In February 2020 Orinda is planning on conducting a survey* of 400 residents on what their opinion is of extending (and doubling) the half cent sales tax.

Included in the survey are questions about the 30 miles of "private" roads which the City has never adopted as public roads. These roads provide access to 1,550 Orinda homes; over 20% of Orinda. Most of these roads are small cul de sacs, indistinguishable from the 30 miles of cul de sacs and loop streets which are publicly maintained and which define the very nature of Orinda’s semi-rural neighborhoods.

You are going to be asked if you would support allowing any road which wants to provide public access to become a public road.  Please answer that you support this initiative.

This could increase the number of public roads from 93 miles to as many as 123 miles. (and increase county funding)

It will allow the 1,500 families who do not live on public roads to do so and be treated as equals.

The cost to repair and maintain these extra roads could be as little as $800,000 a year, on top of the $7 million we are already spending on our roads.

This equates to only an additional 30 cents a day for each of Orinda’s 7,000 households so that the City provides the same service to all residents; not just a "select" 80 percent.

The average household on a private road is paying over $1,000 a year in taxes and fees supporting Orinda's public roads.  20% of this goes to support the Arterials and Collectors we all use.  The rest goes to Residential Streets which the people living on private roads seldom if ever use.  These are the funds that should be shared with all Residential Streets which allow public access.

There are three questions on the survey pertaining to this issue (#15, 16 & 17) plus the ability to make a comment at the beginning of the survey. 

In addition, question 18 regards public policy of storm drains on private property.  To the extent that these drains are handling water collected on public land (streets) and then drained onto private land, the City should be held responsible for maintaining these drains also.

If you feel strongly about these issues, as some of us do, you should state at the very beginning (question #3) that you will not support any road tax until all roads that wish to be public are included and support questions 15, 16 and 17.

We also ask that you sign our letter of support, urging the City Council to study the issue of allowing all roads that provide public access be maintained with public funds.

* For a copy of the survey, download the Agenda Packet for the January 21 meeting of the Revenue Tax Measure Council Subcommittee.