Shopping center’s private road a heavily used cut-through

The in basket: M.C. (Pete) Peterson sounds a familiar note in complaining about the chronic pot holes that develop seemingly each winter on Village Lane, the private road that services South Park Village shopping center in South Kitsap. The holes join a couple of speed humps that make entering the shopping center from the south in the dark of winter a challenge.

“I drove on the road,” he said in early March, “and noticed a big hole right where the last one was, and it is obvious that someone did some repair work. But some 4th grade boys could have done a better job.

“They did not use any large filler for the hole, and it is all pushed down, but not broken, but it still could do some under-carriage damage if hit too fast.

“I think that will all wash out if it fills with water and people don’t see the hole and aren’t aware of the previous damage and just keep driving through it.

“I’m sorry to have to keep harping on this, but that whole section needs some work, if you are egressing from the shopping center, there are several locations that are bad.”

Actually, one other. The access with the traffic signal where Village Lane intersects Mile Hill Drive is always in good shape, but the secondary Mile Hill Drive entrance just east of there seems to develop a big hole every winter. Even this winter, with no snow to complicate things, a large car-jolting hole appeared.

It’s not surprising the holes appear on Village Lane each winter. Though a private road designed to get shoppers into the shopping center, it is widely used as a cut-through to Mile Hill Drive by hundreds of the motoring public.

I asked who is responsible for the holes in Village Lane and the one on Mile Hill Drive. I also asked if, it’s being a private road, its owners could close it, though I’m sure that’s the last thing they would want.

The out basket: “The property owner(s) are responsible for private roads,” Doug Bear, spokesman for Kitsap County Public Works, said April 3. “Madrona Manor (Housing Kitsap) is going to fill the hole.

“The potholes along Mile Hill Drive are in county-maintained right-of-way and have been repaired,” he said.

I drove through there last week and it appears the holes next to Madrona Manor, a senior living complex at Village Lane and Madrona Drive, have been filled too.

As for whether Village Lane’s continued use is up to its owners, Doug said, “In the Short Subdivision Application (Auditor record #7706080154), when the property was subdivided, there is a provision in each of the three parcels that describes “…an easement for ingress and egress over and across a strip of land 30 feet in width lying 15 feet across each side of the following described centerline…” It goes on to describe the parcel piece it references.

“As a lay person, that would seem to indicate that access to the other parcels must be maintained, but I’m sure a legal professional could give a better opinion.”

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