Subdivision's roads in legal limbo

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- No one seems to know for sure who is responsible for the upkeep of the roads in the Lazy Acres Estate subdivision.

On Monday, a group of residents from Lazy Acres, which is located about 6 miles east of Greencastle on C.R. 675E, questioned the Putnam County Commissioners about the roads.

Kenneth Harrell said it was his understanding that the roads at Lazy Acres are under the jurisdiction of a neighborhood association that has been defunct for nine years. The taxes for the roads have been paid by one resident since the neighborhood association disbanded.

The resident who has paid the taxes does not plan on paying them again, Harrell said -- which means the taxes will go delinquent at the end of 2010 and will likely end up on the sheriff's sale list next year.

Harrell, who came to Putnam County from Indianapolis, purchased his property in Lazy Acres through a sheriff's sale three years ago.

"It's kind of a poor, rundown little neighborhood," he said. "I don't think anyone is interested in resurrecting the neighborhood association because no one would really want to pay the dues. People who live there have been pretty much just left to run wild and do whatever they want."

Harrell said the roads at Lazy Acres are "in horrible shape."

"They're destroyed," he said. "And with no one taking responsibility for them, you have to wonder where the liability would be if there were an accident."

Commissioner Gene Beck said he was somewhat stymied by Harrell's queries, and suggested Harrell contact representatives of the Putnam County Highway Department to investigate the matter further.

"I guess we can't really give you any advice," Beck said.

Harrell lives in a small modular that was already on the property when he bought it. He has also put up a pole barn.

He had every intention of putting up a new modular, but with the condition of the roads and the uncertainty over who is responsible for repairing them, he isn't sure he will be doing so.

"The ordinances are not enforced, and we're not even sure they're in effect anymore," he said.

Also at Monday's meeting, several downtown Greencastle business owners came to ask the commissioners what, if anything, they could do about the lack of parking downtown.

"There is no parking near our stores," said Robert Givans, owner of Swaps. "People are not going to walk two or three blocks to buy my toys. It's getting harder and harder to make it, and it's getting worse. I'm seriously considering closing the store."

Givans said he has seen vehicles belonging to courthouse employees parked in two-hour parking spaces all day, and that the two-hour parking limit is not strictly enforced.

Beck said while he sympathized with the business owners, the commissioners could not really help.

"We don't police the downtown parking," Beck said. "You really need to take it up with the city."

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  • I thought that once a development was finsihed that they went through a maint. period for like three years and then after that period that the Highway/Engineer Department started caring for the roads????

    -- Posted by greencastlemomof2 on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 9:55 AM
  • There is more to a sub-division being finish for the county or city to take over the roads. The roads must first be installed to the proper standards, this usually is not what happens. The development may get permits and such but they are based on the fact the home owners association has chose to maintain their own roads. People should know this when they buy the property! Look at Wildwood just to name one of many in our county. Now it would not be fair for all the county residents to take over and maintain sub-par roads.

    -- Posted by Trying hard on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 10:49 AM
  • I had some familiarity with this issue several years ago, having lived in a subdivision. Most subdivision, if they wish to remain autonomous, establish covenants and bylaws which include provisions and funding, usually via dues, for road or common area maintenance. A subdivision can petition the county to maintain the roads and the county will usually do so but only after the roads are brought up to county standards,with the cost being born by the homeowners of the subdivision. I know of no property in a subdivision that has a separate "tax" for roads that is collected on property taxes.

    -- Posted by exhoosier2 on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 1:26 PM
  • Are we going to re-visit "downtown parking" again? This is a recurring problem and does not seem to go away. Sometimes a solution is found but it only lasts a short time and then we are back to square one. Enforcement is the key, but the city might not have the money to pay people to check the cars downtown in the parking spaces. Deja Vu, all over again!

    -- Posted by not gullible on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 2:21 PM
  • typical freakin~ commissioners....God forbid anyone goes out of there way to try and help with a problem!

    -- Posted by killintime on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 2:23 PM
  • I live at Lazy Acres Estates and not all the homes look run down- there are some really beautiful homes there. When we moved into Lazy Acres Estates we were told about the road and that the city or county would not clean it - it was up to the neighbors to do it. We never heard that anybody was paying the taxes on the road?

    -- Posted by T.J. on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 2:59 PM
  • The county doesn't maintain the roads we have. There have been several people injured in accidents that could have been avoided if sand or salt was put down in corners and intersections like the superintendent said would happen. Hope he sleeps well at night knowing this.

    -- Posted by longtime resident on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 4:36 PM
  • The city does have someone who checks the cars on the square and one block in all directions. The problem is, in my opinion, the woman that does it is coming from the courthouse and knows who's vehicles to check and who's vehicles not to check. I have personally seen her walk by some cars but put in others in her machine. When the weather is bad, the problem is two-fold, the woman doesn't walk the square and/or many more of the courthouse workers are parking in those spaces. Something should be done about this!!

    -- Posted by NotSoInnocent on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 5:55 PM
  • All roads become slick and hazardous when you have winter weather so drive accordingly...or move south

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 6:02 PM
  • I thought years ago the county or city bought the ground the old ford dealership sat on to make it into a parking lot for the courthouse employees. who owns that land now? Last time I came for a visit it was still a vacant lot.

    -- Posted by exhoosier2 on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 11:19 PM
  • One of the biggest issues with parking is there is no city court to oversee or allow contest of citations. There are some folks around town that have bragged of having hundreds of dollars worth of unpaid parking tickets.

    -- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 2:42 AM
  • In regards to the parking problem downtown; the simple solution is for everyone to ride a bike. Greencastle is a great town for cycling; we just need more people doing it. Ask your favourite businesses to install bicycle parking racks. I'll even sell them the racks at my cost.

    -- Posted by PlatyPius on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 9:17 PM
  • I figure as long as I am a free American and pay my taxes I can park wherever I want no matter where I work. The courthouse employees are not the only ones parking on the square. Business owners park right outside their own doors. Get over it.

    -- Posted by cowgirlsrule on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 9:20 AM
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