After 6 years, street still gets no respect Some Canbury Woods residents still lack basic services

May 24, 1993|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Staff Writer

Residents of an Elkridge subdivision say they have been waiting six years for the county to plow their street during snow storms. They have waited for more street lights to be installed and for police to cruise on patrols up their road.

But Fairbourne Court in Canbury Woods cannot receive some of these basic services available in most neighborhoods because the street hasn't been "dedicated" by the county.

And it won't be until its developer brings the street up to county standards. So far, the residents' six-year wait is about twice the typical delay.

"We just want to be dedicated and the developer to get done and get out of here," said Linda Carey, president of the Canbury Woods Homeowners Association.

To qualify, a street must have properly functioning curbs, gutters, sidewalks, landscaping, storm drains and sewer lines.

But Fairbourne Court's dedication has been stalled because of slipping grades and slopes near a storm water management pond, said developer John Liparini of Elkridge Limited Partnership, which owns the subdivision.

For the past two years, developers have been trying to stabilize the erosion by planting grass. But progress has been slowed by poor weather and the bankruptcy of the company responsible for the grading, Mr. Liparini said.

"It's been a very long, drawn-out problem," said Mr. Liparini, who said 99 percent of the work is done and he expects the street to be dedicated in August.

"We're really as anxious as anyone to have the whole project dedicated," said Mr. Liparini, who said it costs thousands of dollars each year to renew the property bond.

Fairbourne Court is the last street in the 6-year-old subdivision to be dedicated. Of 130 homes, about half are on Fairbourne Court.

"You feel like the stepchild," said resident Barb Polek. "Every other street has been dedicated but Fairbourne Court."

Under current law, nondedicated streets are treated like private property. County police said they can't enforce most traffic laws on private roads, with the exception of drunken, reckless or negligent driving.

Andrew Daneker, chief of the county construction inspection bureau, said it is unusual to wait more than four years for a street dedication.

Residents are eager to have their street dedicated because they said such roads receive more attention from county police and are regularly plowed by county workers during snow storms.

"I think there would be more police protection," said John Morgan, whose home has been broken into twice this year.

If Fairbourne Court was dedicated, police would be able to ticket motorists who come speeding down her street, Shashikala Srinath said.

"They zoom down Fairbourne [Court] so fast that you can hear the tires squeaking," Ms. Srinath said.

Homeowners also say they can't install crime-watch signs or additional street lamps to deter criminals because they live on a nondedicated street.

"We're trying to get streetlights and the fact that we're not dedicated is holding us back," said Ms. Carey. She said they approached the county about installing lights, but were referred to the developer.

The group expected the street would soon be dedicated, so they never contacted the developer, she said.

Now they are running out of patience.

"It's been six years," said Denise Willoth, vice president of the homeowners association.

"It's been long enough."

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