City of Franklin, NH
Merrimack County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Franklin as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 262.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 403.
[Adopted 4-5-2004 by Ord. No. 13-04[1] ]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. I, Driveways, adopted 5-5-1986 as Title One, Ch., XV of the 1986 Code, as amended.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for consistent, safe and orderly installation of driveways through the establishment of an administrative process and construction guidelines used to accommodate vehicular access to and from City streets onto private property. Adherence to the standards and specifications contained herein is encouraged whenever feasible; however, certain conditions relating to lot configuration and topography may require a deviation from such.
The Director of Municipal Services (or designees) is charged with administering this article, which will include, but is not limited to, preliminary site visits, plan review and approval, development of permits and procedures and conducting inspections before, during and subsequent to construction.
This article is enacted pursuant to the provisions of New Hampshire RSA 236:13, as amended.
The provisions of this article apply to the excavation, construction, reconstruction, alteration, surfacing, resurfacing, addition, elimination or siting of any existing or proposed driveway which intersects with the right-of-way of any City-owned and/or City-maintained way or involves the modification, alteration or construction/installation involving an existing or proposed ditch line or culvert within proximity or having an affect on a proposed or existing driveway. Section 149-5, referring to permitting requirements, applies to all land holders and contractors or related construction companies involved in providing driveway construction services to the general public within Franklin's City limits.
For the purpose of this article, the following definitions will apply:
A private road/access which is intended to provide vehicular access from a public way to a single primary building which is located on a single lot. A driveway may service up to two lots only if it complies with the terms and conditions of the City's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[1]
A parcel of land to be separately owned, rented, developed or otherwise used as a unit.
A sightline which encounters no visual obstruction between two points, each at a minimum height of three feet nine inches above the existing pavement and so located as to represent the critical line of sight between the operator of a vehicle using the access and the operator of an approaching vehicle from either direction.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 403, Subdivision of Land.
Permit required.
It shall be unlawful to excavate, construct, reconstruct, alter, repave, add, eliminate or locate any driveway or access to property in a manner which affects the size, elevation or grade of such driveway or access to property until the Director of Municipal Services (or designees) has reviewed and approved of such and has issued a written permit for such work.
No permit shall be required for any existing driveway, entrance or approach unless the grade, elevation, location or width of said driveway is changed or the ditch line or culvert is modified. For purposes of this section, any driveway so constructed, reconstructed, altered, surfaced, resurfaced or any ditch line or culvert modification/alteration as indicated above which abuts or is clearly designed to provide access to or to accommodate drainage from a public way as defined by New Hampshire RSA 259:125 shall be presumed to be situated within the right-of-way.
Pursuant to this section, a written driveway permit or relevant digging permit application must be obtained from and filed with the Municipal Services Department by any land owner or by the construction contractor, if employing one, affected by the provisions of § 149-5A.
Prior to any construction or alteration work commencing, a preconstruction field visit by the Municipal Services Department Director and the Fire Chief (or their designees) is required as a condition of the permit. Said permit application shall have been reviewed and approved and the necessary permit(s) issued by the Director of Municipal Services (or designees). Said permit shall:
Describe the location of the driveway, entrance, exit or approach. The location shall be selected to most adequately protect the safety of the traveling public and to accommodate for sufficient drainage/surface water flow.
Describe any drainage structures, traffic control devices and channelization islands to be installed by the applicant.
Identify shade trees, terrain or other structures which may need to be removed, relocated or graded.
Establish grades and culverts that adequately protect and promote street drainage and permit a safe and controlled approach to the street in all seasons of the year.
Include any other terms and specifications necessary for the safety of the traveling public and pedestrian accessibility.
The Municipal Services Director (or designees) is authorized by this article to develop driveway permit applications and publish guidelines consistent with the adopted standards contained herein.
The purpose of these standards is to provide general guidelines relating to the siting, construction and maintenance of driveways which intersect or are proposed to intersect a public way within the City. The City reserves the right to require plans and specifications from a registered professional engineer in the State of New Hampshire and to update, amend and require design standards specific and best suited for the lot(s) or parcel(s) of land requesting a permit for access. Such design standards or other special provisions will become part of the driveway permit. Provisions may include long-term maintenance and upkeep standards as deemed appropriate.
Unless a year-round safe sight distance of 400 feet in both directions can be obtained, the Director of Municipal Services (or designees) shall not permit more than one single access to a sole parcel of land. This access shall be at the location deemed to be the safest. The Municipal Services Director (or designees) shall not give final approval for use of an additional access unless it is demonstrated that the four-hundred-foot year-round safe sight distance has been reviewed and approved.
Within 20 feet of the point where the driveway intersects the public right-of-way, the maximum slope of a driveway to two or fewer dwelling units shall not exceed 10% and shall not exceed a maximum slope of 8% for commercial driveways.
The width for all driveways of private residences, where they intersect the street, shall not be more than 24 feet of paved surface. Commercial driveways shall have a minimum width of 24 feet but will be subject to site plan review by the Planning Board in which case additional requirements may be established.
With the exception of shared or common driveways, no driveways, including any flare, shall be within five feet of a side property line.
The angle of the driveway, with respect to the roadway edge, shall be 90°.
At rural intersections, the minimum distance between the nearest edge of the driveway and the crossroad edge of pavement, measured along the edge of the pavement, shall be 100 feet. At urban intersections, (those intersections located within an urban compact area as defined by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation), this minimum distance may be reduced to 25 feet. Driveways to be located on the opposite side of T-intersections shall generally conform to the urban intersection standard. The Director of Municipal Services (or designees) shall have the authority to increase these distances if, in the Director's opinion, such action is necessary for the protection of traffic. These requirements may be modified, if justifiable, on the basis of specific site conditions, including lot size.
The type of construction where the driveway meets the edge of the traveled way shall be compatible with existing conditions with respect to drainage and curb configuration and shall be subject to the approval and additional requirements established by the Director of Municipal Services (or designees). The property owner shall be responsible for the proper installation and sizing of all drainage facilities (driveway culvert, swale, ditch line, etc.) and the driveway bed that lies between the edge of the traveled way and the parcel's property line. If a culvert is to be used, both the size (minimum twelve-inch) and type must be approved and will be part of the driveway permit.
In no case shall the permitted driveway construction cause water to stand on the pavement, shoulders or within the street right-of-way limits. In those cases where property development increases drainage runoff to such an extent that existing street drainage structures are insufficient to adequately dispose of all drainage, the applicant will be required to provide additional or larger drainage facilities to prevent any ponding within the street right-of-way or adjacent lands thereto.
It is required that the driveway approach and all parts of the driveway within the City right-of-way will be paved and the permanent maintenance of those areas is the responsibility of the property owner. Driveway foundations will consist of the following: removal of all unsuitable subsoils; installation of 13 inches of bank run gravel and three inches of crushed gravel compacted in lifts; two inches of base course asphalt, compacted and 1 1/2 inches of top course of asphalt, compacted. All materials used are to meet current specifications for construction and materials as established by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. All materials excavated from City property, including curbing, cobblestone and/or materials of value, are understood to he the property of the City of Franklin and will be salvaged and disposed of at the City's direction.
In cases where driveways are installed at a negative grade to meet the existing paved surface, sufficient safeguards and design standards shall be put in place to prevent surface water from the City right-of-way to run off into the driveway. Should poor design or lack of maintenance allow for such surface water run-off draining into the driveway, it is the responsibility of the property owner to take corrective action to eliminate or minimize such.
Emergency vehicle access. Building permits and/or driveway permits shall not be issued for a building intended or suitable for human occupancy until there exists actual or planned access to the structure to provide appropriate access and maneuverability for life safety equipment, including fire apparatus, as approved by the Director of Municipal Services, Chief of the Fire Department or other designated City officials. In the event of planned access, the access structures shall be constructed in accordance with the above approval prior to commencement of construction of the driveway and building.
For access to a proposed commercial or industrial enterprise, to a subdivision or to a multifamily dwelling containing more than two units, all of which for purposes of this article shall be considered a single parcel of land, said permit application shall be accompanied by such engineering drawings as may be required by the Director of Municipal Services or the Franklin City Planning Board, showing information as set forth in § 149-6.
No driveway permit shall allow a residential driveway entrance, exit or approach to be constructed more than 24 feet in width. Driveway entrances and exits for nonresidential use shall be as follows:
Where one entrance/exit is designed to service a parcel, the width shall not exceed 32 feet.
Where two entrances/exits are designed to service a parcel, the width shall not exceed 24 feet.
Modifications to sidewalks and curbing. Affected sidewalks and curbing will be restored in a fashion to provide proper pedestrian and handicap accessibility as required by City and state codes. Replacement of curbing, sidewalks, etc., or the new installation of such will be at the expense of the property owner.
As previously noted, a driveway is a private way. Accordingly, no driveway may subsequently be dedicated to the City as a public street unless the owner(s) of the property served by such driveway makes, at their expense, any and all improvements necessary to bring such roadway into conformance with the construction standards and specifications established by the City.
No person shall engage in the customary use of a certain portion of privately owned land for access to any public way in the City of Franklin unless the provisions of this article have been complied with. Prior to granting any permit applied for as described above, the Director of Municipal Services (or designees) may take into consideration traffic volume, traffic pattern and the particular characteristics of the area and parcel for which the permit is applied for.
If the driveway permit is in conjunction with the issuance of a building permit, the final certificate of occupancy (CO) will not be issued unless the conditions of this ordinance and the driveway permit have been satisfactorily completed and the reinspection of work conducted and approved by the Municipal Services Director (or designees).
Where the Director of Municipal Services (or designees) finds that an unnecessary hardship may result from the strict compliance with these regulations, the City may modify or grant certain variances from the regulations and/or standards so that substantial justice may be achieved and the public interest secured, provided that such modifications shall not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of the Driveway Ordinance and Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.
Whoever violates any provisions of this article shall be fined not more than $100. The landowner shall be liable for the cost of restoration of the affected public street or publicly owned land adjacent thereto to a condition that conforms to the provisions of this article to the satisfaction of the Municipal Services Director (or designees). If the landowner fails to ensure that the above said conformance is accomplished within 30 days of receiving written notification from the Director of Municipal Services (or designees), the restoration will be accomplished by the City or its subcontracting agent and all costs associated charged to the landowner.
The Municipal Services Director (or designees) reserves the right to require the posting of security in order to ensure completion of the project in compliance with the permit. Such forms of security may be in the form of a performance bond or other collateral, posted by the permit applicant and held by the City until the Municipal Services Director (or designees) is satisfied that all conditions of the permit requirements and this article have been satisfied. The amount of the performance bond or collateral shall be based on an engineer's cost to complete estimate for all necessary improvements. Such performance bond will not be released until the Municipal Services Director (or designees) certifies in writing that the required improvements have been made in accordance with the permit and any accompanying plans.