Magazine article Sunset

Cul-De-Sac Neighbors Put in a Permanent Short-Cut

Magazine article Sunset

Cul-De-Sac Neighbors Put in a Permanent Short-Cut

Article excerpt

Cul-de-sac neighbors put in a permanent short-cut

Quiet streets free of traffic were certainly envisioned by the planners of this neighborhood of many cul-de-sac blocks in Irvine, California. At several points in the scheme, where newer tracts meet older ones, cul-de-sacs bump up against one another. Such planing stops cars all right, but what kid with more than a lick of sense wouldn't just cut across lawns to get from one street to the next?

A keen understanding of this inevitability led the four neighbors sharing such a short-cut to petition the builder to replace their worn-away lawns and the scuffed 2-foot-tall wall separating the streets with a permanent paved path.

Neighbors on each street supported the effort, a critical step in this covenant-controlled community. A lawyer on the block drew up an agreement whereby each of the four homeowners would deed a 2 1/2-foot swath of property back to the city; the four adjacent pieces made up the 5- by 24-foot right-of-way between the two streets.

One neighbor, a contractor, drew up a plan. The group took it to the tract builder, and the builder built the path for free-even paying to have the landscaping moved back 2 1/2 feet on all four lots. …

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