Public Ways and Scenic Roads on Town Meeting Warrant

Written by Administrator
 | Sunday, 27 January 2008 19:14
The annual town meeting on Saturday, March 13 will be asked to accept three streets as public ways: Lewis Farm Rd. The annual town meeting on Saturday, March 13 will be asked to accept three streets as public ways: Lewis Farm Rd., Butternut Drive, and Brewer Lane. It will also consider designating 68 streets built in the past 29 years as scenic roads.

Both the Duxbury planning board and selectmen recommend that town meeting support the road acceptance warrant articles, which are articles 21, 22, and 23, respectively, as well as the scenic way road list, which is article 26.

The three roads up for inclusion as town streets are in subdivisions that were accepted by the planning board. They are currently private roads, meaning the town does not maintain them.

Butternut Drive and Lewis Farm Rd. are part of the same subdivision. Neighbors in that area want the roads made public, but they also want to eliminate Butternut Drive and name the entire street Lewis Farm Rd. There are two homes with addresses on Butternut Drive. According to Town Planner Christine Stickney, making the name change is possible, but the roads should still go to town meeting to be made public. She said that neighbors on Butternut Drive have to petition the planning board for the name change, which could be done at any time because it doesn’t require town meeting approval. Then, with planning board approval (which Stickney indicated would happen), the name change would be sent to the Registry of Deeds. She was concerned about who would pay for the advertising of the public hearing and for the recording of the change.

Selectmen urged the neighbors to contact Stickney to start the process, because that is the first step.

Selectmen also voted to support adding 68 roads built since 1975 to the town’s scenic road list.

According to Stickney, in 1975 town meeting designated all town roads to be scenic. This was meant to preserve the character of the town by requiring a public hearing before there could be any removal of trees, stone walls, or anything else that contributed to the road’s natural appearance. These things had to be in the road’s layout, which includes the pavement as well as some land on either side. Most newer roads have plans of their layouts filed at the planning office at town hall.

The roads built since 1975 would just be added to the list, said Stickney. Also, any time a new road is built and proposed to be a public way, it would also be included as a scenic way. The list of streets is available at the town clerk’s office.

In other business, selectmen:

*Learned that the state department of revenue has certified the town’s free cash account at $2,620,649. About half the money in the town’s annual savings account will go to pay for the fiscal year 2004 health insurance deficit. Voters approved this action at a special town meeting last fall. Town Manager Rocco Longo will use $800,000 to help balance the FY05 budget. The water enterprise free cash account was certified at $700,490, Longo said.

*Voted unanimously to execute a quitclaim deed on a land transfer between the town and Serge and Caroline Roy of 580 Franklin St. Approved at town meeting 2001, this transfer consisted of .31 acres to reconfigure the lot lines between Camp Wing and land owned by the Roys. After the town bought Camp Wing, it learned that the parcel’s property line was less than 15 feet away from the Roys’ house. The Roys agreed to swap a 29,000 square foot field that is 150 feet away from their house for 14,000 square feet of Camp Wing land that is right near the house. Because it is conservation land, the trade had to be approved by the state legislature, which it was.

*Appointed Jennifer Niles of Templewood Drive to a three-year term on the Municipal Commission on Disabilities.