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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

Converting a private road to public road

  • 19 Feb 2022 11:33 AM
    Message # 12612192

    Can a Road Association represent property owners in petitioning a town to assume ownership of the road. 

  • 23 Feb 2022 9:36 AM
    Reply # 12619961 on 12612192
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I can't answer your question directly - perhaps the Town could tell you what is required. 

    In any case, I think the Association could take the initial step of asking the Town what they would require in order to accept the road.  Many towns require that the road first be brought up to full town road standard, and the expense of doing so may put it out of the reach of the road association.  Other towns now refuse to accept new roads under any circumstances.

    Once you know whether there is even a possibility of the town accepting the road, you can then pursue the matter of who needs to petition the Town.

  • 25 Feb 2022 3:38 PM
    Reply # 12625744 on 12612192
    Deleted user

    I may not be understanding your question correctly, but I see no reason why a road association couldn't represent residents of that road.

    I will add that in most cases, you will be dealing with a huge uphill battle.  Town are not going to set a precedent of taking over private roads.  Once one is set, all the residents on every other road will follow suit with similar argument.  If you have an extremely unique situation and you can make a case for justification, typically along with bringing the road to standards, you "might" have a chance.  

    Recognize that there is typically a town meeting on such matters, and you can bet that every person that doesn't want to see anything that can potentially increase their taxes in the get approved.  

    Good luck.

  • 26 Feb 2022 2:44 PM
    Reply # 12627291 on 12612192

    Thank you Roberta and Doug for both of your replies. Your comments are helpful. 

    One reason I asked because a few years ago a Homeowners Association in our town attempted to apply for property tax abatements on behalf of all the home owners. They were told by the Board of Assessment Review (on advise of the town lawyer) the Homeowners Association had no standing and that the condo owners needed to make their requests individually.  They were however allowed to select someone from the condos to represent them, but not as the HOA.  I was wondering if anyone had something similar happen to them as a Road Association. 

    Anyway, our (3 person) Board of Directors met and decided the President will go talk to the Town Manager and find out what's involved.  If the Road Association can act then we'll call for a Special Meeting to see if the membership wants to proceed. If not, we will tell the property owner that he will need to organize this outside of the auspices of the Road Association.  I doubt it will be quick or easy either way.  

    Thank you again.


  • 27 Feb 2022 9:23 AM
    Reply # 12628218 on 12612192
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Veronica - Please keep us posted how this works out!

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