NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Protect private roads

Helen Zimmermann writes about the "Threat to private roads," May 26, 2005
If you live on a private road in Nevada County, please pay close attention to the proposed winery ordinance coming before the Planning Commission today. If passed as Nevada County staff has recommended, it would allow unlimited use of private roads for wine tours, educational tours, retail sales by appointment, and promotional and industry activities for the winery without additional funding of the private road or a requirement to make the private road fire safe, even in very high fire districts.
While I am a strong advocate of economic development, and I am aware of a UC Davis study that ties the survival of small wine makers to selling their product on site, I am against the use of private roads with out compensation by the non-owner users. A few years back a group of relatives decided we were tired of gravel roads, and pooled a small inheritance from a favorite Aunt, and pave our dusty roads.

Once the roads were paved, the whole neighborhood started using our roads, increasing traffic by three to four times. Now, we are responsible for the maintenance of the roads, but everyone is using them with out sharing in the cost. The road is marked as private, no trespass, 10 mph. Still they come traveling at 45 mph, leaving skid marks, tearing up the berms. All without compensation to our informal road association.

If you, or your guests, use a private road then share in the cost of maintenance. Since the wineries are inviting guests, they should pay for the private road maintenance.

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