Local News

Protecting The Right Of Way Is Wrong, Says DOT

Posted October 6, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Your appearance says a lot about you, and so does the appearance of your lawn, especially if you live in Enchanted Oaks. But some residents there are seeing red over efforts to protect the grass. Now the Department of Transportation is refereeing a dispute between residents of the Wake County neighborhood.

Tom Davis lives in Enchanted Oaks, near Lake Wheeler. There are no curbs in Enchanted Oaks, because the neighborhood is in the county.

The homeowners association just spent $4,000 installing curbs and gutters at the entrance to the neighborhood. But it would cost nearly $50,000 to put them in throughout the area.

Instead, homeowners have created their own solutions to keep people from driving across the rights of way that surround their yards.

"We've reseeded twice," Davis says. He's also added flags, stones, and landscaping stones.

Davis and some of his neighbors have lined their yards with rocks and stakes, trying to keep drivers from tearing up the grass when they come around a corner.

But the landscaping is driving other residents crazy, and they have the D.O.T on their side.

Resident Michael Hunt says he "just barely came off the edge of the pavement like six inches, and there were these big rocks right off the edge of the pavement and it just gave me a blowout."

The right of way belongs to the state, so Michael Hunt asked the D.O.T. to pay the $200 it cost him to replace his tire.

The D.O.T. did not pay the bill, but the agency did send out letters warning residents that the traps are against the law.

In addition, the agency is making sweeps of the neighborhood, to remove the traps.

"Right now it's just a matter of going out and picking them up. But because it is a statute they could end up in court over it," Jerry Linder, of the D.O.T., said.

The D.O.T. could start writing tickets if the problem worsens. And they say the problem isn't just in Enchanted Oaks. They get the same complaint from neighborhoods all over Wake County.