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.

We need your help to correct this inequity!  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)

Road maintenance is a basic public service that should be available to all Orinda residents equally. But, there are over 3,000 Orinda residents (about 20% of Orinda) living on 30 miles of streets that are currently maintained by the street residents without any assistance from the City. The City could spend public funds to maintain these streets if the City Council deemed it to be in the public interest to do so as it has with the 64 miles of publicly maintained residential streets.

Orinda’s private streets are no different than its publicly maintained residential streets: The residents on these streets pay the same taxes as their neighbors who live on publicly maintained streets; Most of these streets are cul-de-sacs but so are 27 miles of publicly maintained streets; All of these streets are used for the same purposes, access to private homes by the residents and their service providers including emergency services.

The private street residents pay the same taxes and fees for road maintenance as everyone else in Orinda, including $600 annually per household which has been recently voted for to repair the publicly maintained residential streets. Soon the City will be asking for an additional $200 annually per household to maintain the publicly maintained residential streets we have spent $50 million to repair. It is time that all streets were offered the same benefits paid by our tax dollars.

- How much do you pay every year to have Orinda’s public streets repaired and maintained?
- How much more has it cost you to maintain your own street?
- What would happen if your street failed catastrophically? Consider an expensive sinkhole, or complete collapse or mudslide that made the entire road impassable.
- What would happen if property damage or a serious accident occurred because your street was poorly maintained?
- Is it fair that private street residents have to bear these burdens alone whereas public street residents are publicly supported and share the risk?

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 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 a year.

For more details, click here.