What is the legal status of Summit Road in Santa Cruz County?

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by SenorPeligro, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. SenorPeligro

    SenorPeligro Proper Naughty

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    It appears to have been disputed by the landowners up on the mountain and the county of Santa Cruz. There's an open gate and a sign that looks about equivalent to the typical HOA nonsense but is the land really private?

    Anyone have any definitive answers?
    #1
  2. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

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    Much of the land is private but <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:Street><st1:address>Summit Rd</st1:address></st1:Street> is a county road.
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  3. SenorPeligro

    SenorPeligro Proper Naughty

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    So for example, if the gate was closed and locked by the Summit Road Association, they would be committing an offense?
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  4. Burnszilla

    Burnszilla BurnsMoto.com

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    Summit Rd is the border between Santa Clara Co. and Santa Cruz Co.
    I called Santa Clara Co and asked if it was a private road and they said it's a county road not private, although there is a big sign saying private road when you come from Mt Madonna. I ride up there a couple of times a year and have never had any troubles. There are many lots for sale up there, so I'm always shopping for real estate when I'm up there. :evil
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  5. SenorPeligro

    SenorPeligro Proper Naughty

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    That's intel you can take to the bank. Thanks! :thumb
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  6. scottmac

    scottmac Long timer

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    In all my years of living in Corralitos and riding up there I've never
    seen the gates locked at either the Mt. Madonna side or the Loma Prieta
    side.
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  7. SenorPeligro

    SenorPeligro Proper Naughty

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    That would be illegal if it is a county road.
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  8. scottmac

    scottmac Long timer

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    I've heard this now for years that it's a private rd.

    BS

    The residents up there like to keep the traffic to a minimum.

    Bicyclists are at the top of their list. There's even signs posted
    up aimed specifically at them...:rofl

    Most folks will just nod and wave if you're cruising through on
    a MC and the craziest drivers you'll meet on the road up there
    are the local tweakers.:huh
    #8
  9. mongox

    mongox ARRRRGH!!!

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    Don't go too fast, because you could hit an f250, slow down by houses and try not to make too much dust. If you follow those rules, most people up there just wave. And Scotts right about the tweekers. They are the only real assholes up there.
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  10. purelick

    purelick DIRTRIDER

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  11. mattmccutchen

    mattmccutchen n00b

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    For those interested, I called the Santa Cruz County roads department today and they said that Summit Rd has a private section starting at Maymens Flat Rd. I'm keeping out; others do as they wish.

    Long story: As of last April, Summit Road was showing as public all the way through on Google Maps, so I went to make the trip eastward, saw the "private road" sign here, turned back, and updated Google Maps. Then a few weeks ago, I heard from some other motorcyclists that the sign was false, researched the matter a little more, found this thread, decided to call one of the counties to get an authoritative answer in anticipation of updating Google Maps again, and heard the above. It's possible that all the pieces of Summit Rd in Santa Clara County are public and that's why Santa Clara County answered Burnszilla the way they did.
    #11
  12. rudolfs001

    rudolfs001 n00b

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    For anyone else researching this, here is the relevant court case that established public usage of the road:
    https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1402765.html

    My understanding is that it has always been public since the road's construction in the 30s, and that in the 90s a couple residents tried to 'steal' the road and claim that it was private. The court case linked above, established the road as definitively open to the public.
    #12
  13. HYLYNDYR

    HYLYNDYR naewittyshitepostedere

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    Problem is that although it’s public suposedly, the county rarely maintains the road and home owners are the one doing road maintainance and laying down rock etc. It pisses the home owners off when bikers rip through there , especially after “fixing” the road. I own property up there for thirty plus years and it’s always a chore to get owners to pitch in for road maintainance, some want it , others don’t. Be respectful and show a reasonable safe speed and you’ll usually get a wave, after all owners are putting thousands of dollars into grading dirt so they can get home safely, especially in winter.
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  14. nrvale0

    nrvale0 Been here awhile

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    I live up in the area. There are a lot of private roads / privately-maintained roads which branch off of Summit but Summit Rd itself is a public road. That said if you were to get hit/injured you'd be looking at several hours before a sheriff showed up and I suspect it would take ages for an ambulance. It's not a difficult ride but, ya know, if you were new to offroad or something.

    There are also a couple of dogs which like to chase/cut-off motorcycles in the area and the last time I rode through on my way to Gilroy I was legit chased by someone in a huge dualie Ford pickup despite the fact that I was just tractoring through up to that point. I have enough offroad experience and was on a Tiger 800 so he didn't have much luck on that one. ;) I'm certain he did more damage to the road in his dualie than I could ever do on the Tiger even if I was roosting and drifting every corner but, ya know, people who live out this way ... some of them live out this way for a reason and it ain't necessarily being able to interact reasonably with other humans. ;)

    There are better roads and better places to get dirty. Ride Highland Rd or head further down south for better dirt. That's my $.02.
    #14
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