Oak Drive subject of talks

A car drives on Munson Road past the intersection of Oak Drive in Beacon Falls in May. Oak Drive is a private road that connects Munson Road and Cedar Drive. Residents want the town to take ownership of the road. –FILE PHOTO

A car drives on Munson Road past the intersection of Oak Drive in Beacon Falls in May. Oak Drive is a private road that connects Munson Road and Cedar Drive. Residents want the town to take ownership of the road. –FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — The town is negotiating legal terms with residents of a private road in hopes of resolving a conflict surrounding their street.

Homeowners on Oak Drive filed a lawsuit against the town of Beacon Falls in July after the town declined to adopt the street as a public road until it was brought up to code.

After the death of road owner James Wisneski last year, residents were caught in limbo and left without a solution for maintenance, repairs and garbage pickup, among other things. Since then, Oak Drive residents have been working to convince the town to adopt their street as a public road.

Town officials say the road must be brought up to town ordinance requirements first.

Oak Drive varies in width between 24 and 30 feet. The standard road width in Beacon Falls is 30 feet. Besides altering the width of the street, curbs would need to be added and the road would need to be built on a different base. Additionally, catch basins would need to be replaced or repaired.

Such repairs would take between two and three months to complete, according to the May 12 minutes of a special Board of Selectmen meeting regarding Oak Drive. First Selectman Chris Bielik said this week the upgrades could cost as much as $500,000.

It was not clear in the meeting minutes who would be responsible for paying for the repairs.

The road, built in 1972, is accessible at both ends, despite being a private road. At the meeting, James Galligan, the town engineer, said one of the primary problems with the street is its susceptibility to through traffic.

Town land use attorney Steve Byrne offered two solutions at the meeting — bringing the road up to town standards, or forming a homeowners’ association for residents on the street.

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