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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

road declaration vs. road association

  • 27 Oct 2011 8:05 AM
    Message # 734547
    Deleted user

    We live in a new (2 yr.) 4 parcel subdivision with 3 dwellings currently. Our lot was purchased from the developer but not built by him. One house built by the contractor was sold to a private party. The second was spec built and for sale by the contractor. One lot remains vacant. The deeds indicate we have ¼ undivided interest in the road, which is approx 400' long. The deed also indicate we have a road maintenance declaration indicating a road maintenance agreement “will be entered into by the parties who utilize the road”. We sent an email to the contractor and the other homeowner offering to host a meeting to set up a road association. The contractor ignored our email and about a month later sent an email advising us “to check our deeds”, he has made arrangements for snowplowing again this year, and we should send him a check. There were no bids, no proposals and no discussion. The snowplower he hired is the same one from last year, which we had indicated we were not happy with the service or the cost.

    There also have been issues in the subdivision with regard to violations of the no cut buffer with Town involvement that has led to a less than amicable relationship.

    Our question is: can the contractor refuse/ignore our request for a road maintenance association to be set up, and can he unilaterally decide who will plow our road.

  • 29 Oct 2011 6:17 AM
    Reply # 736925 on 734547
    Deleted user

    My response is not a professional one just and observational one considering what you have stated.  There are 4 lots- good, that's what it takes to form a road association.  Problem is, seems like the developer owns 2 of the 4 lots still so an impasse is likely the best outcome you could expect at this time (you need 3 of the 4 to call a meeting begin the process for setting up an association.  Yet still your deed says you have a declaration(what legally that means, I don't know) indicating an agreement "will be entered into...".  If the deed say "agreement" and you have none.  He could plow away and you might not have any legal responsibly to pay a bill you have not "agreed" to.  Of course that would be impracticable if the plowing stops and you are forced to do it yourself at your own expense.  You mentioned something about other issues and I assume both sides may be enjoying the battle more than searching for a mutually beneficial solution.  

    Once the other 2 lots are sold, I doubt the contractor will be in the picture any longer and you may have to wait until that happens.  In the meantime you also may obtain a couple of other estimates and present them to the contractor for agreement- he/she won't, of course, but you may be able to recover excess costs after they are out of the picture in small claims court. Anyone acting for the group, I believe, has a fiduciary responsibility to do what a reasonable person would be expected to do.  If the cost/service is dramatically different, you have a complaint, if your concerns are minor compared to the delivered service then your real problem remains the "less than amicable relationship".

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