Road Acceptance Process

Procedures for Road Acceptance

(last edited 6-05-2007)

Chapter 197 of the City of Laconia Code outlines the requirements for street acceptance including specifics on width and grades. Additional design criteria are contained in section 6.2 of the City Subdivision Regulations. Further, the City has standard road detail schematics that depict pavement thickness and depth of base selects. Please familiarize yourself with these requirements and specifications in the early stages of your project. Assuming all design criteria are in order, the following steps will guide you through the formal process of having a street accepted by the City.

City Code specifies that "no proposed street or part thereof shall be accepted by the City until there has been submitted to the City Council a report by the City Planning Board and the Director of Public Works that there is a public need for such street and that said street shall conform in a harmonious relationship to the future development of the City".

The following steps must be followed so that a street can be recommended to the Council:

1. The owner or authorized representative must contact the City Engineer to arrange a walk-through for the purpose of creating a punch list of any items that may need to be remedied before acceptance can be considered. All design criteria must be met. Road drainage must be functioning well and asphalt must go through two full winter cycles in order to assess road performance.

2. Parties requesting acceptance of an existing roadway must agree to pay the total cost of initial improvements if required (such as tree clearing, widening, grading, graveling, compaction, compaction testing, paving, sidewalks, street lights, etc.) and to post a bond or some other form of performance surety to the City based on cost estimates approved by the Director of Public Works.

3. In the case of a subdivision, a developer who has successfully completed the subdivision process with the City will be able to request acceptance of roadway(s) with certain physical tasks remaining for completion. This will be coordinated with Public Works in advance, and is contingent on establishing with the City in escrow the full cost of accomplishing the remaining physical tasks. A period not to exceed 12-24 months will be established for completion of remaining work. Such tasks may include deferral of street wearing course, sidewalk completion, and street plantings/landscaping (Subdivision Regs. section 6.2 (B) 13.4). PW's requirement for two full winter cycles to assess road performance applies to new subdivisions as well as existing roadways.

4. Once punch list items have been completed, the owner or agent shall arrange an inspection with representatives from the Department of Public Works. If the punch list items have been satisfactorily addressed, a roadway layout plan shall be submitted for review. Specific items to be included on the roadway layout plan are listed on the next page.

5. The City requires that a R-O-W easement deed and a roadway layout plan be recorded at the registry of deeds. RSA 674:37 requires that the Planning Board must approve plats before they can be recorded at the county registry. After any revisions requested by DPW have been completed, the roadway layout plan shall be prepared and certified by a licensed land surveyor and submitted to the Planning Board for approval. The easement deed shall be reviewed by City legal council prior to acceptance.

6. Once the Planning Board has approved the roadway layout plan, a formal petition must be submitted to the Laconia City Council for roadway acceptance. The approved plan shall accompany the written request. This request shall be in the form of a letter and must include a statement of the public need for the street. A determination of "public need" should be supported by evidence of all abutting landowners (i.e. signed petition).

7. Before taking action, the City Council must have the written request and plan submitted by the owner or authorized representative and the report from the Planning and Public Works Departments.

8. Upon approval by the City Council, the roadway layout plan and easement deed shall be recorded at the Belknap County Registry of Deeds. At such time, the street shall be placed on the roster of streets to be maintained by the City.

Roadway Layout Plan

RSA 676:18 II deals with recording of street layouts. When a road is petitioned to become a City accepted street, a separate road layout plan will be required that will be recorded at the registry of deeds. This plan will be on a 22" x 34" mylar and shall include:

  • The sidelines of the ROW with road monumentation and description (granite bounds or other approved monuments to be set at locations agreed upon by DPW).
  • Lot frontage monumentation (with description).
  • Road width.
  • Curve data.
  • Street names.
  • Lot numbers (if applicable).
  • 911 #'s.
  • Location of all utility easements On a case by case basis, the City may require a separate plan and profile showing roadway grade and locations of underground utilities (sewer, water, drainage, gas, electric, telephone, cable, etc.).
  • Planning board chairman's signature indicating that "this plan has been approved for recording purposes only".
  • Stamped and dated certificate by a licensed land surveyor indicating "I certify that this survey plat is not a subdivision pursuant to this title and that the lines of streets and ways shown are those of public or private streets or ways already established and that no new ways are shown" (from RSA 676:18 III). Point of clarification: the phrase above this survey plat is not a subdivision is intended to communicate that the road layout itself is not a new subdivision. The road under consideration would be a private way already established by a previously approved subdivision.