Town of Potsdam, NY
St. Lawrence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Potsdam 6-8-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]

Excavations — See Ch. 60.

Subdivision of land — See Ch. 93.

Zoning — See Ch. 110.

§ 86-1

§ 86-2
Abandoned roads. 

§ 86-3
Roadway specifications. 

§ 86-4
Additional regulation. 

The purpose of this article is to amend the Town Code by establishing minimum requirements for abandoned and other roads in the Town of Potsdam.


Upon recommendation of the Town of Potsdam Highway Superintendent, the Town Board may classify any road no longer required by the Town of Potsdam as "abandoned," following a public hearing and vote.


The land upon which the abandoned road is located will revert to the host lot(s).


A road once classified as "abandoned" may only be reinstated through petition to the Town Board by the property owner(s) or the Highway Superintendent. Prior to approval as a Town road, it must meet the criteria as outlined in this section and be certified by the Highway Superintendent.


All costs necessary to restore an abandoned road to a condition required for Town ownership will be the responsibility of the land owner/developer.




NY Highway Law § 205, Highways abandoned.


NY Highway Law § 205-b, Qualified abandonment of certain town highways.


NY Highway Law § 211-a, Abandonment of certain town highways.


NY Highway Law § 212-a, Abandoning of Parts of Town Highways.


NY Highway Law § 207, Discontinuance of highways.


NY Highway Law § 171, Highways by dedication.


All roadways and related construction, whether to be offered for dedication or not, shall be the responsibility of the developer unless otherwise indicated. This requirement shall include all developments, malls, subdivisions, and previously abandoned roads.


The road requirements are as follows:


The arrangement, character, extent, width, grade, and locations of all roadways shall conform to the Town Plan as such exists at the time, and shall be considered in their relation to existing and planned roads, topographical conditions, public convenience and safety, and the proposed uses of the land to be served by such roadways. Road grades shall conform as closely as possible to the natural topography, and all roads shall be arranged so as to allow for a maximum number of the proposed number of building sites to be situated at or above the finished grade level of the roadway.


The arrangement of roadways in a development shall provide for the continuation, if appropriate, of residential roadways in the surrounding areas and for the composition of a convenient system for both the development and connection to the existing highway system.


Roadway layout shall consider the installation of utility distribution and service lines and shall be situated so as to best accommodate these installations in an acceptable manner.


Road layout shall minimize stream crossings, avoid traversing slopes in excess of 25%, and avoid soils with a susceptibility to erosion or slope failure.


Local roadways shall be laid out so that their use by through traffic is discouraged.


The arrangement of roadways in any development shall consider provision for continuation of collector or key local roads to adjoining property which have the potential to be similarly subdivided and to existing road systems.


Clearing and grading for road and utility installation shall be limited to that which is necessary to construct safe roads, provide needed roadside and embankment drainage, construct stable cuts and fills, and provide for utility installation.


The construction of roads and the installation of utilities shall be planned sequentially, so that construction operations do not interfere with or destroy completed work.


Every roadway shown on a plat that is hereafter filed or recorded in the office of the County Clerk shall be deemed to be a private road until such time as it has been formally offered for cession to the Town and formally accepted as a public road by resolution of the Town Board, or alternatively, until it has been condemned by the Town for use as a public roadway.


Roadway jogs with center line offsets of less than 150 feet shall not be permitted. Any subdivision, mall, or business road intersecting an existing arterial or collector road shall be no closer to another intersecting roadway than the stopping site distance as determined by the configuration of the roadway at that point and the legal speed limit.


All roadway intersections shall be rounded by curves with a minimum radius of 25 feet as measured from the edge of the improved travel surface. Within the triangular area formed by connecting two points 50 feet from the intersecting road rights-of-way, visibility shall not be restricted by the natural landform nor by the location of any structure or planting.


The length of a tangent between reverse curves on arterial and collector roadways shall be a minimum of 150 feet, and on local roadways a minimum of 100 feet.


Roadways shall be laid out so as to intersect as nearly as possible at right angles. No roadway shall intersect any other roadway at less than 75º, and all roadways shall join each other so that for a distance of at least 100 feet, the roadway is approximately at right angles to the roadway it joins.


Roadway vertical gradients should not be more that 12% over any one-hundred-foot distance and shall not exceed 3% within 50 feet of any intersection.


Dead-end roadways shall not be permitted, except as provided herein:


A closed turnaround or cul-de-sac may be permitted where no through-connection is possible or desirable, providing it is designed with a turn-right-way diameter of at least 150 feet.


No such dead-end roadway or segment thereof shall provide the sole means of access to more than 25 dwelling units.


Reservation of an easement of appropriate width shall be provided for pedestrian or utility connection to adjoining property or the existing roadway system, where desirable.


Proper roadway drainage facilities shall be installed where required. Double-wall corrugated polyethylene or corrugated metal pipe shall be used throughout for all culverts or subsurface drainage systems. Drainage shall be accommodated by one (1) or a combination of the following:


A roadside ditch a minimum of 18 inches below the finished center line;


A concrete or asphalt gutter; or


A concrete or asphalt curb with storm sewer.


Road ditches shall be designed to have a minimum hydraulic capacity equal to the peak runoff rate from a five-year, twenty-four-hour rainfall. Drainage culverts shall be of adequate size and located so as to maintain preconstruction surface drainage patterns, provided such patterns were acceptable prior to construction.


Catch basins, manholes, seepage drains, reinforced concrete pipe, or other drainage appurtenances and all under drains shall be installed or constructed in accordance with the direction and requirements of the Planning Board, shall vary in size as conditions may require, and shall be connected from basins or manholes to the proper lines and grades in such a manner as directed by the Board, and all such under drains shall connect with piping or ditches leading to a live stream or natural drainageway as required by the Board.


Stream crossings shall be roughly at right angles, and bridge structures or culverts shall be designed to carry the peak runoff rate from:


A ten-year, twenty-four-hour rainfall if the contributing drainage area is one square mile or less.


A twenty-five-year, twenty-four-hour rainfall if the contributing drainage area is between one and four square miles.


A one-hundred-year, twenty-four-hour rainfall if the contributing drainage area is more that four square miles.


Fill slopes shall not be steeper than three horizontal on one vertical (3:1) and cut slopes shall not be steeper than three horizontal one vertical (3:1) or as approved by the Highway Superintendent.


Rights-of-way and pavement or improved surface area shall have the following widths:


Minimum right-of-way is 50 feet.


Minimum pavement or improved surface area is 20 feet, plus curbing or two four-foot shoulders.


Road bed material.


Material for road beds will be as follows:


Minimum eight-inch depth of crushed gravel; and


Minimum two-inch depth of three-inch minus crusher run; and


Minimum two-inch depth of three-fourths-inch minus crusher run.


All material must be compacted.




Minimum three-inch depth of Type 3 binder, and


Minimum one-and-one-half-inch depth of Type 7 top.


Shoulder material: minimum two feet each side of blacktop with no curb shall be oil and stone mix compacted.


Curbing: curbing shall be 18 inches deep and six inches thick and when emplaced shall be six inches above finish grade.


Where curbs exist on abutting properties, their extension by the developer may be required, at the discretion of the Planning Board, throughout all or a portion of the proposed plan. All curbs shall be approved by the Planning Board. Where curbs are not required, adequate ditches or gutters shall be constructed and protected by seeding or appropriate surfacing by the developer.


The Planning Board may require such sidewalks, as it deems necessary to provide for the safety of pedestrians. Concrete sidewalks at least four feet wide and four inches thick shall be installed where required, as specified by the Planning Board.


All topsoil, humus, tree stumps, and like organic material shall be removed from the roadbed, and the subgrade shall be approved by the Highway Superintendent before any gravel is placed upon it.


Each new or existing road, which is intended for cession to the town, shall be constructed in a manner specified by this law.


All cleared areas associated with the construction of roads and installation of utilities, excluding those areas comprising road surfaces or shoulders, all exposed borrow areas, and all cut and fill slopes, including ditch banks, shall be successfully vegetated to grasses or legumes that are suited to site conditions and as approved by the Planning Board. Ditch bottoms shall be constructed and maintained to minimize soil erosion during periods of design flow by means of revegetation, sodding, mulching netting, stone paving, riprap, and other materials or combinations of these, depending on hydraulics and soil properties.

Nothing herein shall be deemed to be a waiver or restriction upon any rights and powers available to the Town of Potsdam to further regulate the subject matter of this chapter.