injured.Parents sued homeowner,homeowner lost bigtime.
    Purposefully putting in a hazzard is a really bad idea.YMMV
    BooBoo
     
  8. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
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    Jan 6, 2003
    I wonder what the liability would be if the hazard was posted, like they do around here:

    WARNING!
    SPEED BUMP!
    PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

    Seems to me that should be sufficient to keep your legal backside covered.

    Caltraps might be nice, too... <EG>
     
  9. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    Guy put a cable across his driveway with a sign,private,no trespassing.My friend,lost in the dark at night,hit this with her Mustang,cable came right up over her convertable car,smashed her face and took out an eyeball.Want to guess who is liable? Again,I would surely not purposefully create a hazard,but hey,its your future.
    BooBoo