Private or public roads in our community


Last updated 2/10/2022 at 10:45pm

The controversy concerning so-called Permanent Road Division Zones within the County of San Diego needs to be addressed in a more permanent and equitable way. The problems associated with the De Luz area recently are just a portent of the future.

To focus on Fallbrook and North County will give us a point of reference on how badly these old archaic agreements serve the residents of the community.

Many of us that have lived for decades in the area have had very little information concerning these systems to maintain what the county likes to call private roads. Even with a magnifying glass, I am not sure if we could even find the references in our land titles concerning these agreements which appear to permanently keep the property in subjugation to agreements that were not intended to accommodate present day conditions.

When we think of a private road in the area, most of us are aware of an extended driveway that has a few additional houses built over the years. I live on such a “road” and have paid to maintain such a road for over three decades. An additional seven homes were built, by a developer, many years later on this driveway with no consultation or agreement with the existing homeowners. All this new development was approved by the county. The county has no intention of helping us maintain these roads.

Specifically, the Permanent Road Division Zone 13A covers Wilt, Sumac, and Sage roads, with parts of Pala Mesa Drive included. Just on these roads, the county estimates a cost of over $3,000,000 with no assurance that after paying all these maintenance costs, the county would accept these roads as part of the county road system.

A massive county water system runs through this area, communication systems, reservoirs, conservation lands and private businesses that are crucial to our way of life in the entire north county area.

This entire area is far more integrated with concerns for fire escape routes, constant delivery vehicles flooding the area, healthcare facilities, and necessary security access. These roads may have been fine for the once-a-week trip to Fallbrook decades ago, but today the county needs to seek a more permanent solution to the arcane ways roads were built in the past.

Jack Wood, former president of the Fallbrook Planning Group, told me a few years back that over a third of Fallbrook roads were private. I attempted to place Wilt Road on a county list of the roads that needed improvement; the planning group was not permitted to include such roads.

We all need to let the San Diego County Board of Supervisors know our concerns. Recently PRZ 13A did approve an increase in funds via our property taxes to help with maintenance costs of the roads. I have a feeling that the county was only trying to figure how much they could extract from the community. The next increase will more than likely be astronomical.

Bill O’Connor


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