New standards for county roads were approved at Monday night's Lancaster County Council meeting, paving the way for more communities to have their roads accepted into the county system.
The new standards are more strict, including a requirement for six additional inches of sub base and binder under the asphalt. Those materials will make the roads stronger, according to County Administrator Steve Willis.
Roads that are more durable are more likely to be accepted into the county road system, he said.
The county council previously said it would not accept new roads into the system because the county lacked the money to maintain new roads. But road that meet the new standards wouldn't be as much of a burden. They would last longer than current roads before patching would be necessary.
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"Whether they get approved or don't is the council's call. But if they do get approved, we know we have a road that five years down the road won't have potholes on it."
Last week, the council also voted to accept roads in BridgeMill and BridgeHampton into the county road system. The two Panhandle developments originally petitioned the council in July to have their roads accepted into the county system. Their roads exceeded county road standards, but council members voted to deny the request.
Last week, they reconsidered the vote and approved the developments' roads.
"If you're going to have to take new roads in, at least let's take in good roads. If you build a proper, well constructed road, we'll take it. I think that's what they're looking at from a philosophical standpoint," Willis said.
That doesn't mean all roads in the Panhandle will be approved, Willis cautioned. Developers of Glen Laurel also asked the council to accept their roads into the county system in July, but their roads failed to meet the county's existing road standards. Willis doesn't expect the council to change its mind on that decision.
The same goes for other Panhandle developments, Willis said, including communities such as Rosemont.
Ron Willing, senior land manager for McCar Homes, the developer of Rosemont, said he wasn't aware that the county had changed the road standards. He said he isn't sure how that will affect the community's roads. "We built our roads to exceed their standards, but I don't know by how much," Willing said.