• Northeast Charlotte neighborhood riddled with sinkholes, homeowners must pay to fix

    By: Mark Barber


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dangerous sinkholes and crumbling roads are plaguing a neighborhood in northeast Charlotte.

    Many families on fixed incomes live in the neighborhood and are being told they have to pay thousands of dollars to fix the problem.

    [RELATED: As city project backlog grows, so does massive neighborhood sinkhole]

    Channel 9 took a close look at the issues on Thursday and realized the problems are getting worse every day.

    Multiple sinkholes have opened up in yards and in the street.

    "It's getting bad, it's getting terrible," said resident Michelle Calhoun.

    Calhoun said one sinkhole in the street is four feet deep.

    Other roads are so rough residents are trying to patch the cracks with concrete.

    "We're just grasping at straws to get some kind of help," said Calhoun.

    They said they tried begging NCDOT for help, but the officials said the homeowners would have to split the cost of the road repairs before the state would step in.  

    "They told me I'd have to pay $2,500," said resident Cassandra Daniels

    Channel 9's Mark Barber asked her, "Could you do that?" and Daniels threw up her hands and said, "No, I can't afford that. I'm on a fixed income."

    Calhoun told Channel 9 that she would've had to pay $3,000 - $5,000 for the repairs on her street.

    As a single mother, she said that's unaffordable.

    [RELATED: 15-foot deep sinkhole closes road in Lenoir]

    Channel 9 asked the county why the families have to pay for the repairs themselves.

    Don Ceccarelli with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg government said, "Because the roadways are in the ETJ (extraterritorial jurisdiction) area of the city, they are not considered Charlotte city streets."

    The streets aren't considered state roads either because the developer never applied for a permit to have NCDOT maintain the roads when the community was built 20 years ago.

    That developer isn't in business anymore, so residents are begging the city, or anyone else, to step in and cover the costs.

    "I feel as though maybe I should stop paying my taxes and maybe someone would listen to us," said Daniels.

    The county said sinkholes may keep opening because there could be a storm drain failure.

    Even though neighbors pay their taxes, the county hasn't fixed anything yet because like the streets, the pipes are private too.

    County leaders said they are now considering revaluating their policies, so that they can fill the sinkholes in the yards. Even if that happens, they told Channel 9 neighbors will still have to find another solution for their roads.

    Since developers don't have to file permits with CDOT or NCDOT when building a community (the county isn't included in that list because it doesn't maintain roads), Channel 9 wanted to know if other homeowners are also facing a similar situation.

    Experts said you can learn who maintains your road with a quick phone call.

    Before you buy a home, you should check in with your homeowner’s association, NCDOT or CDOT to ask if your road is privately owned.

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