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Public Rights of Way, Petitioning to Close

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POLICY STATEMENT 44

PETITIONING TO CLOSE PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY

Prepared by:              Laura Cove, Director of Department of Transportation and Facilities
Supersedes:               4/18/13
Adopted by Council: 10/30/14
Effective:                    10/30/14

Purpose 

To adopt an official policy for the Town of Cary for petitioning to close public rights of way.  

Policy  

1.         There is a non-refundable application fee.  This fee may be found in the current year’s Adopted Fiscal Year Annual Operating Budget under Other Land Development Ordinance Fees.  In addition to the fee, the petitioner will also submit a letter indicating the reasons why the right of way in question should be closed stating, where possible, any public benefit and a list of all current property owners whose property lies within 100 feet of the affected right of way.  The list should include property owners’ names, addresses and identify each parcel by PIN number.

2.         A resolution of intent will indicate that the Town Council is calling for a public hearing to consider closing of the right of way in question.  The Town Clerk will schedule the resolution of intent on the agenda of the first scheduled meeting of the Town Council after receiving the petition.  After the Town Council adopts the resolution of intent, a notice for posting will be published for four consecutive weeks prior to the public hearing.  The public hearing will be held at the time stated in the resolution of intent and notice for posting, generally the first scheduled meeting of the Town Council after the fourth consecutive publishing of the notice for posting. 

If any portion of the right of way in question is a state maintained right of way (SR#), then the petitioner must present evidence of a request to the state to abandon the right of way.  Also, the Town will be responsible for closing any right of way shown on any recorded map which was signed off by the Town.  

3.         During the four week advertising period, but at least 10 days before the public hearing, a certified, return receipt requested letter will be sent to each property owner who owns property within 100 feet of the right of way being considered for closing.  A copy of the resolution of intent will be included in the letter.  Also at this time, the property will be posted with the date of the public hearing. 

4.         The petitioner will attend the public hearing to present the request to the Town Council and public and answer any questions that may be presented.  Also, at the public hearing, staff will make their recommendations as to whether the right of way should be closed.  (Ideally, when the petitioner first considers the closing, there will be time for a preliminary assessment as to the feasibility of closing the right of way.  If not, then the petitioner should be aware that any action by the Town Council, with the exception of approving the actual street closing order, will not imply staff support or recommendation of approval of the petition.)

5.         If the Town Council votes to close the right of way, then the street closing order will be adopted at the public hearing.  The order will be recorded at the Register of Deeds office, and a copy of the recorded order will be sent to the petitioner.  If the Town Council votes to deny the petitioner’s request (i.e., keep the right of way open), then a period of one year must elapse before the Town Council will consider the same petition again.  The Town Council, at its discretion, may waive the one year time.