Every time David Largent leaves home, he worries about wrecking.
“The road is too narrow with deep ruts, and it needs to be marked,” he explained.
He lives at the end of Rivers Reach Drive. It’s a skinny road off Clements Ferry serving hundreds of people that live in the both City of Charleston and Berkeley County.
He called Collett back in February. He was frustrated when no one could identify who’s responsible for restriping the road or filling in the ruts.
A Call Collett investigation found the owner of the road was a mystery. Berkeley County, the City of Charleston, and DR Horton, who developed neighborhoods on each side of the road, each said they weren’t responsible.
“When the city approved annexation in 1995, the road was specifically excluded,” The City’s Deputy Director of Public Services, Mike Metzler, told News 2 during the initial investigation.
But Berkeley County said they aren’t responsible either, sending a statement reading:
“The City of Charleston allowed the Peninsula development to access the roadway, cut the roadway, and tear up the roadway without any coordination with Berkeley County,” a statement read. “Therefore, WE (County), considering the annexation and encroachments, abandoned any and all interest we had in the roadway and took the position it is the City of Charleston’s roadway up to St. Thomas Point,” the statement continued.
It appeared to be a dead end until the story grabbed the attention of the City of Charleston attorney, Chip McQuinney.
After conducting his own research internally of city files, last month the City hired a title abstractor to trace the history of the road. The search landed on DR Horton, but there’s a catch.
“That doesn’t mean they have a duty to maintain it if it’s used for subdivision purposes,” McQuinney explained.
While the title search revealed the builder owns a large stretch of the land under the road, that doesn’t mean the builder must maintain the road. Since so many people use it, there’s not one party responsible for upkeep.
It’s not likely either Berkeley County or the City would accept the road into their maintenance system unless it’s update. McQuinney sent his findings to DR Horton.
“They want to discuss this. I expect it to happen in the next couple of days,” he told News 2.
McQuinney expects to start talks with DR Horton to determine if the builder will bring the road up the standards, but because the road hasn’t been annexed into the City, they have no legal authority to enforce improvements.