The streets of Somersett
By Samuel Novell
Somersett Homeowners often ask why the two main entrances to the community have guard shacks to manage access to Somersett, but there are no gates.
Another common question is why non-residents drive through our community by going up or coming down before the second or at the fourth roundabout.
We also hear questions about parking rules, snow removal, and street maintenance that vary between public and private streets.
Public streets like Somersett Parkway, Del Webb Parkway and streets that are not in a gated community are maintained by the city. This includes road maintenance, parking rules, trafﬁc control and enforcement, as well as snow removal. Our public streets also include the areas off of the second and fourth roundabouts which access Somersett as well as outside communities.
Private streets are in gated communities where homeowners pay additional monthly dues for the maintenance of the streets and gates, including snow removal. For private streets, parking rules, gate policies, and maintenance decisions are set by the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors.
Adding gates at entrances to Somersett and Sierra Canyon would come at a signiﬁcant cost for homeowners throughout the Somersett community. The two main entrances plus the entrances off of the second and fourth roundabouts would require gates in a total of four locations if we want to control access to Somersett from other communities or commercial areas. At a minimum, we would need keypads and guest intercom/phone access to homeowners to open the gates. Enforcing single access to gates comes with complicated and expensive mechanical solutions or full-time guards at each entrance.
Additionally, the installation of gates would make all streets in Somersett private and would require us to assume responsibility for maintenance, trafﬁc rules and management, and snow removal. The cost to install and maintain gates, potential guards at one or more entrances, street maintenance, snow removal, and trafﬁc control would add to homeowners monthly dues and probably require a special assessment to implement the plan.
Another thing to consider is that parking rules on public streets are different than rules for private streets. The city typically allows vehicles to be parked on public streets at any time with occasional exceptions like no parking on major parkways with no parking lane, single side parking, no parking during snow removal or no parking on street cleaning days, with the restriction that no vehicle (including trailers, boats, etc.) may be parked in the same location for more than 48 hours).
In Somersett, the limitations are no parking on Somersett or Del Webb Parkway, a few streets are limited to parking on one side, and cars are required to be off the street when snow removal is necessary. In Somersett private streets we do not allow overnight parking on private streets except with a 48-hour special pass.
For gated communities where development has been completed, the gates are normally closed 24 hours a day. Gates can be left open when a homeowner or community applies for a four-hour permit for a special event, open house, or party to make access easier and reduce wear and tear on the gates. There are times when weather, snow removal or gate maintenance issues may also lead to gates remaining open.
Snow removal throughout Somersett is done based on amount of snow and starts with main streets. Public streets are plowed by the city, and private streets are cleared by the SOA’s landscape management company. The city starts clearing snow at about 3 inches or more starting with the parkways and then clearing the roads off of the roundabouts and other streets off these main routes. Our SOA clears the Town Center Parking lot and walkways if snow is 2 inches or more. When snow is 3 inches or more the SOA clears the Parkway walkways and private streets in the gated communities. Sidewalks throughout Somersett, whether gated or not, are the responsibility of the homeowners. Key points to keep in mind:
- If you live in a gated neighborhood with private streets, remember to park in your garage or driveway overnight, including overnight guests. If you need a 48-hour parking pass, contact the SOA ofﬁce.
- Snow removal on Somersett streets start when snowfall is 3 inches or more. Walkways along Somersett and Del Webb parkways are cleared by the SOA, while sidewalks in our neighborhoods are the responsibility of the homeowners.
- Installing gates at the entrances to Somersett would make all streets private, which would lead to signiﬁcant increases in monthly dues to cover gate installation, gate and street maintenance, and security personnel at the main entrances and to patrol neighborhoods.