Mt. Valley residents want road gated

BLYTHEWOOD – Mt. Valley Road residents are asking the Blythewood Planning Commission to close off public access to the south side of the road from the Abney Hills area, saying the heavy construction traffic has nearly destroyed the only entrance to their homes.

Charles Bayne appeared before the commission Monday night to make the request after he said he had taken all the necessary steps to resolve the issue on his own with Essex Homes.

In his previous conversations with Frank Berry of Essex, Bayne said he had been promised that construction traffic would cease and that a ‘No Entrance’ sign would be placed at the secondary entrance to Abney Hills where the third phase of construction has been taking place.

Bayne said no sign had been placed by the time of the meeting, and that just one week ago he had seen a cement truck driving along the one and a half lane dirt road. He said the ruts caused by the heavy traffic makes for a driving disaster after a single day of rain.

“The county has had to come scrape the road twice since December and it has already become a slick clay mud hole again,” Bayne stated.

The biggest question that looms over Bayne’s struggles is the legality of the commission’s ability to block off the road. According to commission chairman Donald Brock, Mt. Valley Road is a private road with limits on who may access it, but also poses limitations to the authority of the town and county. Bayne said the county does have a maintenance agreement for the road, but that it only applies to scraping and some rock distribution upon request of the residents.

“What we have to collectively figure out is what can be done, legally, that will be satisfactory,” Brock stated.

One option that was tossed around during the meeting was to install a gate activated by a key or “squawk box” that would allow emergency vehicles access to the road under emergency circumstances.

Bayne and another resident who owns sixth tenths of the roadway agreed to the gate, but Bayne has no ownership in the road and he said he doesn’t know who else has ownership in it.

No action was officially taken, however, as Brock said he wished to give Essex Homes a chance to speak on the situation.

A representative of Essex is expected to appear before the commission next month.

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