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Acceptance Policy for New Roads

There are public roads in rural Bell County that are not maintained by us.  These roads  were never built to the standard required by the County.  We maintain a list of  County Maintained Roads.  If your street is not listed, you may be on a privately maintained road meaning the landowners are responsible for road and drainage maintenance.  Street name signs are color coded to quickly identify County Roads.  Green name signs are maintained by Bell County.  Blue name signs are privately maintained.green sign

blue sign 

The majority of County-maintained roads have been obtained through prescriptive easement or historic usage.  That is, because the public has used a road for a number of years and the County has performed routine maintenance on that road, it has "official" status.  (It is not uncommon for landowners to find that their property corners are located in the center of a long-existing road.)  The Commissioners' Court, on its own motion, can establish a public road or can do so in response to a request from the proper number of property owners.  Finally, there is by dedication  and acceptance.  This most commonly occurs during the platting of subdivisions.  The Commissioners' Court must accept a dedicated road for maintenance before it becomes part of the public system of roadways.

If the property you are paying taxes on includes a portion of a road right of way, you may give the County the right of way.  Generally, you will need to provide a field note description (prepared by a licensed surveyor) or plat which shows the dimensions of the property in use as right of way.  Present this to the County Engineer's Office and they will take your request to the Commissioners' Court for acceptance.  It will then go to the Tax Office to be removed from your taxable acreage.

Bell County has a policy for accepting new roads if they are brought up to standard by the owners.  The Policy for County Road Acceptance should be reviewed and discussed with the County Engineer's Office. The acceptance of a road depends on when the road came into being.  The "magic date" is June 10, 1974.  Prior to this date, the Commissioners' Court accepted subdivision roads that were not paved so long as they met certain minimum criteria or specifications.  After this date, all new subdivision roads accepted by the Court had to be constructed to certain minimum design specifications, as well as be paved.  So, if your road came into being before this date, we have a process that is spelled out in the policy that requires landowners to provide certain things and pay for materials, and in return, the County will perform certain work to include paving.  Alternatively, if your road came into being after June 10, 1974, you may be required to do much more.  The process is spelled out in the Bell County Policy.

Rural Street addressing

Bell County and the Central Texas Council of Governments work together to maintain the 9-1-1 addressing system for the county.  If you have a driveway or rural street that needs an address, you may contact the Central Texas Council of Governments at 888-889-1910 to request an address and street name for your residence or business.  Their office will process the application which has no fee.

Road names and addressing must meet criteria contained in the 9-1-1 Addressing Standards.  Road names should be unique or not conflict with other existing names within the county.  Family names may not be used and the landowners must agree on the proposed name.  There must be three or more homes located on the route.  Please review the criteria before you submit a road for addressing.

The process for rural addressing

1.  An individual needs to contact the Central Texas Council of Governments, located at 2180 N. Main Street in Belton, to request a rural street address.  The 9-1-1 address specialist may be contacted by telephone at 888-889-1910.  They will collect the information and process the request.

2.  The Council of Governments representative will submit the request to the Bell County Engineer’s Office.  They will review the request and verify that the route meets the criteria. 

3.  The County Engineer will inform the Bell County Commissioner’s Court of the request and if the criteria meet the addressing standards.  If it meets the standards, the Commissioners will approve the request.  If not, they will deny the request.   Approval for a newly named street does not make the route a County Road.  One must meet criteria contained in this web site to have a road accepted by the County for maintenance.  

4.  The County Engineer’s Office will inform the CTCOG of the action.  If approved, the CTCOG will file the new addresses in the system for Post Offices and the 9-1-1 office.  The County Engineer will install a name sign on the route.

If you have a request or questions about the 9-1-1 addressing process, please contact the Central Texas Council of Governments for additional details.