The following process is followed by the Town of Norwell to consider requests for a private way to be accepted by the Town as a public way.
What is a public way?
A public way is a street, road, drive, lane, etc. laid out by a registered land surveyor and dedicated to public use. The Town, by a vote at the annual Town Meeting, has accepted responsibility and liability for maintenance of these public way in perpetuity.
What is a private way?
A private way is a street, road, drive, lane, etc., serving several homes that has not been formally accepted at a Town Meeting. Until such acceptance, the Town is not responsible for maintenance, drainage, snow removal, street sweeping, traffic enforcement, etc. This cost and the liability belongs to the residents along the way or the owner of the way.
How do I get my private way converted to a public way?
The Town of Norwell has a Street Acceptance process that can be initiated by residents living on a private way.
(this section pending update)
The property owners, abutters or homeowner's Associations along the private way submit a petition containing signatures from a majority of the owners to the Office of the Board of Selectmen requesting that their street be considered for acceptance. The Selectmen’s Office refers the request to the Planning Board. The procedures are outlined in Article 10 of the Town of Norwell General Bylaws, and Appendix 6 of the Planning Board Subdivision Rules and Regulations.
Please call (781-659-8042) if you would like, to discuss this matter or require further information.
Glenn Ferguson, Highway Director