Letter – Judge makes wise decision

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times: 

I have followed the saga of the Cedar Grove “orphaned outfalls” litigation with a view shared by  my neighbors in the 20-parcel private subdivision of Carrollton Estates. 

In addition to  maintaining our private wells and septic systems, we maintain our shared roads and drainage infrastructure with an informal homeowners association that is enshrined in our deeds. For over 40 years, we have quietly collected funds to replace culverts and purchase materials to maintain roads and drainage using our own equipment and volunteer labor, with no assistance from VDOT or Isle of Wight County. We willingly accept these responsibilities with the philosophy that government should not be required to finance solutions to all of our problems. 

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I was very happy to read in the Times that the frivolous lawsuit filed by a couple of homeowners in Cedar Grove to force the county to maintain drainage on their private property was dismissed by a federal judge under a summary judgment. If the plaintiffs had prevailed, it  would mean that Isle of Wight could be required to increase taxes on myself and my neighbors to maintain private drainage in Cedar Grove and possibly other locations. Let us hope any plaintiff attempts at appeals fail miserably as well. 

Cedar Grove is an affluent subdivision of over 300 parcels. They surely have the resources to  form an association to collect funds to maintain their private infrastructure. What they have  spent on litigation would be more wisely invested in the repairs that they foolishly expect  government to finance.  

The residents of numerous Isle of Wight private subdivisions that fund maintenance on private  property should not be expected to fund drainage repairs on private residential property in  Cedar Grove or any other location. That outcome, in the words of plaintiff’s lawyer Joseph Sherman, would truly be an “abuse by government.” 


Rhea L. Adams Jr.