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Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6437
Experience:  29 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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Regarding code compliance, if something cannot be visible

Customer Question

Regarding code compliance, if something cannot be visible from the "road", what is the definition of a road? This particular property is on a private road which is a deadend, owned and maintained by the property owners.It is only to be accessed by the owners of the properties on the road or their guests.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.

Welcome and thank you for your question. I will be the professional that will be assisting you.

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.

Your code should set out an exact definition of a "road". Where is the private road located and what definition does the code set out for their terms?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have looked through the City of Denton Code of ordinances and cannot find their definition of "road".
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.

Let me take a look for you. It would be important to have that definition to know if you are in compliance. In the absence of a definition the courts will use Black's Legal Dictionary.

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.
  • Sec. 23-110. - Definitions.

    Public roadway means a public street, alley, road, right-of-way, or other public way, including paved and unpaved portions of the right-of-way.

  • Sec. 34-114. - Streets.

Private roads.

a.

A development located in a planned development zoning district may be approved with one (1) or more private roads when:

1.

The road will have direct access onto a public street;

2.

The road is not necessary or planned to serve or provide for traffic or drainage outside the development;

3.

The road is so routed or designed so as to discourage through traffic; and

4.

The road will provide for adequate access, the safe movement of traffic, drainage and generally serves as an adequate alternative to a public street.

b.

When the private road will serve more than one (1) lot, the developer shall submit to the planning and zoning commission for approval a written and binding declaration, to be recorded prior to the acceptance of any public improvements, establishing an owner's association or similar legal entity which will have:

1.

The legal authority to maintain and exercise control over the road; and

2.

The power to compel contributions from owners within the development to cover their proportionate shares of the cost associated with maintenance of the road.

c.

Private roads shall conform to the design specifications set forth in appendix A-4 of Ordinance No. 88-103, which appendix is adopted by reference and included in this Code the same as if set out at length in this section, unless the road is the sole access to the development, in which case the private road shall conform to the design specifications for public streets.

d.

Where any parking areas or spaces are to be used along or adjacent to the private road, the parking areas and spaces shall be designated and constructed in accordance with the design standards applicable to parking lots so that the parking areas and spaces will not interfere with the use of any public streets.

e.

For the purpose of this section, a "private road" shall mean any open way used for vehicular traffic, not dedicated to public use and not part of a parking lot, designed and used to provide vehicular access to a development or lot.

https://www.municode.com/library/tx/denton/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=SPBLADECO_CH34SULADE_ARTIIIREIMGEDEST_S34-114ST

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.

Can you tell me the code you are referring to so I can see if a private road falls under the same jurisdictional requirements as a private road?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Something else that it refers to is having materials from "public view". They did not actually cite the specific ordinance/code. It appears they are quoting them but do not actually have the ordinance chapter identified. One of the items states "Remove appliances, piles of tree limbs, wood, farm equipment, construction material and other miscellaneous items stored on the property from public view." The farm equipment that they are referring to is a tractor and a farm implement used as decoration. This is a rural area and was just taken in by the city about 1 1/2 years ago. The lots are one acre.
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.
They need to tell you the exact code they are referring to. They basically have put both private and public roads in the same category for purposes of code violations and authority to enforce all roads. That being said you can always apply for a variance. The city loves to flex their muscle whenever they are able to do so. They must take Into account that the purpose for codes and code enforcement is to promote the health sfaety and welfare of its residents. This sounds like a code that would have made sense under certain circumstances but serves no purpose based on your location
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Okay, thank you. I am going in to meet with the Code Enforcement officer next week and wanted to have as much information as I can get before talking with them. I will ask for them to cite the specific ordinances/codes and show me their definitions. Any other advice?
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.
You are most welcome. Their job is to promote the health safety and welfare not make arbitrary rules that don't apply to yout use of the land. If they give you a hard time let me know and I will provide a link for a local land use attorney that provides free consultations. They have a tendency to back off and work with you when they know you have consulted with legal counsel.
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.
Your". My iPhone loves to cause typos for me.
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.
If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate it.
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.
Here is a link for FREE consultation attorneys in your area http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/land-use-zoning/denton/texas
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you so much!
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.
You are so welcome.
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 7 months ago.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate it. Do you see the rating scale to rate my service on your end?