The “bad blood” between Harrods Ridge and East Cambridge over the operation of the gate that separates the two developments remains unsettled.
A representative from the Harrods Ridge Homeowners Association made the case before the Jessamine County Fiscal Court on July 31 asking the gate be completely deconstructed, eliminating the throughway between the two communities.
The HOA director, Lee Rutherford, said the gateway in and out of East Cambridge has caused the residents of Golf Club Drive to suffer property damage, unsafe driving conditions and is a danger to residents either on the yards or sidewalks in front of their homes in Harrods Ridge.
“There’s a lot of bad blood because of the gate — that I’m sure you already know about that,” Rutherford told the fiscal court in July. “Nobody has a problem with East Cambridge being a gated community, but I don’t know of any community in Jessamine County or Fayette County that has a front-door and back-door gate.”
During the July meeting, the fiscal court formed a committee consisting of magistrate Terry Meckstroth and George Dean to look into the different aspects of the issue and to meet with members of both communities to find a resolution.
After studying the situation, both Meckstroth and Dean addressed the Harrods Ridge board the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Following that meeting, Harrods Ridge HOA board members were unconvinced by the magistrates’ “solution” and voted unanimously to “vigorously oppose the back-door gate of East Cambridge.” The board also reaffirmed their dedication to see the gate completely dismantled.
“At first we were waiting for the road-review committee to look at it, but since then the people of East Cambridge wanted a little more time — we submitted the draft of an agreement to them,” Dean said. “Then Harrods Ridge sent their letter of opposition, so right now everything is kind of on hold in the process.”
Dean said East Cambridge was working on reaching an agreement in which the gate would be closed 24 hours a day but still allow access for emergency services units.
However, Rutherford wrote a letter to the fiscal court Sept. 6 in opposition of that proposal.
Rutherford wrote in his letter that Meckstroth and Dean planned to suggest to the fiscal court that East Cambridge move its back-door gate in by 90 feet and that Jessamine County take over the 90 feet of private roadway for county maintenance. Rutherford said that the county would spend a minimum of $6,000 tax dollars to build a turnaround there.
“We find these suggestions to be offensive,” Rutherford wrote to the court. “Why would Jessamine County even consider utilizing taxpayer money to accommodate a ‘solution’ to a problem that should not even exist?”
Rutherford said the problem “should not exist” because he has done extensive research that shows East Cambridge is in violation of a county ordinance concerning gated communities.
“As best we can determine, we do not understand how East Cambridge can be ‘grandfathered in’ for gates as the subdivision did not exist when the March 12, 2002, ordinance was amended to allow no private or gated streets or roads,” Rutherford wrote.
Currently, the dispute of the gate is not on the agenda for the Sept. 18 fiscal-court meeting, according to Judge-Executive Neal Cassity’s office.
“Our opposition to the back-door gate and our unanimous decision to ask for the removal of the back-door gate and the cut through permanently barricaded is not a reflection of any ill-will between our two neighborhoods,” Rutherford wrote. “It is a clear and convincing motivation based on the threat tohuman and property danger.”
A spokesperson from the East Cambridge Estates Homeowners Association could not be reached for comment by press time.