Dirt Roads


Overrun with Drakes
12 Years
Jun 8, 2007
Kitsap County, WA
Hey all,

We recently moved to a neighborhood serviced by dirt roads. We were happy to have dirt roads, even if there are yearly maintenance costs associated with them.

However, our neighbors all want to pave.

Who here has been through the process of transitioning from living on a dirt road to living on a paved road? How did this impact your taxes, in particular?

Also, I'm concerned about safety. People already speed and the road is not and will never be a two lane road.

Well, from second hand personal experience, (meaning I have a dear friend that went through that five years ago in his area) I can tell you what they went through.

First, the neighborhood voted against having the roads paved, they were happy with gravel roads. BUT ... the city decided that the people didn't have a say and went ahead anyway and paved all the roads.

It cost each household around $15,000!!! to have their roads paved. Each household was required to pay or have a levy (?) put on their property! It was a terrible hardship on many people, some had to take out seconds on their houses, etc. Some people ended up moving.

I would assume that it could be different where you are depending on the reasons for 'someone' wanting to pave your roads. In the above case the area became a city and the new city wanted paved roads. What those people did wrong was to vote to become their own city without realizing the power they were then giving their new city officials.

Sometimes ... life stinks! Hope your experience is much better and far less costly.
Thanks Chirpy!

Well, it is a private road in our case, and the board member I spoke with said that they are not going to require that everyone pay (just the interested parties) . . . but I still don't feel very good about it.
When I bought my land in the 70s, the road was dirt. Soon it was gravel after so many folks bought land and began to build homes out here. I am in the county, and most everyone wanted a paved or asphalt road. We had to have a minimum number of homes on the street before the county would pave it. All it did for us was increase our property value and cut down on more frequent than normal automobile oil changes! Property taxes only increased slightly. I don't have to vacuum or dust as often either and my car stays cleaner!
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It's approx. a quarter mile of dirt road from the end of pavement to our house. The "paved" roads leading up to our road aren't much better than dirt. The town is small and the side roads aren't given much consideration by the state or county. The county maintains the first portion of our dirt road, up to the cattle guard, and the rest we have to do with the large tractor and attachments.
I love the dirt road and wouldn't have it any other way. Yes, there's dust. I found by using dust collecting filters in the central unit and changing them faithfully the dust is reduced. We never ever have traffic, except for the mail carrier and the neighboring farmer checking on his cows. One thing I didn't realize about living on a dirt road until my SO pointed it out is that it's cooler out here. Asphalt really does give off more heat.
Yeah, the asphalt heat issue is also a concern of mine. I love how cool it is on summer evenings in our new home. I'd hate to see that change.

Thanks for your input gritsar.

I found a great document, just a little while ago, outlining the cost/benefits of paving and whether it is worthwhile based upon various aspects of the road in question. I think it may give pause to the board and some of the neighbors, because our road still has problems with stormwater wash-outs. If you pave you are still going to have the problems, but they will be more expensive to fix. My guess is because this is a private thing, they haven't looked into engineering the road properly to deal with drainage and/or safety issues. I'm glad I found the document . . . thanks to those who have wished me luck!

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