The Board of Selectmen may lay out public ways in the Town of Douglas acting as the Town’s Road Commissioners. The basic requirements for the layout and acceptance of a town can are found in MGL c82, §§17 through 32 and Article 5, Section 3 of the Town of Douglas General Bylaws – Petition of Private Ways”. There are three parts of the process, a petition to initiate the “lay out”, the “laying out”, and “accepting” a town way.
The petition to lay out a way may be initiated by the Board of Selectmen/Road Commissioners (BOS), or through a petition to the BOS by the Planning Board or by one of more inhabitants of the Town of Douglas. The petition shall be submitted prior to October 1st in order to be considered for acceptance at the Annual Town Meeting in the following May. Upon receiving the petition, the BOS vote their intention to layout a town way, and then refer the matter to the Planning Board for a non-binding recommendation.
The “Laying Out” process establishes the metes and bounds and physical location of the way. At least seven days prior to the laying out the way, notice of the meeting at which the layout will be considered must be given to owners of any land or easements to be taken for the roadway, shall be delivered by Certified Mail.
Once the meeting has been held, the BOS may vote to adopt the layout as shown on the meets and bounds plan, which will be recorded with the Town Clerk at least seven days prior to Town Meeting.
Town Meeting votes to recognize and accept responsibility for the street layout adopted by the BOS.