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  • Acts
  • 2006
  • Chapter 336 AN ACT RELATIVE TO COUNTY ROADS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 6 of chapter 34B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 1, the word “Notwithstanding” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— (a) Notwithstanding.

SECTION 2. Said section 6 of said chapter 34B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 23, the word “The” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— (b) The.

SECTION 3. Said section 6 of said chapter 34B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 31, the word “The” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— (c) The.

SECTION 4. Said section 6 of said chapter 34B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following 3 subsections:—
(d) All rights, title and interest in real property that were held by counties for county road purposes on the date that the county was abolished, in this chapter called county roads, are hereby transferred from the commonwealth as provided in this subsection. For any abolished county that has a successor council of governments, rights, title and interest are hereby transferred to the successor council of governments. For any abolished county that has no successor council of governments title is hereby transferred to the respective towns in which the interests lie. Rights, title and interest in the following properties shall not be transferred under this subsection:—
(1) The fee interest in and to a parcel of land in the city known as the town of Agawam bounded on the east by the low water mark of the Connecticut river, on the south by land now or formerly of Kuzmierz, on the west by River road, and on the north by the extent of the holding of the abolished county, which is in the vicinity of land located across River road and now or formerly of Vanotti, all as shown on “Profile Sheets” numbers 13 to 16, inclusive, in a set of plans of the department of highways, titled “Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Highway Department, Transportation Improvement Project Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway, in the Town of Agawam,” project file number 601296, and stamped “received” by the Agawam planning board on October 26, 2000.
(2) A right of way containing approximately 0.48 acres in the town of Concord, as authorized by chapter 294 of the acts of 1947, providing public access to White pond, a great pond, in the towns of Concord and Sudbury, a great pond, along Plainsfield road.
(3) The fee interest in certain parcels of land in the city of Peabody and the towns of Middleton and Topsfield containing approximately 141 acres, taken or acquired for conservation purposes, of which approximately 34.02 acres located in the city of Peabody, approximately 97.99 acres located in the town of Middleton and approximately 9.17 acres located in the town of Topsfield, located along the Ipswich river and Norris Brook, as shown on maps of the assessor of the city of Peabody on Map 1, Lot 28 (6.4 acres); Map 1, Lot 29 (2.70 acres); Map 2, Lot 1 (9.370 acres); Map 5, Lot 1A (3.76 acres); Map 10, Lot 19 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 20 (0.34 acres); Map 10, Lot 21 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 22 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 23 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 24 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 25 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 26 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 27 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 28 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 29 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 30 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 31 (0.69 acres); Map 10, Lot 32 (.58 acres); Map 10, Lot 33 (0.34 acres); Map 11, Lot 23 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 55 (0.40 acres); Map 16, Lot 56 (0.38 acres); Map 16, Lot 57 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 58 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 59 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 60 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 61 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 62 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 63 (0.39 acres); Map 16, Lot 64 (0.42 acres), and on maps of the assessor of the town of Middleton on Map 8, Lot 14 (.9 acres); Map 13, Lot 36 (0.25 acres); Map 13, Lot 37 (12.9 acres); Map 13, Lot 40 (20.7 acres); Map 13, Lot 41 (11.7 acres); Map 13, Lot 44B (2.258 acres); Map 13, Lot 105 (5.53 acres); Map 13, Lot 112 (3.4 acres); Map 13, Lot 113 (2.68 acres); Map 19, Lot 23 (3.68 acres); Map 19, Lot 105 (1.22 acres); Map 26, Lot 13A (6.89 acres); Map 32, Lot 54 (10.02 acres); Map 32, Lot 55 (10.47 acres); Map 33, Lot 45 (5.4 acres), and on maps of the assessor of the town of Topsfield on Map 57, Lot 6 (8.33 acres) and Map 65, Lot 30 (0.843 acres).
(4) A right of way containing approximately 3.38 acres in the city of Springfield, as authorized by chapter 341 of the acts of 1951, providing public access to Five Mile pond, a great pond, along Boston road.
(5) A right of way containing approximately 0.45 acres in the city of Springfield, as authorized by chapter 343 of the acts of 1951, providing public access to Loon pond, a great pond, along Pasco road.
(6) A right of way containing approximately 0.06 acres in the town of Brimfield, as authorized by chapter 258 of the acts of 1948, providing public access to Little Alum pond, a great pond, along Little Alum road.
(7) A right of way containing approximately 0.014 acres in the town of Wilbraham, as authorized by chapter 253 of the acts of 1955, providing public access to Nine Mile pond, a great pond, along Pond road.
(8) A right of way containing approximately 0.30 acres in the town of Belchertown, as authorized by chapter 339 of the acts of 1954, providing public access to Metacomet lake, a great pond, along Poole road.
(9) A right of way containing approximately 1.87 acres in the town of Huntington, as authorized by chapter 254 of the acts of 1955, providing public access to Norwich lake, a great pond, along Pisgah road.
(10) Any interest in and to 2 parcels of land in the town of Wayland, containing approximately 2.2 acres and 5.9 acres respectively, shown on assessors map number 17 of the town of Wayland as “county commissioners” and bounded by Old Sudbury road, the Sudbury river, and River road.
(11) Any interest in land associated with a parking area along Farm road and a right of way, containing approximately 0.39 acres, in the town of Sherborn, as authorized by chapter 374 of the acts of 1946, providing parking and public access to Little pond, a great pond, along Farm road.
(12) A right of way containing approximately 2.30 acres in the town of Hardwick, as authorized by chapter 371 of the acts of 1958, providing public access to Hardwick pond, a great pond, along Greenwich road.
(13) A right of way containing approximately 0.36 acres in the city of Springfield, as authorized by chapter 342 of the acts of 1951, providing public access to Lake Lorraine, a great pond, along Lorimer street.
(14) The fee interest in and to a parcel of land in the town of West Boylston containing approximately 41.56 acres, located along River road at or near Quinapoxet river and the Wachusett reservoir, as shown on the West Boylston assessors map 122-1, and as described in a deed recorded at the Worcester district registry of deeds in book 2146 at page 20.
(15) The fee interest in and to a parcel of land in the town of West Boylston containing approximately 34 acres and an associated thirty-foot wide right of way running from Paul X. Tivnan drive to said parcel, shown as “Parcel D” and “30’ Right of Way” on a plan titled “Plan of Land in West Boylston, Massachusetts Owned By Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” dated November 4, 1999, and prepared by R. W. Hart Associates of Northborough.
(16) Any interest in real estate transferred by legislation enacted subsequent to the abolition of the county in which it is located and before January 1, 2007.
(e) In cases where it is unclear whether or not an interest in real estate was held for county road purposes on the date that a county was abolished, a written determination executed by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall settle the matter. The determination may be recorded in the appropriate registry of deeds and shall be final and binding on all parties.
(f) Records of county roads situated within the boundaries of any abolished county are hereby transferred to the registry of deeds for the respective county or, if the abolished county has a successor council of governments, to the successor council of governments.

SECTION 5. Section 20 of said chapter 34B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “commissioners”, in line 43, the following words:— including, but not limited to, the powers and duties of county commissioners with regard to county roads.

SECTION 6. Subsection (b) of said section 20 of said chapter 34B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the fifth sentence the following sentence:— Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, road actions taken by Hampshire council of governments after Hampshire county was abolished and before January 1, 2007 are hereby ratified, validated and confirmed.

SECTION 7. Said section 20 of said chapter 34B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following subsection:—
(n) a council of governments shall maintain or contract with others to maintain records relating to county roads within its jurisdiction.

SECTION 8. Section 1 of chapter 82 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:—
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 district highway director of the department of highways 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.

SECTION 9. Said section 1 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “or discontinue”, in line 11, and inserting in place thereof the following words:— , discontinue or discontinue maintenance of.

SECTION 10. Said section 1 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 15, l8, 23, 28 and in lines 29 and 30, the words “or discontinuance” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— , discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance.

SECTION 11. The second paragraph of said section 1 of chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:— 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.

SECTION 12. Said section 1 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the last paragraph.

SECTION 13. Section 2 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the words “specific repair or discontinuance” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— relocation, specific repair, discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance.

SECTION 14. Said section 2 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 7 and 9, the word “county” and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following word:— jurisdiction.

SECTION 15. Section 3 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 4 and 5, in line 6, and in line 13, the words “specific repair, or discontinuance” and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following words:— relocation, specific repair, discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance.

SECTION 16. Said section 3 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 9, the words “or specific repair” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— , relocation, specific repair, discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance.

SECTION 17. Section 4 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 5 and 6, the words “specifically repairing, or discontinuing” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— relocating, specific repairing, discontinuing or discontinuing maintenance of.

SECTION 18. Section 5 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 3 and 4, and in line 6, the words “order specific repairs upon or alter” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— alter, relocate, or order specific repairs upon.

SECTION 19. Said section 5 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “discontinuing”, in line 10, the following words:— or discontinuing maintenance of.

SECTION 20. Said section 5 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “discontinued”, in lines 11 and 12, the following words:— or no longer maintained.

SECTION 21. Said section 5 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “discontinuance”, in line 15, the following words:— or discontinuance of maintenance.

SECTION 22. Said section 5 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following 2 sentences:— Upon petition of a town or city, the commissioners may discontinue a county highway and thereafter the way or section of way so discontinued shall be a town way. Unless so petitioned, the discontinued way shall no longer be a public way.

SECTION 23. Section 7 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 7, the words “or discontinuance” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— , discontinuance or discontinuance of maintenance.

SECTION 24. Section 8 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the word “shall” and inserting in place thereof the following word:— may.

SECTION 25. Said section 8 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “begun”, in line 13, the following words:— if so required in the return.

SECTION 26. Said section 8 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 13, the word “shall” and inserting in place thereof the following word:— may.

SECTION 27. Section 12 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the words “or discontinued” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— , discontinued or maintenance discontinued.

SECTION 28. Section 13 of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 1 and 2, the words “or discontinued” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— discontinued or maintenance discontinued.

SECTION 29. Section 32A of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 16 and 17, the words “against entering thereon” and inserting in place thereof the following words:— that the way is no longer maintained.

SECTION 30. Said section 32A of said chapter 82, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:— Upon petition in writing of the board or officers of a city or town in which a county highway is located, the county commissioners, whenever common convenience and necessity no longer require such way to be maintained in a condition reasonably safe and convenient for public travel, after giving notice in the manner prescribed in section 3, and after viewing the premises and hearing the interested parties in the manner prescribed in section 4, may adjudicate that the town shall no longer be bound to keep the way in repair, and thereupon the adjudication shall take effect; provided, that sufficient notice to warn the public that the way is no longer maintained is posted at both ends of the way, or portions thereof.

SECTION 31. Subsection (e) of section 567 of chapter 151 of the acts of 1996 is hereby amended by inserting after the second sentence the following 2 sentences:— All rights, titles, and interests in real property held by Franklin county for county highway purposes on the effective date of its abolition are hereby transferred to the Franklin council of governments. Records of county roads situated within the boundaries of Franklin county are hereby transferred to the Franklin council of governments.

SECTION 32. Subsection (r) of said section 567 of said chapter 151 is hereby amended by inserting after the word “Laws”, in line 7, the following words:— including, but not limited to, the authority of the former county commissioners with regard to county roads. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, road actions taken by the Franklin council of governments after Franklin county government was abolished and before January 1, 2007 are hereby ratified, validated and confirmed.

SECTION 33. Said section 567 of said chapter 151 is hereby further amended by adding the following subsection:—
(z) The Franklin council of governments shall maintain or contract with others to maintain all records relating to county roads within Franklin county.

Approved November 1, 2006.