Maine Alliance for Road Associations


How many signatures are required to call the first meeting?

  • 19 Jul 2018 9:35 AM
    Message # 6388674
    Deleted user

    We have a road system that includes (3) three roads, (1) main access road and (2) two roads that branch off the main road. We had (3) signatures when we called our first meeting. One from a land owner on the main road and (2)two from one of the roads that branches off the main access road.

    The third road hired a Lawyer that is saying the meeting was not called properly. They're saying that it would require 3 signatures from each road for a total of (9) signatures to call the first meeting. And that our RA not a legal RA. Help

  • 22 Jul 2018 10:44 AM
    Reply # 6392385 on 6388674

    It sounds to me like you have at least one property owner who believes that formation of a road association will cost him more for road maintenance. He may be a "non-payer" now taking advantage of the other property owners on the other roads. Unfortunately for you the Title23 sections 3101-3104 law uses the words "a private road' or "the private road" in many places which implies that it is a single road and the law applies to it. You appear to have three "roads" likely each with a different road name as assigned by the town for public safety purposes. (A sketch would perhaps explain this more clearly.) If somehow you could get the three roads involved defined as "the road" it might be easier to progress in formation of a road association.

    The other idea is to get three signatures (if you can) from those owning property on each of the town defined roads. If successful with the nine signatures you could move forward. But don't be surprised if the "lawyer" comes up with another trick to slow you down. That's how they make their money!

    Good luck but don't give up, Peter Dunn

  • 23 Jul 2018 8:55 AM
    Reply # 6393526 on 6388674


    Please forgive me, I had a few more lines drafted but got interrupted and accidentally hit "paste" before I intended to.

    Regarding lawyers, in addition to the "tricky" ones luckily there are more who are willing to help you in a constructive way. Within the last year I have had the assistance of two very good attorneys that provided me with substantial guidance expending several hours of their time all at no charge. If we needed them further I would anticipate some billing but not an excessive amount. One attorney has assisted MARA substantially over the past few years. You will find her name in some of the on-line material. She is definitely one of the "good" ones. Another lawyer with road association experience might point out that the "third road" lawyer is mistaken.

    Once again, good luck, Peter Dunn

  • 23 Jul 2018 9:41 PM
    Reply # 6394892 on 6388674

    The law states, in 23 MRSA 3101, "When 4 or more parcels of land are benefited by a private road, private way or bridge as an easement or by fee ownership of the private road, private way or bridge, the owners of any 3 or more of the parcels, as long as at least 3 of the parcels are owned by different persons, may make written application to a notary public to call a meeting. "

    I would interpret that to mean that in your case everyone on the three roads are benefited by the main access road, if they must use it in order to reach their property.  So the owners of any 3 or more of the parcels benefited should be able to call the first meeting.

  • 26 Jul 2018 4:06 PM
    Reply # 6399831 on 6388674

    I would agree with Roberta's interpretation in that all members of all 3 roads, are at least benefited by the main road (call it Road A), thus 3 signatures from any of those parcels is sufficient. The argument could then be would a parcel on Road B be benefited by Road C or a parcel on Road C be benefited by Road B? Undoubtedly, if parcels on Road B or C must use Road A, then they are all benefited by Road A and those three signatures you collected could have at the very least legally formed a road association for Road A.

    If Peter's suggestion of developing some language that includes Road B and C as part of "the private road" fails, then you may need to form three separate road associations: 1) for Road A which includes all parcels from Road A, B, and C, 2) for Road B which includes parcels from Road B, and 3) for Road C which includes parcels from Road C. Forcing owners from Roads B and C into two separate road associations might be enough to convince the owners fighting the matter to accept all roads as part of one association.

    Our association has 2 roads. One of which has 2 parcels and only those parcels are benefited by that road. Our lawyer drafted up our documents to include both roads in our association. And provided for the future in that the event that the larger main road dissolve the association and become a public road, the 2 parcels on the smaller road could remain as an association of 2 without any of the others being included. We were fortunate that nobody fought this and every agreed.          

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