Maine Alliance for Road Associations
The Road Association bill we worked on so hard last session is finally coming to life again. It got put on hold due to the COVID shutdown when it was just about to make its way from the Judiciary Committee to the full Legislature. It is now on the schedule for hearing before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Feb. 18th 2021 at 11:00 a.m.
The purpose of this bill is to assure lenders that when there is a residential property on a shared private road, there is some mechanism in place to assure that the access will remain passable, even in cases where there are not enough properties to qualify for a statutory road association. We had a number of concerns about this bill as originally presented, but the sponsors of the bill were really good about addressing our concerns. We are hoping it will go forward as now written, without any further modification.
The bill is worded so it applies only to private roads, not to the controversial "public easements" that get into questions of constitutionality. It allows a lot of flexibility, even accepting verbal agreements as fulfilling the requirement, as this often works better where there are only two or three owners. The "default" position of each landowner contributing an equal share kicks in only if the abutters cannot reach some agreement on their own. There is an exemption that applies only to camps on logging company lands, where the logging company may lease the land to someone who builds a camp on it. In such cases, the logging company will not be compelled to keep the road in repair for residential use. You can read the full text of the bill here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0080&item=1&snum=130
For anyone who would like to submit testimony on the bill, I will post a separate forum topic with the instructions for doing so under the current COVID procedures.
It's important that we get the unanimous approval of the Judiciary Committee. If anyone has any questions or concerns about the bill, please contact me before submitting testimony on the bill. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Roberta Manter, MARA Legislative Liaison
The Maine Alliance for Road Associations