Subdivision’s paving woes highlight gray area in enforcement | The Courier-Tribune: The developer owns the road up to the point where the state takes it over. The state will not take the road over, even if it is up to spec, until a certain threshold of habitation is reached — a minimum of two houses per one-tenth mile, according to Jeff Loflin, county N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) engineer. So, in the interim, the developer should be motivated to keep the road up, in theory.
Stauffer is experiencing what happens when the theory breaks down.
It breaks down, most often, when a developer goes bankrupt or leaves a subdivision uncompleted because he or she has moved on to a more lucrative project. Short of suing the developer, the homeowners typically have few options other than taking over road maintenance themselves.
This is the point where the intergovernmental relationship as the perfessor termed it in his seminal 1994 book Privatopia reaches a dead end. NCDOT is using a similar formula that privately owned cable companies use in determining where they will build infrastructure -- a formula that creates winners (and lots of losers), leaving many without needed infrastructure.