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Thursday, May 30, 2024

New Hanover County helps mediate pothole agreement between sparring subdivisions

The private road is shared by different developments, each had pointed fingers at the other for continuing issues

Located between two developments, the pothole on Ontario Road has steadily deteriorated over the last 16 months. Neither development has taken action to repair it. (Port City Daily photo | BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)
Located between two developments, the pothole on Ontario Road has steadily deteriorated over the last year. Until the county helped mediate, it seemed neither development was taking action to repair it. (Port City Daily photo/Benjamin Schachtman)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY—For over a year, two subdivision neighborhoods have argued over which is responsible for a pothole that has slowly but surely a sheared road in half. Now, New Hanover County has stepped in to get the road reopened.

Read more: What happens when developments disagree over road repairs? Turns out, nothing

The pothole was located near the intersection of Ontario Road and Okeechobee Road, where the Ocean Forest Lakes development meets the neighboring Woodlake development.

Woodlake, a the newer of the two developments, is isolated from major nearby thoroughfares Carolina Beach and River roads and its residents drive through Ocean Forest Lakes or neighboring Lord’s Creek to exit their development.

The subdivision roads are not maintained by the state nor the county; they are solely the responsibility of the subdivisions.

Unfortunately for residents, the two neighborhoods disagreed over who was financially responsible for the road repair

According to Brett Keeler, president of the Woodlake HOA, Woodlake had started making payments on road repairs required by a mutual agreement between the developments.

Jimmy Paige, president of Ocean Forest Lakes Homeowners Association, disagreed, saying Woodlake residents hadn’t “paid a damn penny.”

In April, the situation–and the road–seemed to have reached an impasse. However, the county was apparently able to mediate between the two subdivisions.

According to Spokeswoman Jessica Loeper, although the county is not responsible for road upkeep, the Engineering Department was able to help broker an arrangement between Woodlake and Ocean Forest Lakes, as well as assist with the repair.

Keeler said that the repaving project was “completed through a partnership between the developer of Woodlake at Lord’s Creek (Coterra), Ocean Forest Lakes HOA and the County to repair the pothole and the drainage issues.”

Loeper confirmed this, adding only that while the road is now open the county contractor still has some work to do to finish completing the drainage project around the intersection.

Send comments and tips to Benjamin Schachtman at, @pcdben on Twitter, and (910) 538-2001

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