Letter: “Republicans” Send Taxpayers Cleanup Bill For Gated Community

Dear Editor, A while back you wrote a story about S.C. Sen. Tom Young and Rep. Billy Taylor intervening in a bridge/road repair issue in Woodside Plantation – a private, exclusive, gated subdivision in Aiken.  These two clowns forced the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to repair a bridge inside…

Dear Editor,

A while back you wrote a story about S.C. Sen. Tom Young and Rep. Billy Taylor intervening in a bridge/road repair issue in Woodside Plantation – a private, exclusive, gated subdivision in Aiken.  These two clowns forced the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to repair a bridge inside the Plantation gates, despite the fact that all of the roads are privately owned, as are all of the rights-of-way, i.e., the public cannot enter the gates of the Plantation unless you’re a resident, or work there.

Repeat that – the roads and rights-of-way are private, in fact they’re private property, that the property owners association pays real estate taxes on, as they’re not government-owned property.

As if that wasn’t offensive enough, now these Welfare Kings and Queens want the city of Aiken to pay them back for their clean-up efforts of storm debris from the winter storm last year.  First issue is they paid private contractors to come in ahead of the city workers – to accelerate the clean-up.  The city of Aiken does provide routine yard debris pick-up there, though obviously this storm was different.

The city prioritized clean-up on dangerous situations, streets heavily traveled, and etc.  Then got around to cleaning up yard debris.  Woodside was last on the list.  But Woodside would not wait, so they hired private contractors to come in and do it for them.  Then they submitted the bill to FEMA, who denied the reimbursement due to ineligibility.  Now they’re asking the city of Aiken to pay – leading to another private, gated subdivision to submit a bill to the city for same expense.

An issue here is that these contractors did not just clean up trees that fell in streets and roads, they basically thinned up, cleaned up, and cut right of way (trees along roads and etc and in common areas of the property owners’ association), as well as “hangers” – fallen limbs that have not made their way to the ground (I still have them in my trees in my yard).  Essentially, they’re asking for the taxpayers to bailout the Woodside Plantation property owners association for their expense to maintain their privately owned roads, and privately owned right-of-way.

Obviously this is outrageous.  These are the same people who call themselves “Republicans” and then wine and cry when their goverment welfare project, aka the Savannah River Site, loses any federal funding.

Hypocrisy much from this crowd of RINO’s? I’m all for gated, private subdivisions, if that is your thing – just don’t send me the bill.


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Beelzabeth September 11, 2014 at 11:46 am

That is fabulous. Everything. The nerve!

EJB September 11, 2014 at 11:56 am

There may be a shortage of information here with regard to obligations of various entities. Many new subdivisions put their own roads in and later transfer the roads to the county. My subdivision was like that. The roads in my subdivision are now county responsibility and county crews come in and patch pot holes, fix storm drains, etc. It does seem like Woodside stretched a fair bit but the city or county may have obligations of which the author is unaware.

nitrat September 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Does the fact that a subdivision is gated and blocked to the public affect whether or not the roads can ever be acquired by the governmental entity?

Bill September 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Now really, are you serious?. Its just the area under the gate and fencing that surrounds the community that is privately owned. If you can get one of the private property owners of that section, to let you cross their property, the roads are public.

EJB September 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I do not know. The subdivision cannot force the roads on to the County and if the County accepted the roads in a gated community I would say the subdivision can still limit access to residents but I am not sure.

upside down September 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

Public roads, by law, must be public. Period. You cannot put a gate across a road that the maintained by taxes paid by people who cannot access it.
If a gated community wishes to suddenly let other people pay to maintain their roads, then they must open those roads to everybody.
Sometimes the law is an inconvenient thing.

Jackie Chiles September 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I’m curious about this as well. Still, the questions need to be asked.

Frank September 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm

The roads are private, Woodisde was developed in the late 1980’s. The roads will never be turned over to the city or the county – it’s in the city limits. The Woodside Property Owners Association pays to maintain, repave their own roads. The City requires public access in order to accept them into the city road system, and as it is a gated subdivision, with the public prevented from using the roads, i.e., to travel from Silver Bluff Road directly to Whiskey Road and not taking the looonnnnnnngggggg way around, the road have always been and will be private roads. Screw ’em.

EJB September 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm

There are a lot of screwy things done by local governments with regards to roads, storm water run off and such. I responded to nitrat above to similar question. There is something weird about getting the County to build roads into and around subdivisions so the workaround was for the developers to build the roads with the subdivisions then donate the roads to the County. I understand the developers have to build the roads to County standards.

aikencounty September 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm

The way I understand,as you say ,the developers MUST build the road to specs, or the County will not assume maintainence.

Crooks and Cheats September 11, 2014 at 7:09 pm

You should see the paper thin pavement accepted in roads in that new development just NW of Elmwood Cemetery. Canal Place?

Guest September 11, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Not in this case, because it is a gated subdivision, the roads have been private since 1986 and as they’ve been added over time. The roads and road rights of way will always be private in Woodside Plantation. In this case, it’s the city of aiken, not county. The city will never accept the roads as long as the subdivision is gated, with no public access, which is what the residents want. Except that they want all taxpayers to foot this bill forr cleaning up, their private rights of way. Read the article posted.

EJB September 12, 2014 at 6:24 am

Everything being as you say then it looks like more than one law has been violated. A concerned citizen of Aiken should file a complaint along with writing letters to an activist Web site.

upside down September 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

No. If they had deeded it over to the county, then it would not be listed as “private”. Also, the fact that the owners are paying property taxes to the county
on the road itself further seals the fact that it is a private roadway,
and it is illegal (state code) for state or local government to expend
public resources maintaining it. And if it had been deeded to the county, then the county would have had to fix the bridge, not the state.
The hierarchy of responsibility is explicit and clear. The fact that the legislators forced the state to do the job means that the county had no ownership. And I strongly doubt that a gated subdivision would be located inside city limits. People who live there rarely want to pay taxes.
This is just another typical example of those who “have” refusing to accept responsibility for their obligations.
Funny isnt it how welfare is suddenly a good thing when it benefits you…

Tom September 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm

It can’t be welfare because they are not poor, and its not welfare unless you are poor.

Guest September 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm

It is in the city limits. When Woodside Plantation was developed, the City of Aiken had long required annexation, by ordinance, in order to receive water and sewer service. So the property was annexed into the city, and the Plantation received city water and sewer. Otherwise they’d be sending their bill for cleaning up their roads, common areas and rights of way to the County, instead of the city. I live in Aiken, and no doubt about it that Woodside is in the City Limits, with 2 of those assholes from Woodside serving on City Council. They also have their own private security patrolling the neighborhood, although the Aiken DPS does run radar in there every so often. Hey those assholes once tried to tell the previous Sheriff that he had no jurisdiction there, only the city police. Strange bunch, mostly a bunch of loud mouthed Yankee carpetbaggers, like Ryberg.

aikencounty September 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm

But the former sheriff was a carpet-bagging yankee also.

RogueElephant September 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm

If it isn’t a public road the public shouldn’t have to pay for it. Those who think they need to live in gated communities should be willing to pay for the privilege.

Tom September 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Being a little harsh on the job creator communities today, aren’t you? Behind those walls is where they do their best job creating.

Nikki lives in a gated community. Who does her roads?

Interesting Reading September 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Nikki’s community in Lexington is not gated. If it was gated, then the gated community would have to foot the bill.

upside down September 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

apparently not any more. Just get a conservative anti tax legislator to get the gubmint to pay it for you

Native Ink September 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

It sounds like socializing losses. Isn’t that the Republicans stand for? Seriously, I hope you keep publicizing this. I’m sure they were hoping they could slide this through without anyone noticing.

EJB September 12, 2014 at 6:30 am

No, that isn’t what Republicans stand for but like doctors, lawyers and carpenters there are a few bad ones. So few people participate in the political process it isn’t hard for a few bad apples to manipulate things in their favor. This is one of the reasons I joined the Republican party and it is so frustrating to read Web sites like this one people batching, whining and complaining but not doing the one thing that matters most, PARTICIPATING.

Jack September 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm

“that isn’t what Republicans stand for”
LOL, yea, right. Who in their right mind believes that?

gregorybgeddings September 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

How dare you question this, you plebeian swine! Don’t you know that these people are your Lords and Masters? You should bow down and worship them as they worship themselves! Alas, have you no shame?

Not a polo player September 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Senator Greg Ryberg started all this . That arrogant ass looked after his rich friends and himself as he fleeced state government, and all in the name of faux conservatism.

Rich people having their gated communities cleaned and serviced while working people get screwed. Thanks Ryberg, you arrogant shit.

9" September 11, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Why do people need roads? The sun will always guide you. Locate the sun. See it up there, shining through the tree tops? If the tree tops are too thick, locate the shine. Keep the shine aligned with your right shoulder. Or your left shoulder. Walk in alignment with the sun. You will soon find your way.

gregorybgeddings September 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm

If you keep following the sun over one particular soldier it seems like, at day’s end, you will have gone in a circle?

EJB September 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Only if you live above the Arctic Circle (or walk/swim super fast)

FastEddy23 September 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm

But don’t look to closely … That’s global worming a-happenin’.

“… Walk in alignment with the sun. …” and keep going until you reach the beech, then keep going some more :>)

aikencounty September 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm

They also call themselves R’s until it’s time to vote for a new tax.
At which time, said tax have and will pass by a 70% margin.
Aiken County, the “Reddest of the Red”.

FastEddy23 September 11, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Betting: there be lawyers a plenty here.

Jonny Logic September 12, 2014 at 2:53 pm

If this was a street in a ghetto and its residents submitted a cleanup bill, Rinos would be in an uproar and tell the people to get better jobs, education, etc. and to stop fleecing the mighty taxpayers.


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