Township of Franklin, NJ
Hunterdon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin 12-28-1979; amended in its entirety 6-10-1993 by Ord. No. 93-6 (Ch. 67 of the 1988 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 155.
Land use — See Ch. 220.
Soil erosion and sediment control — See Ch. 290.
Stormwater and soil erosion — See Ch. 295.
Street openings and excavations — See Ch. 303.
Subdivision of land and site plan review — See Ch. 310.

§ 166-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to set certain standards for the design and location of driveways in order to promote the safety, public health, convenience and general welfare of the Township through, inter alia, lessening of soil erosion, improvement of emergency vehicle access and preservation of road edges.

§ 166-2 Permit required; application; fees; deferment; default.

[Amended 9-14-1995 by Ord. No. 95-12; 4-18-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-03; 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12; 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]
A. 
No driveway or lot entrance may be constructed, nor shall any existing driveway or lot entrance be altered in the Township, for a residential or other use not requiring site plan approval unless the owner first obtains a driveway permit from the Township Zoning Officer with an approval stamp from the Township Engineer. For the purpose of this chapter, an alteration is any change in the horizontal or vertical alignment of the driveway; or an increase of 500 square feet of surface area of the driveway.
B. 
At the time of application submission, the applicant shall pay a fee as established by Chapter 182, Fees, of the Code of the Township of Franklin to cover the review cost of the application, plus the cost of the site inspection(s), by the Township Engineer. All fees shall be paid in full by the applicant before a permit is issued.
C. 
The Township Engineer may require that additional information, such as a driveway plan and profile, a drainage plan and/or a soil erosion and sediment plan, be prepared by a professional engineer licensed in the State of New Jersey in those instances where the Township Engineer has determined that conditions are such that the driveway design, drainage plan and/or soil erosion and sediment control plan will require the application of engineering expertise.
(1) 
In the event that the Township Engineer determines that additional information is required, the applicant shall pay an initial escrow fee of $1,000. Failure to pay said escrow within five days shall result in the application being denied and shall further result in a stop-work notice to issue.
(2) 
The Township Engineer shall set forth any additional construction requirements which shall be complied with by the applicant. An applicant aggrieved by such direction may appeal as set forth in this chapter, subject to the requirements for administrative hearings.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See Ch. 4, Administrative Hearings.
D. 
Upon receipt of an application, together with drawings and other supporting data, the Township Engineer shall inspect and study the site of the proposed driveway or other entrance, and, in the event, in his/her opinion, that there are changes or additions to be made in order to comply with the requirements of this chapter, they shall be so stated and outlined in the application and drawings and be made known to the applicant by the Township Engineer, in writing.
E. 
All costs of materials required and work performed shall be borne and paid by the applicant or owner of the affected property, including the installation and maintenance of any driveway. All materials used must be approved by the Township Engineer.
F. 
The Township Engineer shall be notified at least 48 hours prior to beginning construction or alteration of the driveway so that he/she may inspect the same during construction or alteration. Upon notice to the Township Engineer of the completion of the construction or alteration of the driveway, the Township Engineer shall inspect the same and endorse the driveway permit to evidence compliance or noncompliance with standards specified herein. The construction or alteration of the driveway shall be deemed not in accord with the provisions of this chapter until said permit has been so endorsed.
G. 
In the event that the construction or alteration of the driveway entrance is not completed in accord with the permit previously issued for such, said permit shall be so endorsed by the Township Engineer who shall state the manner in which such construction is not in accord with said permit.
H. 
Failure of the Township Engineer to endorse the driveway permit within 21 days after submission of said permit to the Township Engineer for endorsement shall be deemed as approval by the Township.
I. 
In the event that a driveway permit has been issued and the driveway apron has not been installed, inspected and approved by December 1 of any calendar year or within six months of issuance of said permit or at any time when regular, ongoing construction activity has ceased for more than 30 days, the applicant shall post a driveway completion bond in the amount of $3,000. Upon posting of same the applicant may defer installation of the final top course until April of the next succeeding year. The applicant shall file by March 15 written notice with the Construction Code Official of his or her intention to complete driveway improvements. Failure to do so shall be deemed default. Upon default the Township shall first charge an administrative fee of $500 against the bond. The Township shall thereafter cause the work to be completed. Should the cost of the work exceed the remainder, such deficiency shall constitute a lien upon the premises and be enforceable in the manner provided for by law for unpaid taxes.

§ 166-3 Agricultural permit required; fee.

An agricultural permit may be issued without a fee if the nature of the lot entrance is for ingress to and egress from an agricultural lot and is not used to access any building. If the construction of said lot entrance entails engineering skills which are of the nature normally rendered by the Township Engineer, then the cost shall be borne by the applicant/lot owner and shall be paid in full before a permit is issued. If an agricultural permit is applied for and the lot entrance may be used for access to a building then the permit shall be denied on an agricultural basis, and the applicant/lot owner must apply for a regular driveway permit. For the purposes of this chapter, a lot will be considered agricultural if it is in the farmland assessment program. A valid agricultural permit need not comply with §§ 166-2B and 166-15A(2) and (3) of this chapter.

§ 166-4 Driveway exception from structure setback exclusion.

[Added 10-7-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-15]
A driveway, serving one lot, constructed in the front yard setback area, shall be exempted from the exclusion of construction of a structure in a setback. A driveway serving two or more lots, or a flag lot, shall be exempted from the exclusion of construction of a structure in a setback.

§ 166-5 Minimum construction requirements.

All driveways to be constructed shall be done in accordance with the following minimum requirements:
A. 
All subdivisions resulting in more than two lots shall be limited to no more than one road access, supported by an internal driveway or road system.
[Amended 10-7-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-15]
B. 
Sight distance required. Any exit driveway shall be designed in profile, grading and location to permit a one-hundred-foot minimum sight distance, if physically feasible, measured in each direction along the intersecting road. The measurement shall be from the driver's seat of a vehicle standing on that portion of the exit driveway with the front of the vehicle a minimum of 10 feet behind the curbline or the edge of the shoulder of the intersecting road and the height of the eye 3.75 feet to the top of an object 4.5 feet above the pavement.
C. 
Permitted slope at intersection. All driveways shall be constructed so as to slope from the road right-of-way line toward the edge of the existing shoulder or traveled way in accordance with the following schedule:
(1) 
For road right-of-way widths greater than 50 feet, the driveway shall be constructed so that, at the point of intersection of the road right-of-way line and the center line of the driveway, the finished grade of the driveway shall be no more than six inches higher than the center-line elevation of the existing pavement or traveled way.
(2) 
For road right-of-way widths of 50 feet or less, the driveway shall be constructed so that, at the point of intersection of the road right-of-way line and the center line of the driveway, the finished grade of the driveway shall be no more than three inches higher than the center-line elevation of the existing pavement or traveled way.
D. 
The design of the driveway shall minimize soil disturbance and minimize the potential for erosion and water runoff. The design shall reflect the topography and rural vistas by a combination of landscaping and curvilinear design. The resulting design shall minimize the visual impact of the road, thus maintaining the rural character of the community.
[Added 10-7-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-15]

§ 166-6 Angle of approach.

All driveways constructed shall intersect perpendicular to the existing road pavement or traveled way. Any curved or angular approach of the driveway for aesthetic or topographical reasons shall be accomplished outside of the road right-of-way or a right-of-way 50 feet in width the center line of which is the center line of the existing right-of-way, whichever is wider.

§ 166-7 Maximum percent of grade.

To ensure access for vehicles, any grade on a driveway shall be flat to prevent the dragging of any vehicle undercarriage. The maximum permitted gradients and grade lengths for driveways within the road right-of-way are shown on the profile attached hereto. The maximum percent of grade beyond the road right-of-way on an unpaved driveway shall not exceed five vertical five feet per 100 horizontal feet, and on a paved driveway shall not exceed 12 vertical feet per 100 horizontal feet. Reasonable cutting, filling and switch backs may be used to achieve compliance with maximum percent of grades.

§ 166-8 Width.

All driveways constructed shall have a minimum driving width of 10 feet with a minimum radius as shown on the attached plan[1] as they touch the intersecting road pavement or traveled way. If a driveway exceeds 500 feet in length, an area for passing 20 feet in driving width shall be provided for each full five-hundred-foot length. If a driveway has a switch back, turn, rotary or cul-de-sac, it shall provide a turning diameter driving width of not less than 40 feet. A place shall be provided near the terminus of every driveway for vehicles to reverse direction. The minimum driving width, plus a two-foot-wide strip on each side thereof, shall be kept cleared of vegetation and other obstructions between one and 12 feet in height, inclusive.
[1]:
Editor's Note: The plan is on file in the Clerk's office.

§ 166-9 Erosion.

[Amended 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]
All driveways shall be constructed and maintained at all times in such a manner as to prevent erosion of the soil from them and land behind them. Water and silt shall be prevented from running onto roads, filling up road gutters, catch basins, inlets or pipe drains. For driveways requiring the disturbance of more than 5,000 square feet of land area, a separate permit for soil erosion and stormwater management will be required, pursuant to Chapter 295.

§ 166-10 Ditches and drainage.

All driveways shall be constructed so as not to interfere with the drainage along the existing road pavement or traveled way. Under no circumstances shall the driveway be allowed to extend beyond the edge of the existing ditch line at an elevation creating a hump or uneven driving surface on the pavement or traveled way or shoulder.

§ 166-11 Water flow.

The construction of a properly sized dish-type gutter will be permitted, provided that the existing water flow will not be blocked, altered or changed in any manner.

§ 166-12 Culverts or piping.

[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12; 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]
The installation of a suitable size reinforced concrete pipe with headwall or culvert will be required in the event that the existing flow line or ditch cannot be crossed with a shallow dish-type gutter. The size of the pipe or culvert or pipe and accompanying headwall shall be determined by the Township Engineer, and the placement shall be in accordance with instructions given by the Engineer.

§ 166-13 Intersecting roads.

[Amended 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]
Where a site from which a proposed driveway exits occupies a corner of two intersecting roads, no driveway entrance or exit shall be located within 25 feet of the point of tangency of the existing or proposed curb radius of that site unless the Township Engineer deems this distance unsafe from a traffic standpoint.

§ 166-14 Prohibited locations.

A. 
No entrance or exit driveway shall be located on the following portion of a road: a rotary or a ramp of an interchange or within 25 feet of the beginning of any ramp or other portion of an interchange.
B. 
All driveways shall be constructed so as to be wholly contained on the lot to be served by said driveway. No portion of a driveway shall be constructed on any property which adjoins the lot to be served by the proposed driveway.

§ 166-15 Construction materials.

A. 
All driveways entering Township roads shall be constructed of the following materials for the minimum distance within the road right-of-way as shown on the attached plan.[1]
(1) 
Driveways entering unpaved roads shall have a minimum base course of 12 inches (compacted thickness) of one-and-one-half-inch to two-inch crushed clean stone or shale and four inches compacted thickness of three-quarter road blend or quarry process (blend) stone, thoroughly rolled and compacted, of the specified width.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
(2) 
Driveways entering paved roads shall have a minimum base course of 12 inches (compacted thickness) of one-and-one-half-inch to two-inch crushed clean stone or shale and four inches compacted thickness of three-quarter road blend or quarry process (blend) stone, thoroughly rolled and compacted, of specified width.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
(3) 
The minimum pavement for any apron entering a paved road shall be 10 feet wide and 25 feet long from the edge of the Township road and shall have a minimum radius at the intersecting road of 20 feet in width.
[1]:
Editor's Note: The plan is on file in the Clerk's office.
B. 
All materials shall comply with the New Jersey State Highway Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction, 2001 Edition, and all amendments and revisions thereto.
[Amended 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]

§ 166-16 Application information; changes to existing driveways.

[Amended 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]
A. 
The application shall contain a plan in sufficient detail for the Township Zoning Officer/Engineer to determine compliance with this chapter. These plans shall show or include the following information:
(1) 
A plot or site plan showing the driveway for its entire length and its relation to the intersecting road.
(2) 
A profile of the driveway showing existing and proposed center-line grades and elevations for its entire length shall be required for any driveway having a maximum percent of grade exceeding 12%.
(3) 
A plan showing the type of storm drainage to be constructed at the driveway entrance to the intersecting road, i.e., dish-type gutter, pipe or culvert. Sizes of pipes, culverts and gutters, grades elevations, typical cross sections, construction details and any other information deemed necessary to the proper analysis of the installation shall also be shown.
B. 
Where a driveway existed on the date of the adoption of this chapter and the owner has decided to alter its course or location, then the owner shall file an application with the Township Zoning Officer on the forms provided. The Township Zoning Officer shall inspect the premises and review the application as to the proposed improvement, and if it is his determination that the proposed improvement complies with the standards of this chapter, then, in that event, he shall issue a permit to said applicant. If the determination is that the proposed improvement of the driveway does not comply with the standards of this chapter, then the applicant will receive written notice to comply with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 166-17 Prerequisite for issuance of building permit.

[Amended 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]
No building permit shall be issued for the construction or alteration of any structure where, inherent in any application for such a permit, a driveway permit is required in accordance with the terms of this chapter until said driveway permit is issued. The driveway may be constructed simultaneously with site work, but under no conditions shall a building permit be issued until the minimum base course described in § 166-15A(1) and B are completed and approved by the Township Engineer.

§ 166-18 Certificate of occupancy.

A. 
All work and improvements required by the driveway permit shall be completed prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy. However, in the event that the necessary work and improvements as required by § 166-15A(2) cannot be completed at the time of application for a certificate of occupancy because of unsatisfactory weather conditions, such as cold or freezing temperatures or wet soil conditions, or because of other unusual conditions which would cause undue hardship to the property owner, the certificate of occupancy may be issued, provided that a performance guaranty is provided in the form of cash or a bond in the amount of $2,000 for a standard entrance apron of 25 feet in length. Bond or cash amounts for other driveways shall be determined by a formula set by the Township Engineer and/or the Township Enforcement Officer. Said work and improvements as required by § 166-15A(2) must then be completed within six months thereafter or the Township may utilize the cash or bond to complete the same.
[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12]
B. 
Upon certification by the Township Engineer that all work and improvements required by the driveway permit have been completed, the Chief Financial Officer shall return any remaining amount of the performance guaranty to the person who supplied the same.
[Amended 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]

§ 166-19 Liability for damages.

[Amended 10-31-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-12; 8-14-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-15]
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter which results in deteriorated aprons, broken pipes or debris in the roadway caused by debris flow from driveways or results in damage to or obstruction of any public road, gutter, storm drain, ditch, basin inlet or culvert shall be responsible for all expenses incurred by the Township in repairing said damage or removing said obstruction, in addition to the penalty herein provided. Further, in the event that property owner negligence in driveway construction or maintenance has contributed to said damage or obstruction, the Township Public Works Supervisor or Engineer shall notify, in writing, said property owner of the specific conditions requiring correction. The property owner shall respond in writing within three business days. Thereafter, in addition to seeking injunctive or other relief, if, in the opinion of the Township Public Works Supervisor or Engineer, said repairs are not completed in a timely manner, then the Township may cause said repairs to be completed at the property owner's expense.

§ 166-20 Appeals.

If any person shall be aggrieved by an action of the Township Enforcement Officer/Engineer/Public Works Supervisor under this chapter, appeal therefrom in writing to the Township Committee may be taken within 10 days after the date of such action. The Township Committee shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal, giving due notice thereof to the appellant. Said appellant shall, at least 10 days to the time appointed, notify by certified mail all owners of property within 200 feet of the extreme limits of the property to be affected by such appeal, measured along both sides of the public road, as they appear on the current municipal tax records. Said notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the matter being appealed. The appellant shall also cause notice of the hearing to be published in the official newspaper or a newspaper of general circulation in the Township at least 10 days prior to the hearing. The appellant shall, by affidavit, present satisfactory proof to the Township Committee at the time of the hearing that said notices have been duly mailed and published as required by this section.

§ 166-21 Violations and penalties.

Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalties provided in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty. Each and every day that a violation continues after notification thereof shall constitute an additional, separate and specific violation.