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Deschutes County firming up some road rules


Deschutes County will not be accepting any more roads into the county-maintained system, and hasn’t been for nearly a decade. But there are some loose ends to tie up to make clear who has responsibility for maintaining new roads.

The county’s planning commission met on Thursday evening and held a hearing on an amendment to county code to make clear who is responsible for maintaining new roads.

So, if a new subdivision comes in, developers likely need a road to connect it to a county road.

The road must meet county standards, but the county won’t build or maintain the road. That’s up to the property owners, typically funded through an agreement with a homeowners’ association.

“Declining revenues in our road department, we couldn’t afford to maintain new county roads,” said Peter Russell, the county’s senior transportation planner. “So that’s why we basically went with a planning review of a subdivision. You have to have a homeowner’s association or some other covenant or agreement that would maintain this road when it was built.”

NewsChannel 21 also asked about the financial impact this could have on future homeowners.

“There’d be a cost that they’d have to add onto it,” Russell said. “It just depends on how long the road is. Again, since the county no longer has the money to do it, it’s going to be on them.”

The planning commission recommended county commissioners approve the new language.

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