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City of Melrose, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
No street or way shall be accepted by the City as a public street or way unless the street is at least 50 feet in width, except such streets or ways that were in public use or which appear on any plan recorded in the Registry of Deeds or approved by the Board of Survey in the manner provided by MGL c. 41, §§ 74, 75 and 76, prior to October 20, 1941, and that are not less than 40 feet in width and do not have a grade exceeding 15% or unless the street leads from some accepted street or way, provided that a street or way which was in public use prior to the year 1900 and is less than 40 feet in width may be so accepted.
B. 
In an extension of an existing street which is not 50 feet in width, the adjustment of bringing the two widths together shall be accomplished on lines to be approved by the City Engineer.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
State law references — Planning Board approval of ways in new developments, MGL c. 41, § 81O; procedures for laying out, relocating or altering streets, MGL c. 82, §§ 21 to 25.
Any street or way ordered by the City Council to be constructed as a public way shall have a space reserved on each side thereof, extending not more than nine feet from the inside line of the street as ordered to be laid out by such Council, for a sidewalk, grass plot and edgestone. The portion of the street or way between the outside lines of the space so reserved shall be constructed with macadam or other pavement of similarly lasting character.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
No street or way shall be accepted unless it is built in a manner satisfactory to the City Engineer.
[Amended 3-2-1998 by Ord. No. 98-214]
A. 
Except in the case of ways in subdivisions constructed as required by the rules and regulations of the Planning Board governing the subdivision of land, all applications or petitions for laying out, altering, widening or discontinuing any street or way shall be made in writing and addressed to the City Council upon such forms or blanks as it shall prescribe and must be signed by 10 or more citizens or taxpayers. Such petitions shall state the names of the owners, if known, of the property affected by the proposed laying out, alteration, widening or discontinuance of the particular street or way named therein.
B. 
The Planning Board shall forthwith, before a way in a subdivision has been constructed in a manner required by the rules and regulations of the Board governing the subdivision of land, give notice thereof to the City Council.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158; 8-21-2017 by Ord. No. 2018-4]
A. 
Upon receipt of a petition for the laying out, altering, widening or discontinuing of a street or way or of a notice from the Planning Board that a way has been constructed in a subdivision, the City Council shall refer such petition or notice to the Committee on Public Works, and the Clerk shall transmit a copy of each such petition to the Planning Board for report as required by MGL c. 41, § 81I. The Committee on Public Works shall make a report to the City Council on each such petition or notice referred to it, and, if such report recommends the laying out, widening, alteration or discontinuance of the way to which such petition or notice relates, it shall be accompanied by a plan and profile thereof, showing accurately and definitely the proposed line and grade, together with an estimate of the cost of construction, if required, made by the City Engineer.
B. 
The report of the Committee on Public Works shall also state the names of the persons over whose lands such laying out, altering, widening or discontinuance is recommended, with the amount of damages, if any, which should be allowed to each, the manner in which the work should be performed and whether or not the work should be done under the laws authorizing the assessment of betterments.
A. 
If a favorable report of the Committee is accepted or an unfavorable report is rejected, the City Council shall, by an order, appoint a time for hearing all parties interested therein, at the rooms of the City Council, and direct that notice of its intention to lay out, alter, widen or discontinue such street or way and to do the same under the provisions of law authorizing the assessment of betterments, if such be the case, be given in the manner provided by law. The notice may be served by any constable of the City, who shall make his/her return on the original order.
B. 
The City Council shall hear all parties interested and all persons claiming damages by reason of such proposed laying out, alteration, widening or discontinuance at the time and place appointed for the hearing.
[Amended 12-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-060A]
A. 
If, after hearing all the parties interested, the City Council is of the opinion that the laying out, altering, widening or discontinuance of the street or way as requested is of common convenience and public necessity, it shall request the City Solicitor to draft and present to the Council, for action thereon, an order to the effect that the street or way shall be laid out, altered, widened or discontinued, as the case may be, which order shall define the boundaries, grade and measurements of the street or way to be laid out, altered, widened or discontinued and shall also state the names of all persons sustaining damages by such laying out, alteration, widening or discontinuance, the amount of compensation which such persons shall receive therefor and the time allowed the owners of land taken to remove all property which may obstruct the building of such street or way.
B. 
The City Engineer shall, upon like request, prepare a plan and profile showing accurately and definitely the line and grade as finally adjusted and fixed by the City Council and showing the date of final action by the Council and signed by him/her.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
C. 
If such street or way is laid out, altered, widened or discontinued under the provision of law authorizing the assessment of betterments, the order shall be in the form and shall be recorded in the manner provided by MGL c. 80, § 2.
D. 
Whenever any taking is made under the provisions of this section, the City Council shall immediately, after the land is entered upon, cause notice thereof to be given to every person whose property has been taken or who is otherwise entitled to damages on account of such taking in the manner provided by MGL c. 79, § 7C.
E. 
Such notice shall be in writing and shall describe in general terms the purpose and extent of the taking and shall state the amount of damages, if any, awarded to the person to whom it is sent or, if no damages have been awarded, the time within which he/she may petition for an award of damages and also the time within which he/she may petition the Superior Court to determine his/her damages. Such notice may be served by personal service or by leaving an attested copy thereof at the last and usual place of abode of the person to be notified, if he/she is a resident of the commonwealth, by any person authorized to serve civil process, or notice may be given to persons within or without the commonwealth by registered mail or other suitable means.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
Every order for the laying out, altering, widening or discontinuing of any street or way shall be recorded by the City Clerk in a book kept for that purpose, and a copy thereof shall be filed with the City Engineer.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
Plans and profiles relating to the laying out, altering, widening or discontinuing of any street or way shall be filed in the office of the City Engineer.
[Amended 3-4-1985 by Ord. No. 788; 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
The Councilors may, if they so declare and in their judgment, for the preservation of the public convenience and public necessity, for work of a temporary and emergency nature, order the making of repairs or reconstruction on private ways which have been open to public use for six years or more, as authorized by MGL c. 40, § 6N, and Chapter 693 of the Acts of 1977, and may provide, in such order, for the assessment of betterments upon the owners of estates which derive particular benefit or advantage from making such repairs on any such private way a sum equal, in the aggregate, to 1/2 of the cost thereof and, in the case of each such estate, in proportion to the frontage thereof on such way. All applications or petitions for making repairs must include all abutters to such ways, to be made in writing and addressed to the City Council upon such forms or blanks as it shall prescribe. The City Engineer will determine whether drainage is required in the subsurface of such ways, and the City shall not be liable for damages caused by such repairs to any greater extent than if such work were done on public ways. Any repair or reconstruction of such way requires a cash deposit of 10% of the total cost.
[Added 3-4-1985 by Ord. No. 788A]
A. 
The City Engineer may make temporary repairs on private ways which have been open to public use for six years or more and shall request an annual appropriation which he/she deems adequate for such temporary repairs. Such temporary repairs shall include only filling of holes in the subsurface of such ways and repairs to the surface thereof similar to those used for existing surfaces, but may include the oiling or tarring of such ways and the covering of such oil or tar with sand or gravel. There shall be no assessments for pothole repairs.
[Amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
B. 
The City shall not be liable for damage caused by such repairs to any greater extent than if such work were done on public ways.
[Added 6-1-2009 by Ord. No. 09-097; amended 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-158]
No street opening permit shall be granted between and including the 15th day of November and the 15th day of April to any utility, corporation, person or other entity, except in a case of actual necessity as certified to and approved by the City Engineer and by the Mayor.