That progress hasn’t provided relief yet to residents of Ventura Heights subdivision in East Bexar County, where deep, treacherous potholes refilled with rainfall Wednesday. But as a temporary fix, a developer with no current stake in the subdivision offered to patch some of its worst potholes in the next week.
In a letter to the county, Yantis Co. President Michael Yantis Jr. said that although it wasn’t the cause of the road problems, “I feel like we can be part of a temporary solution that will allow the Ventura Heights residents full use of their streets.” Accepting the offer, County Engineer Renee Green responded: “We understand that this is not a permanent fix and will continue to work with the homeowners to develop a permanent solution to their street problems.” In the meantime, the county, which disavows responsibility for maintaining the substandard roads, is extracting agreements from the developers it can locate. When they can’t be found, the county is withholding driveway permits and holding up plats, but isn’t authorized to do repairs, officials said.
Ventura Heights’ road woes sparked the countywide survey that was outlined at Commissioner’s Court on Tuesday. Residents of the neighborhood, in an unincorporated area near Converse, implored officials – again – to remedy their plight.
Officials offered several long-term options. One plan would have the budget-strapped county assume responsibility for Ventura Heights’ roads, making all taxpayers responsible for maintenance. In other scenarios, a special district could be formed where a road maintenance tax would be imposed for 30 years; or residents could be required to pay a share of the upkeep.
In May, the county estimated it would cost $1.3 million to bring Ventura Heights’ streets into compliance at a cost of $7,731.84 for each of the 170 homes.
Green told commissioners that 121 subdivisions in unincorporated areas, whose streets and drains have been out of warranty for two or more years, have been examined in recent months. Sixteen of them have completed needed repairs and 52 promised to make fixes by early October, she said.
The 121 subdivisions had 37 developers, seven of which couldn’t be located, Green said. The missing seven are responsible for 20 subdivisions, including Ventura Heights.
No plans of action to remedy road problems have been submitted by 33 of the subdivisions whose developers were located. However, about half have such plans in the works.
“I’m encouraged by the response we’ve received from the builders and we will continue to diligently work to bring all of Bexar County’s residential roads into compliance,” Green said.
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, whose Precinct 4 includes Ventura Heights, said the county, by law, has been constrained in its response.
“We were advised by the district attorney’s office that if you go in there and fix it, that’s a de facto adoption of the subdivision,” Adkisson said.