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Mamaroneck's Cove Road Shut Down to Public

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Cove Road is a convenient shortcut for residents in the Orienta neighborhood, but drivers were turned away from the private road Monday as the Cove Road Residents Association indefinitely closed it to all thru traffic.

Cove Road is the only private road in the village that is used for thru traffic, said Jane Herzog, president of the Cove Road Residents Association, which notified the police, the mayor and the Orienta Point Association of the road closure Sunday.

In the past, she said, the village would fill pot holes to maintain the condition of the road, which consists of 20 homes. In return, Cove Road residents allowed anyone to use the winding shortcut running through Hampshire Country Club - it is often used to get to Hommocks Middle School.

"The village has ceased maintaining Cove Road and excessive traffic using the road has caused it to fall into a terrible state of disrepair," the association wrote in a letter handed out to residents denied access to the road. "Cove Road residents do not feel that it is equitable for them to bear the costs of fixing and maintaining a road that benefits the village at large."

A guard will be present at either end of Cove Road to hand out the letter and enforce the road closure to non-residents.

Since the village stopped performing basic road maintenance, pot holes have turned into craters, Herzog said.

The village is still "reviewing the circumstances under which pot holes may have been filled," said Dan Sarnoff, assistant village manager, who has met with the neighborhood association several times this year. The village cannot pay to resurface Cove Road because it is a private road, he said.

"It's their road," Sarnoff said. "Whether it's open or not, it's not within our purview how they operate their roadway. We've tried to have an open dialogue to see if we can reach a mutually beneficial solution."

The village has talked about developing a general standard for the condition a private road would have to be in so that it could be turned over to the public. In this case, the Cove Road residents would have to pay for the repairs to get it up to such a standard. Neither side wants to pay for all of the necessary repairs themselves, which Sarnoff said would be a "significant capital investment".

The two parties will continue to discuss ways to work together at the village Board of Trustees work session Monday.

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