There are 30 miles of privately-maintained streets in Orinda in addition to the 64 miles of publicly-maintained residential streets. These streets are not gated enclaves but, for the most part, cul-de-sacs indistinguishable from adjacent publicly maintained ones. 1,500 families live on these streets; about 20 percent of Orinda.  These families pay the same taxes as their neighbors living on public streets but do not share in the benefit of publicly funded road maintenance.

A group of Orindans has been attempting to discuss the situation with the CIty since April 2017. They have been to innumerable City Council and CIOC (Citizens Infrastructure Oversight Commission) meetings.  There the topic was "discussed", but not in an organized and open manner.  Here is a timeline of the meetings attended, a brief description of each meeting, and the documents (minutes and staff reports) from those meetings.

The City Council finally scheduled a four hour open workshop on August 27, 2019.  Our working group presented its position and members of the City Staff presented various facts (some of which were contested).  While members of the City Council were in attendance, none made a comment.  The topic will next be discussed at the October 1 City Council meeting.

We need your help to keep the discussion going until the issue is resolved!  Please show your support by adding your name(s) to the letter of support below.

To the Orinda City Council,

We, the undersigned residents of Orinda, support an investigation to determine the factual data and find various possible means to provide fair and inclusive public maintenance funding for all streets in Orinda, both public and private.

        Sign Here  (click on this link)

Orinda’s private streets are no different than its publicly maintained residential streets.  Why don't they receive the same services?  The list of reasons offered up include:

* The City doesn't have the money to maintain more streets.  The truth is, the City does not have the money to maintain the 64 mile of Residential streets it has spent $55 million to repair.  There is a City Policy that mandates this (no funding of Residential streets from the General Fund).  soon it will ask the taxpayers for $2.5 million a year to accomplish this.  A marginal increase in this amount would allow the City to maintain all of its streets.
* The private streets only serve the people living on them; there is no public benefit.  90% of private streets, 27 miles, are cul-de-sacs serving the 1,400 families living on them.  However, 40% of the 64 miles of public residential streets, 29 miles which we are spending over $20 million to repair, are also cul-de-sacs serving "only" the families living on them.  All of the people living on these streets are tax-paying members of the community.  Providing them access to their homes IS a public benefit.
*  The City cannot afford the liability of a major disaster on a private street or the risk that the residents of those streets will sue the City.  If a major disaster occurs on one of the CIty's 64 miles of publicly maintained streets, the City receives State and Federal aid for much of the cost and all of the City's 7,000 households, those living on public and private streets, share the rest.  If a disaster happens on a private street is the City and its residents going to turn their back on the 10 families living on that street?  Is that what being a City is all about?
Who are We?
We are a group of Orinda private street residents who have been paying all taxes, fees, and bonds for Orinda’s public road repairs and maintenance who have received no assistance in maintaining our “private” streets that are completely open to the public. There are 30 miles of private streets. There are 94 miles of public roads that we all pay for of which only 30 miles are “arterials and collectors” that we all use. The remaining 64 miles are publicly maintained residential streets that are identical to our private streets.
What do we want to achieve?
We are trying to get the City to agree to “adopt” the maintenance of our private roads or to create a policy that would allow a private road to become publicly maintained in an easy and inexpensive manner. We have been in constant discussions with the City for over two years.

For more details, click here.