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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XIV PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS
  • CHAPTER 82 THE LAYING OUT, ALTERATION, RELOCATION AND DISCONTINUANCE OF PUBLIC WAYS, AND SPECIFIC REPAIRS THEREON
  • Section 1 Jurisdiction; notice; hearings

Section 1. County commissioners, councils of governments, or other duly authorized councils, committees or boards, in this chapter called county commissioners, in their respective jurisdictions may lay out, alter, relocate, order specific repairs, discontinue and discontinue maintenance of county highways or roads in the manner herein provided, unless other provision is made by law. A council of governments shall have the authority to designate the powers of the council with relation to county roads to a subgroup of the council, duly constituted under its charter. In counties abolished under chapter 34B or by section 567 of chapter 151 of the acts of 1996 where no council of governments exists, the designated regional planning agency shall create a regional adjudicatory board, comprised of 4 members of the regional planning agency advisory board and the administrator for highways in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation or his designee, to act as county commissioners under this chapter. County roads in Berkshire county shall be exempt from the foregoing provisions and shall be subject to section 364 of chapter 159 of the acts of 2000. County commissioners may enter into agreements with any petitioner to indemnify themselves from payment of damages or other claims related to this chapter. The agreements shall have the force of law. Sections 1 to 13, inclusive, shall apply to a city council or aldermen when authorized by city charters to lay out, alter, relocate, order specific repairs, discontinue or discontinue maintenance of highways, so far as applicable, and any hearing under said sections required to be held before a city council or board of aldermen so authorized may be held before a duly authorized committee thereof.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no municipality shall layout, alter, relocate, discontinue or discontinue maintenance of an existing way at its point of connection, or within five hundred yards of its point of connection, with an adjoining municipality which excludes motor vehicle traffic from the way until and unless (a) the city, town or county initiating such layout, alteration, relocation, discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance gives written notice of such action to the chief executive officer of abutting city, town, or county into which the said way extends, and (b) a public hearing is held by the city, town or county initiating such layout, alteration, relocation, discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance, public notice of which must be published for each of the two weeks preceding such hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the abutting city, town or county into which the said way extends, and (c) the chief executive officer of such abutting city, town or county concurs in writing, in such layout, alteration, relocation, discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance. If within ninety days of the date of such hearing required by this section there is no concurrence by the abutting city, town or county into which the said way extends, the initiating city, town or county may make a written request to the administrator for highways in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to approve of the said layout, alteration, relocation, discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance. If the said administrator so approves, the said layout, alteration, relocation, discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance shall take effect and be valid without the concurrence of the abutting city, town or county into which the said way extends. This paragraph shall apply to towns or cities notifying and receiving concurrence from abutting towns or cities in the case of town roads; or counties, councils of governments, or regional adjudicatory boards notifying and receiving concurrence from abutting counties, councils of governments, or regional adjudicatory boards in the case of county roads.