[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Dedham as Ch. 12, Secs. 1 through 4, 11 and 12, of the 1996 By-laws; amended 11-18-2013 STM by Art. 16. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 11-17-2014 ATM by Art. 18]
The Director of Public Works shall act as the Superintendent of Streets and shall be responsible to the Town Manager for the efficient administration of all matters relating to any public way of the Town.
Notice of intention to lay out, alter or relocate a Town way shall, in addition to the notice required by law, be published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town, the last publication to be not less than seven days prior to the day of hearing.
No person or utility shall make any excavation, modify, or fill any excavation within the limits of any public way without first obtaining a Street Opening Permit to do so from the Director of Public Works. Any excavation within the Town's streets, sidewalks, or other public Right of Way shall only be permitted in accordance with the current Town of Dedham, Street Opening Regulations. The granting of such permit shall require all such activities to conform to the current Town of Dedham, Street Opening Regulations.
It is the intent of this section to protect the public safety and convenience by controlling the location of and construction of certain access ways which connect to public ways or ways used as public ways for the use of motor vehicles.
Access ways as defined herein shall not be constructed or used until a permit has been issued therefor.
Effect on existing uses. Access ways in use at the time this section becomes effective shall not be affected by this section unless said ways are widened by more than 50% of their existing width or relocated so that they will connect to the public way at a different point.
Access ways requiring a permit:
For purposes of this section, an access way shall be defined as: A way that (i) serves a land area or land use that may be described as Residential, Business, Manufacturing, or Industrial, or any other similar designation; and (ii) connects or abuts a public way or a way used as a public way and falls under the jurisdiction of the Street Commissioners (Selectmen).
A permit shall not be required for:
A way that connects with or abuts a State Highway under the jurisdiction of the State Highway Division of the Massachusetts Highway Department; or
A way of less than 30 feet width that constitutes a residential driveway access or an accessway designed to serve any residential property entirely within the Town of Dedham; and
A way within the Town of Dedham that would come under the Subdivision Control Law or Major Site Plan Review as currently in effect in the Town of Dedham,
Method of obtaining a Permit for Construction of an Access Way:
Applicant — shall mean any person, firm, corporation or any other legal entity who can construct an access way as described herein.
The applicant shall notify the Street Commissioners (Selectmen) of his intent to construct said access way in writing, and submit with said notice a plan showing in detail sufficient information to determine the following: (Note: In many cases a print of the plan required by the Parking by-law can be used for the plan to be submitted as required herein if it shows the required information.)
The point at which the access way will connect with the public way.
The width of the access way and the radii of the curves connecting with the public way. Location of islands and/or dividers, if any.
The grades of the access way, particularly in relation to sight distances, maneuverability and drainage.
The number of motor vehicles which may be stored or parked in the area to be served by the access way. The Street Commissioners shall have the right to determine whether or not an access way will or may serve 25 or more parking or storage facilities with or without regard to the existence of other access ways to the same general area.
Issuance of required permit:
A permit for the construction or use of an access way as defined herein shall not be issued until the Board of Selectmen, acting as Street Commissioners, hold a duly advertised public hearing concerning the same by advertising once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town of Dedham at least seven days before the day of the hearing.
If the applicant satisfies all the requirements of this section enumerated in Subsection E(2), above, and if the Street Commissioners shall determine that such proposed plan does not constitute a public hazard, a permit shall be issued to the applicant forthwith in a form satisfactory to the Board of Selectmen.
If the applicant in the opinion of the Board of Selectmen is unable to comply with the requirements of this section in any one or all respects, said Board of Selectmen shall not issue such permit until the applicant is able to prove compliance with this section at a re-hearing, if deemed necessary by said Board.
Enforcement: In addition to enforcement under § 1-6 of these By-laws, if the Board of Selectmen determines that an access way has been constructed in violation of this section or constructed in a manner inconsistent with a permit issued therefor, said Board of Selectmen may close or obstruct the entrance of such access way at a point where it intersects the public way and said access way shall remain closed until the provisions of this section are strictly observed by the landowner.
The Director of Public Works or the Chief of Police may, to facilitate the removal of snow or ice from any public way in the Town, remove or cause to be removed from the public way any vehicle which interferes with such work. The vehicle may be removed to and stored in any convenient place, including a public garage, and the cost of removal and storage charges, if any, shall be imposed upon the owner of such vehicle.
No person shall place or locate any temporary obstruction within any Public Right of Way without first obtaining a Street Opening Permit to do so from the Director of Public Works.
Any obstruction within the Town's streets, sidewalks, or other public Right of Way shall only be permitted in accordance with the current Town of Dedham, Street Opening Regulations. An obstruction shall be considered, but not limited to, dumpsters, unregistered vehicles (such as construction machines and equipment), construction materials, or other such object or objects which are not specifically permitted under state or local regulations and may pose a potential hazard to the general public.
[Amended 5-19-2014 ATM by Art. 33]
The Director of Public Works may, at his discretion, undertake such action as may be necessary to keep private ways which have been open to public use for a period in excess of 10 years passable for emergency vehicles.
This by-law shall not be construed so as to allow complete repaving or rebuilding projects for any private way, nor shall any such repairs exceed in cost the amount of $1,500 for any given private way in any given fiscal year.
The liability limit of the Town for any claim arising from any such work on any private way shall be $5,000.
[Added 5-19-2014 ATM by Art. 33]
Owners of land abutting any private way that is open to public use may petition the Board of Selectmen to lay out and accept such way as public and improve such way to standards acceptable to the Board of Selectmen. The Board may determine to approve such petition and establish standards for the improvement of such way in accordance with a policy implemented by said Board after due notice and hearing. The following conditions shall be met:
One hundred percent of the owners of land abutting on the private way or who otherwise own any part of the way shall agree to the laying out and acceptance of the way as public and the construction of such improvements to the way as the Board of Selectmen shall determine.
One hundred percent of said owners shall agree to pay such portion of the cost of laying out and improving the private way as the Board of Selectmen may determine to assess as a betterment, which assessment may be up to and including 100% of such costs. Such costs shall include the costs to the Town of ascertaining ownership of the way and related properties and obtaining such property rights as are necessary to public use and maintenance of the way. Said betterment assessment shall be equally assessed on all benefited properties if all benefited properties are existing or potential single family lots and otherwise shall be assessed proportionately pursuant to G.L. c.80, and pursuant to G.L. c.80, § 13, interest shall be at a rate equal to 2% above the rate of interest chargeable to the Town for the project to which the assessments relate, as determined by the Town Treasurer. All improvements and/or assessments shall be in accord with applicable Massachusetts General Laws.
Prior to any expenditure by the Town on construction, said owners and all others specially benefited by such layout and improvement or owning property in which rights must be acquired by the Town for use and maintenance of such ways shall, as applicable: (i) release the Town from all liability in connection with the project; (ii) agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Town from all claims of injury or damage by third parties; (iii) grant to the Town and its agents, contractors and employees a license to enter the way to perform the project; (iv) agree to provide for the ongoing maintenance and repair of said way unless and until said way shall be accepted as a public way; (v) waive rights to appeal the amount of the betterment assessment pursuant to G.L. c.80, §§ 5-10A; and (vi) waive claims for damages from any taking of land or easements for public way purposes in connection therewith, such agreement to be acknowledged by a notary public and to be binding upon successors and assigns of such property owners.
Upon completion of the layout of the way as a public way by the Board of Selectmen, including referral of such layout to the Planning Board for its recommendation and filing of the layout plan with the Town Clerk pursuant to G.L. c.82, §§ 21-24, such private way shall be submitted to the next Annual Town Meeting for acceptance by the Town as a public way.
Discharge of water. No person shall discharge or divert or cause to be discharged or diverted ground or surface water collected by mechanical pump within a building or any surface water collected on private property, including but not limited to pools, in a manner that would create a hazardous or icy condition or cause damage to a public way or sidewalk. No person shall allow a discharge to continue for more than 10 minutes after being notified to cease by the Director of the Department of Public Works or by a police officer of the Town.
Any person who violates this by-law shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300. Each day or portion thereof during which a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
As an alternative to criminal prosecution, the Director of Public Works or any police officer of the Town may elect to enforce this by-law by utilizing the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in G.L. c.40, § 21D, as may be amended from time to time. The fine for each noncriminal violation shall be $300 and each day or portion of a day on which a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.