INDIAN LAND -- Roads in BridgeMill and Glen Laurel will be maintained privately, after the Lancaster County Council voted down a request from developers last week to include the communities' roads in the county's road maintenance system.
Council members argue that the council doesn't have enough money to maintain its existing roads and lacks the funding to take in new roads. Indian Land's representative on the council, Bryan Vaughn, disagreed with the decision.
"You've got people paying for services that will be received in the rest of the county but not in the Panhandle," Vaughn said. "Personally, I think it's illegal. We're set up to be sued here."
Lancaster County Administrator Steve Willis said roads in developments like BridgeMill and Glen Laurel can only be accepted into the county road system with the council's approval, according to the development agreements between the county and the developers.
But Vaughn said he believes the county implied to developers that roads built to county standards would be accepted into the county's road maintenance system. BridgeMill's roads meet those standards, but Glen Laurel's roads do not.
The council is setting a precedent that could affect other communities in the Panhandle, Vaughn said. Homeowners' association fees will skyrocket if residents are required to maintain their own roads, he added.
Paved roads that are part of the county's maintenance system receive pothole patches when needed. Dirt roads are scraped periodically. Resurfacing roads is not in the county's budget. Resurfacing requests are made to the county transportation committee, which uses state funds to maintain and improve roads in Lancaster County.
No new roads have been accepted into the county road system since 1998, Willis said. Subdivisions built after 1998, including Sun City Carolina Lakes, do not have county-maintained roads.
If Sun City Carolina Lakes were to request acceptance into the county road system, the guard station would have to be torn down, said Willis, because a public road cannot be gated.
"How do you tell people you are paying the same taxes as everyone else in the county but we aren't going to maintain your roads," Vaughn said.
"It's like saying we won't give you police service or fire service. You don't tell them you're not going to take in roads. You quit building houses."
Andrew McCoy, vice president of construction for John Wieland Homes, the developer of BridgeMill, said the company would not comment on the county's decision. McCoy said that he has received several phone calls from concerned residents.
"We have every intention of maintaining the roads until such time as an agreement can be reached with the council," McCoy said.
Developers for Glen Laurel could not be reached for comment before press time Monday.