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No one wants Lakeside's Linden Road

“Visitors have such a hard time driving in”

Linden Road. “Sometimes people fight too much about who owns it.”
Linden Road. “Sometimes people fight too much about who owns it.”

Carlos Contreras stands at the edge of a roadway that looks like a combination of sinkholes and earthquake damage. He points up the short, narrow street to a nice looking, well-kept house with a For Sale sign on it.

“People who come to look at my house, half can’t even get to it, the road is so bad,” Contreras says. “The county says they don’t own the road, but all the flooding water comes from roads the county does own and comes right down to Linden Road. Their road problems caused ours.”

Residents on the short road in Lakeside north of Bostonia have much to complain about. You can still see fragments of paving that haven’t snapped off and are covered with dried sediment. There are broad deep fractures and holes where sedans bottom out.

With the enormous rainfall in the past year, residents have seen more than a foot of standing water, sometimes for more than a day.

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“My neighbors and I talk about putting some money together and paving it,” Contreras says. “But next rains, the road will fill up a foot deep like last time and just stand here. When it’s dry, the road looks like this.”

Some residents built their own retaining walls, which help the individual property but redirect water downhill, to Linden Road, neighbors say.

Who owns the road seems in dispute. At a meeting with residents a few weeks back, county public works staff said the county does not — which was echoed by Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

An old-timer told Contreras that the county maintained for a while and then withdrew from ownership and stopped maintaining it. The stretch of road that is now private is the low point east of Winter Gardens Boulevard in a mildly sloped subdivision.

“Sometimes people fight too much about who owns it,” he said. “The problem is the county has no stormwater drains even on the roads it owns so when it rains all the water comes to our street.“

A California Highway Patrol officer once pulled a resident over and wrote him a ticket, telling the resident: this is county-owned road.

The stretch of road is just east of Winter Gardens Boulevard, north of Royal. The turn in is marked by the Coo Coo Club, a self-described dive bar with karaoke every night, and the road becomes difficult just a few feet east of the intersection.

James, a resident for just a few months, said he goes out to Winter Gardens to meet people and walk them back to Linden Road. “It’s just easier,” he said. “They have such a hard time driving in and they’re shaky when they park and get out of the car.”

Earlier this month, officials from the Regional Water Quality Control Board went out to meet with residents and county officials, according to the water board’s senior engineer Laurie Walsh. The board is now involved because the problem has to do with pollutants in storm water run-off.

“The development there has been done piecemeal over time and now it doesn’t function very well,” Walsh said. “We can look at this on a watershed basis – these are watershed issues – that are complicated by the difference between public and private roads.”

For Contreras, the slow movement to a possible resolution doesn’t help him much.

My realtor says that’s why no one makes an offer,” Contreras says. “Can you imagine what would happen if a mover’s truck or emergency vehicle came through?”

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Linden Road. “Sometimes people fight too much about who owns it.”
Linden Road. “Sometimes people fight too much about who owns it.”

Carlos Contreras stands at the edge of a roadway that looks like a combination of sinkholes and earthquake damage. He points up the short, narrow street to a nice looking, well-kept house with a For Sale sign on it.

“People who come to look at my house, half can’t even get to it, the road is so bad,” Contreras says. “The county says they don’t own the road, but all the flooding water comes from roads the county does own and comes right down to Linden Road. Their road problems caused ours.”

Residents on the short road in Lakeside north of Bostonia have much to complain about. You can still see fragments of paving that haven’t snapped off and are covered with dried sediment. There are broad deep fractures and holes where sedans bottom out.

With the enormous rainfall in the past year, residents have seen more than a foot of standing water, sometimes for more than a day.

Sponsored
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“My neighbors and I talk about putting some money together and paving it,” Contreras says. “But next rains, the road will fill up a foot deep like last time and just stand here. When it’s dry, the road looks like this.”

Some residents built their own retaining walls, which help the individual property but redirect water downhill, to Linden Road, neighbors say.

Who owns the road seems in dispute. At a meeting with residents a few weeks back, county public works staff said the county does not — which was echoed by Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

An old-timer told Contreras that the county maintained for a while and then withdrew from ownership and stopped maintaining it. The stretch of road that is now private is the low point east of Winter Gardens Boulevard in a mildly sloped subdivision.

“Sometimes people fight too much about who owns it,” he said. “The problem is the county has no stormwater drains even on the roads it owns so when it rains all the water comes to our street.“

A California Highway Patrol officer once pulled a resident over and wrote him a ticket, telling the resident: this is county-owned road.

The stretch of road is just east of Winter Gardens Boulevard, north of Royal. The turn in is marked by the Coo Coo Club, a self-described dive bar with karaoke every night, and the road becomes difficult just a few feet east of the intersection.

James, a resident for just a few months, said he goes out to Winter Gardens to meet people and walk them back to Linden Road. “It’s just easier,” he said. “They have such a hard time driving in and they’re shaky when they park and get out of the car.”

Earlier this month, officials from the Regional Water Quality Control Board went out to meet with residents and county officials, according to the water board’s senior engineer Laurie Walsh. The board is now involved because the problem has to do with pollutants in storm water run-off.

“The development there has been done piecemeal over time and now it doesn’t function very well,” Walsh said. “We can look at this on a watershed basis – these are watershed issues – that are complicated by the difference between public and private roads.”

For Contreras, the slow movement to a possible resolution doesn’t help him much.

My realtor says that’s why no one makes an offer,” Contreras says. “Can you imagine what would happen if a mover’s truck or emergency vehicle came through?”

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