Highways to Summer Cottages
Municipalities may elect not to maintain and repair a road during the winter, which is defined as December 10 to April 10, unless extended by the legislative body to as early as November 30 and as late as April 15.
Municipalities may elect to designate a highway as a “highway to summer cottages” in one of two ways: 1) via the lay out process for any proposed new road or a non-Class V road, or 2) by vote of the legislative body for an existing Class V highway.
Following the layout process means a determination must be made that “occasion” exists for the action, and damages must be paid to qualifying property owners. The legislative body vote as to Class V roads is analogous to a discontinuance, so a qualifying property owner likely can file an action seeking an award of damages.
The municipality must post at the entrances of these roads “notices of the closing and opening thereof.”
Municipalities may remove the designation by following the same process, namely, by layout or vote of the legislative body (town meeting or its equivalent).