Thursday, March 14, 2013

All Your Streets Are Belong to Us

I talked to Howard County this week to find out when they plan to take over maintenance of the street, also known as "dedicating" the street. We had been told that this would happen in February.

As you know our Builder (Miller & Smith) picked up the cost of snow removal this past winter, and perhaps even more fortunately we received virtually no snow.

Howard County's Real Estate Services Division told me we will probably be on the June 2013 agenda. For those interested in the details, read on:

  • Until the County accepts maintenance of the street, the Developer agreement with Emerson Land Business requires the Developer (or in this case the Builder, Miller & Smith) to maintain the street.
  • Howard County's Construction Inspection Division and Miller & Smith inspected the street and the County gave the Builder a punch list of items that must be addressed.
  • In this case they are still working the punch list and expect to do so for another 2-3 weeks, till around the beginning of April. They just received the updated as-built drawings.
  • With this timetable, the street will probably be on the June agenda for a Real Estate Services hearing where Howard County will decide whether to formally accept the street.
  • Once Howard County accepts the street, there will be a 1-year period where the Builder must post a surety bond. During this period, the Builder is required to fix the street if it fails for reasons other than Acts of God (e.g., earthquakes or tornadoes). This period allows latent issues to surface.
  • However, as I understand it, the County will take responsibility at this point for snow removal.
  • After one year, the Builder is released from the bond and future maintenance is the responsibility of the County.

We are fortunate in that, unlike some neighborhoods, we do not have any private streets (brown signs instead of green signs) that are not accepted by Howard County and do not get County services, including trash pickup and snow removal. 

That means those streets must be maintained by their sub-associations, including resurfacing and repair.

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