[Talk-us] Remember the "On the Ground" addendum

Lord-Castillo, Brett BLord-Castillo at stlouisco.com
Wed Aug 4 14:33:10 BST 2010


I just wanted to relate some recent events here that emphasize the "on the ground" rule addendum: "In the case where there are multiple local names, then if the government with effective and sustained control of the area has an official source of names or an official stance on a naming dispute, then that name is default."
We had a recent issue where a developer on an existing street decided unilaterally to change the street name to a four word vanity name on their recorded plat. That plat ended up in the hands of the State, who had right of way jurisdiction on two blocks of the street and ordered street signs made for those two blocks. The order went down to county highways, who shortened the name by one word and made new signs for the two blocks, but refused to rename the rest of the street under county jurisdiction.
Then the plat went to the city council with the three word name, who voted down the name change and instead accepted a two word version of the street name, but extended the street name along two more blocks. Which went back up to the State who saw the three word street name on the original plat and ordered county highways to place the three word name signs on all four blocks.
So, County highways did, but by then the new development had torn up the existing streets and county highways ended up putting the three word name signs on a different existing street rather than renaming more of the existing street.
So, we ended up with two blocks of one street and two blocks of another street given the same three word name, which was the wrong name for both streets.
And then we had a 911 call to the intersection where the 2nd set of signs were placed, and I had to resolve the issue that the new names were not in the 911 systems.
I called the developer, I called the state, I called County Highways, I called the city clerk. Each one of them called the different streets different names.
Finally I got a copy of the city council resolution and forwarded that to all of the relevant parties who are now going to take down the incorrect signs and place up new signs. That is, put up the signs when the road, which is currently torn out, is replaced.

Moral of my little story. Remember the addendum to the on the ground rule:
"In the case where there are multiple local names, then if the government with effective and sustained control of the area has an official source of names or an official stance on a naming dispute, then that name is default."
And don't assume that the name on the sign is the correct local name. Odds are the agency that put it there is not the agency responsible for official names.
--Brett

Brett Lord-Castillo
Information Systems Designer/GIS Programmer
St. Louis County Police
Office of Emergency Management
14847 Ladue Bluffs Crossing Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Office: 314-628-5400
Fax: 314-628-5508
Direct: 314-628-5407





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