Board addresses inadequate subdivision roads

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 7, 2019

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors addressed dirt roads that are not up to county regulation being built in subdivisions at its Board meeting Tuesday.

The Board approved a motion to send a letter to an unnamed developer informing them that no more lots in their subdivision could be sold until the roads are approved by the county. District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday declined to name the developer or subdivision in question, because they have not received the letter yet.

Approximately six months ago, the Board changed a county regulation that previously required all roads built in subdivisions to be paved, Holliday said. The change allows developers who are selling plots of 10 acres or more to build gravel roads instead of paved roads, Holliday said.

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The change was intended to reduce the cost of purchasing large plots for consumers, Holliday said, because putting a blacktop road in a 10 or 20 acre plot causes a significant price increase than on a one or two acre plot, Holliday said. He said making large plots more affordable in a rural area makes the county more inviting to prospective consumers.

“We want the people of Pearl River County to buy what they want to buy, 10 or 20 acres, or a half acre in a subdivision,” Holliday said.

However, gravel roads built by developers are still required to meet county regulations—which means they must have appropriate culverts and drainage and enough of a base that the road will not be washed out in a storm, Holliday said.

While roads built in these subdivisions are private, they still must meet county regulations so that residents have roads that are decent enough for mail carriers, ambulances or school buses to travel down, Holliday said.

While the county does not maintain private roads, people with private roads can ask the county to take in their road for public maintenance. However, the county only takes in roads that meet county regulations for public roads, which includes being blacktopped. Barring some kind of emergency situation, no gravel roads can be taken in for public maintenance by the county, Holliday said.

All of the public roads in the county have asphalt.

The Board’s letter is an effort to enforce existing county regulations and protect residents from buying properties with inadequate roads, Holliday said.