MILFORD TWP., Pa. - Milford Township officials are under pressure from homeowners in one Upper Bucks County residential development, who want them to take over a narrow alley because, they claim, their homeowner’s association fee is gradually increasing over its construction and maintenance.
Residents at the Crossing, a recently-constructed development which sits along the Milford Square Pike, have been pressuring members of the Milford Township Board of Supervisors to take over the maintenance of the 24 ft. wide alleyway that stretches about 500 ft. long.
During the board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday, officials said that the local Homeowners’ Association (HOA)—which currently owns the alley—first needs to meet three prerequisites before the township would consider taking it over: Relocate a cluster of mailboxes to another area, make the alley a no-parking zone, and turn it into a one-way passage.
“They [HOA] appear to be willing to try to resolve the problems that they’re responsible for, and then, if they demonstrate responsibility we will consider taking over the road,” township manager Jeffrey Vey said.
Supervisor Charles Strunk was the only vocal critic of the plan who said he will not accept the alley.
Secretary of the Treasury of the Homeowner’s Association, Kevin Dalbey, told the board that the 12 residents along the alley were paying a higher fee than those living in other parts of the 90-unit single-family homes development.
“We’re doing a gradual ramp up into the capital reserve so everyone’s dues are going up a little bit each year,” Dalbey said. “The peoples’ in the alley is going to go up slower because we’re trying to sort this issue out.”
“We’re trying to make everything fair and transparent as possible by playing very few games with dollars to try to make people happy. We’ve got to solve this problem in fundamental way which is having to take it off our ledger.”
He said those families were paying $800 per year and now their fee is down to $600.
Dalbey said before the last twelve lots were sold in late 2015, everything was disclosed to the new homeowners about HOA’s control and maintenance of the alley, however some residents are still upset to learn that they were charged a higher fee than that of their neighbors.’
“There are a lot of facts that aren’t being presented,” Vey said. “What’s getting presented by individuals who complain the most is purely for convenience and without appreciation for practicality that face us.”
The construction of the Crossing development began in 2008 at the height of the housing crisis. As the result of the sluggish economy, the developer went into default and was forced to abdicate the land in a sheriff sale. The new developer took over the project and the construction was completed by Ryan Homes in 2014.
Later, the developers complained to township officials that they had problems marketing the new homes because of how they were situated by facing away from the Milford Square Pike. A narrow alley was then constructed only to become a point of confusion for residents to have Milford Square Pike address when their houses faced the other way toward an unnamed alley.
Vey said he has already notified a local post office to name the alley “Crossings Way.”
Vey said that if the township agrees on to take over the alley, a strict no-parking rule would be enforced and that might anger residents.
“When you get into enforcement, you get people mad because big government is enforcing. What you get is people get mad at the government and they don’t realize that we have real human beings out there many hours doing a good job removing snow,” Vey said.
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