Photo by Chris Burritt/NWO | Homeowners in Oak Ridge’s Mountain View subdivision off Haw River Road aren’t allowed to use the security gate because it would block access to a public road. The neighborhood’s HOA is seeking to turn the road private.
by CHRIS BURRITT
OAK RIDGE - Homeowners in the Mountain View subdivision want the town of Oak Ridge to turn the public street in their neighborhood into a private road. Doing so would block access to adjacent property, however, raising concern among Town Council members.
Hidden View Drive runs 1.1 miles from Haw River Road before ending at 93 acres owned by Danny Beeson and his sisters, Kay Beeson and Linda Shields. Beeson and his wife, Sherry, have lived in a house that abuts the larger tract for almost 40 years. So far, the family has turned down developers who want to buy the 93 acres for a subdivision.
Beeson said he's not heard from the Mountain View homeowners association, but he's wary of its proposal because making the street private "would basically landlock our property."
"I can appreciate their view that they don't want traffic going past their homes," Beeson said in an interview earlier this week. But he added, "If a potential developer wanted to purchase our property, I would think the road being public would be of utmost importance."
The HOA isn't prepared to discuss its request, Patti Dmuchowski, the group's secretary/treasurer, said in an email earlier this week.
Starting in 2001, the wooded, rolling subdivision contains more than a dozen houses, set back from Hidden View Drive on long driveways. A house is under construction, and several lots are still for sale.
A security gate remains open at the entrance to the subdivision because "public right of ways are not allowed to be gated," according to Sean Taylor, the town's planning director.
If the street were to become private, homeowners would be able to use a security gate, he said.
Taylor presented the homeowners' request to the Town Council during its March 4 meeting. It tabled a resolution to hold a public hearing on converting the road from private to public and instead, instructed the Planning and Zoning Board to investigate the homeowners' request.
Turning the 1.1 mile-long road from public to private would create a cul-de-sac longer than allowed by town regulations, Taylor said. A cul-de-sac street can be no longer than 1,200 feet, partly to allow access by emergency vehicles, he said.