What is a Private Way?
A private way is a road that is not owned by a City, Town or State. It is owned and maintained by a person or a private entity, such as a Homeowner’s Association.
Private roads have been around for a long time. What's the problem?
Back in the day, a private road was typically a dirt road with just a few homes on it. Today, developers are building large developments, in some cases with over 100 homes in them. The roads are paved, but the construction is sub-standard. The roads will degrade faster than comparable public roads. More importantly, because they are sub-standard in design and construction, the level of safety is below that of comparable public roads.
The issue of disproportionate services is the other problem. Cities are encouraging the development of large and small private road communities. The city approves the developments, but they take no responsibility for maintaining the roads (and in some cases, sewer and water systems). And yet they collect property taxes for these services that they do not provide.
Back to the dirt roads - they are a problem too, even worse actually. They were built a long time ago, without any planning board approval in many cases. The safety concerns are real, especially the ability of emergency vehicles to traverse such roads. Some owners tell us that even if a Fire Vehicle could make it to a destination on their road, it would have to back up to get out. This is an unacceptable situation.