Roadway Acceptance Procedure

Compliance with the Roadway Acceptance Procedures is the legal and financial responsibility of the applicant. The Roadway Acceptance Procedures are not intended to give legal advice.


The applicant should meet with the Town Planner to review any outstanding issues or missing information with the subdivision and / or file before initiating the Roadway Acceptance procedure. Applicants should also consult with their own attorney to ensure compliance with the Roadway Acceptance Procedures. The applicant is responsible for ensuring all documents are correct and that the Town boards, departments, and Town Counsel are satisfied with the supplied documentation.

Acceptance of a road as a public way involves three steps:
  1. First, the Board of Selectmen must lay out the road as a public way in accordance with the requirements of Massachusetts General Law (MGL) chapter 82, §§21 to 24, which includes a referral of the layout to the Planning Board for its recommendations in accordance with MGL chapter 41, §81I.
  2. Second, Town Meeting must vote to accept a road as a public way
  3. Third, the Board of Selectmen must acquire by gift, the deed in the road and drainage, water, sewer, utility, access, buffer, and / or other related easements (the "appurtenant easements") within one hundred twenty (120) days from the close of the Town Meeting at which the road is accepted as a public way.
Compliance with all three steps is necessary for a road to become a public, Town way.

Tips for Roadway Acceptance

If you are interested in having the Town accept a street layout at either a Spring or Fall Town Meeting (usually held the first week of May or November), contact the Town Planner six months prior to the Town Meeting to discuss any outstanding items left unfinished for your project. The Town Planner will outline the Roadway Acceptance steps found in the Town of Middleton's Roadway Acceptance Procedures that are necessary to have the Town accept your roadway layout.

It is imperative that applicants, attorneys, and engineers review, understand, and follow these procedures. Please note the required documents and the deadlines listed in the Town of Middleton's Roadway Acceptance Procedures in order to eliminate confusion and delay to all parties involved.


Below is an estimated timeline to be followed for Roadway Acceptance, please refer to The Town of Middleton Roadway Acceptance Procedures (PDF) for the full text. You can also download a copy of the Roadway Acceptance Procedure Tips (PDF).

Timeline for Roadway Acceptance

Necessary Actions May Town Meeting
November Town Meeting
Submit Petition to Selectmen December to January
June to July
Selectmen vote their "intent to lay out the way."  They refer the petition request to the Planning Board for recommendation. January to February
July to August
Warrant Article created March September
Selectmen notify owners and hold Public Meeting to "adopt order of layout." March to April September to October
Selectmen file signed order of layout, the layout plan, and legal descriptions with Town Clerk Late April Late October
Town Meeting Vote May November
Applicant submits updated Title Certification within 14 days of Town Meeting Mid-May Mid-November
Acquisitions, layout, and Town Meeting vote recorded at S Essex Registry of Deeds within 120 days of Town Meeting Early September
Early March
Any remaining balance of fees held for Street Acceptance returned to applicant by Town after receiving proof of recordation October April