Township of Union, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Union 7-16-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 82.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 168.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 172.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Union Township Driveway Ordinance."
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ADJACENT
The state of being side by side, next to or adjoining one another.
APPLICANT
The person (landowner or developer) applying for a driveway permit.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
The Board of Supervisors of the Township of Union, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Also may be referred to as the "Board" or "Township Supervisors."
CARTWAY
The portion of a street right-of-way, paved or unpaved, and intended for vehicular use.
CENTER LINE (STREET)
A line measured midway between and parallel to the street right-of-way line, or as otherwise defined on plans and deeds of record.
CLEAR SIGHT TRIANGLE
An area of unobstructed vision at the intersection of a street and driveway defined by lines of sight between points at a given distance from the intersection of the street and driveway center lines.
CURBLINE
The edge of the cartway.
DEVELOPER
Any landowner, whether an individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, estate, trust, or any other group or combination acting as a unit (or agent of said landowner authorized thereby) which undertakes the subdivision or development of land.
DRIVEWAY
A private right-of-way providing for vehicular and pedestrian access between a public street and a parking area or garage, within a lot or property.
DRIVEWAY WIDTH
The narrowest width of a driveway measured perpendicular to the center line of the driveway.
EXCAVATION
Any act by which earth, sand, gravel or rock is dug into, cut, quarried or moved.
FRONTAGE
The width of a lot or property which abuts a street, being the distance measured along the street right-of-way line from one side lot line to the other.
GOVERNING BOARD
The Board of Supervisors of Union Township.
GRADE
The inclination, with the horizontal, of a street which is generally expressed by stating the vertical rise or fall as a percentage of the horizontal distance, and/or the level of the land improved or unimproved.
IMPROVEMENT
Those physical additions and modifications to the land that may be required to insure that the site is suitable for the proposed land use, including but not limited to, buildings, structures, grading, utilities, and the like.
LANDOWNER
The legal or beneficial owner or owners of land, including the holder of an option or contract to purchase (whether or not such option or contract is subject to any condition). A lessee under a written lease, who has written authorization of the legal owner, shall be deemed to be a landowner for the purpose of this chapter.
LOT
A tract or parcel of land, regardless of size, held in single or joint ownership, not necessarily a lot or lots shown on a duly recorded map. The term "lot" shall also mean parcel, plot, site or any similar term.
LOT FRONTAGE
That portion of a lot which fronts on a street.
PARKING LOT
An off-street area designed solely for the parking of motor vehicles, including driveways, passageways, and maneuvering space appurtenant thereto. Six or more parking spaces shall constitute a parking lot for the purposes of this chapter.
PAVEMENT
A hard-wearing road surface, such as black top/macadam or concrete or any combination thereof, but not including a dirt or gravel street surface.
PAVEMENT/CARTWAY EDGE
The edge of the main traveled portion of any street or highway, exclusive of shoulders.
PERMIT
A permit issued by the permit officer for the penetration and occupancy of the right-of-way area of a local street by the improvement or installation and construction of a driveway therein.
PERMIT OFFICER
The individual or firm appointed by the Board of Supervisors having the responsibility of administering and enforcing the terms and provisions of this chapter.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, institution, cooperative enterprise, municipality, federal government or agency, state government or agency, or any other entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
PLAN
The proposal for subdivision or land development, including all covenants, grants or easements and other conditions relating to use, location and bulk of buildings, density of development, common open space and public facilities.
RIGHT-OF-WAY
The total width of any land that is reserved or dedicated for streets, utilities, drainage facilities, or other public purposes.
A. 
The legal right-of-way as currently established by the commonwealth or other appropriate governing authority.
B. 
The right-of-way deemed necessary to provide adequate width for future improvements.
RIGHT-OF-WAY AREA
The area between the right-of-way lines of a street.
SHOULDER
The portion of a street, contiguous to the main traveled portion, for accommodation of stopped vehicles, for emergency use, and for lateral support of base and surface courses and pavements.
SIGHT DISTANCE
The required horizontal length of a roadway visible to the driver of a passenger vehicle at any given point on the roadway when the view is unobstructed by vehicular traffic. Horizontal sight distances shall be measured in each direction from the edge of the cartway at a point 3.5 feet above the road surface to a point 4.0 feet above the center line of the road surface. The minimum horizontal sight distances shall be based on the functional classification, speed limit and grade of the intersecting street, utilizing the latest standards of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
STREET
A public or private right-of-way, excluding driveways, intended as means of vehicular and pedestrian travel, furnishing access to abutting properties. The word "street" includes thoroughfare, avenue, boulevard, court, drive, expressway, highway and similar terms.
A. 
A street serving a large volume of comparatively high-speed and long-distance traffic.
B. 
A street which, in addition to providing access to abutting properties, intercepts minor streets to provide a route serving 50 or more dwelling units to give access to community facilities and/or arterial streets or other collector streets. Streets within an industrial or commercial development shall be considered collector streets.
C. 
A street used primarily to provide access to residential properties.
D. 
A minor street intersecting another street at one end, and terminating in a vehicular turnaround at the other end.
E. 
A minor street, parallel and adjacent to an arterial or collector street (separated by a reverse strip) which provides access to abutting properties and control of intersections.
F. 
A minor right-of-way providing secondary vehicular access to the side or rear of two or more properties.
G. 
A street offered for dedication and accepted by the Township for public use.
H. 
A street not offered or intended to be offered for dedication to the Township for public use.
STREET LINE
The dividing line between a lot and the outside boundary of a public street, road, or highway right-of-way legally open or officially mapped by a municipality or higher governmental authority, between a lot and the outside boundary of a street shown on a recorded subdivision or land development plan, or between a lot and a private street or road which the owners or tenants of one or more lots held in single and separate ownership have a right-of-way.
SUBDIVIDER
Any landowner whether an individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, estate, trust, or any other group or combination acting as a unit (or agent or said landowner authorized thereby) which undertakes the subdivision or development of land.
SUBDIVISION
The division or redivision of a lot, tract or parcel of land by any means into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land, including changes in existing lot lines for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of lease, partition by the court for distribution to heirs or devises, transfer of ownership or building or lot development; provided, however, that the subdivision by lease of land for agricultural purposes into parcels of more than 10 acres, not involving any new street or easement of access or any residential dwelling, shall be exempted.
SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
Improvements to a driveway shall be deemed to be substantial if a previously unpaved driveway is to be paved; if a drainage pipe is to be installed or replaced; if any grading or excavation is to be done within 10 feet of a local street right-of-way; if the original grade or design of a driveway is to be changed; or if any work done, or to be done, is likely to create, increase or otherwise affect stormwater flow or discharge within the cartway or right-of-way area of any local street.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Union, Berks County, Pennsylvania.
No existing or proposed driveway in Union Township shall be laid out, opened, installed, constructed or substantially improved unless it shall be in accordance with the following:
A. 
Any driveway which requires the penetration, encroachment or occupancy of a state highway right-of-way area shall be laid out, opened, designed, installed, constructed or substantially improved in accordance with a permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 441 of Title 67 of the Pennsylvania Code, Access to and Occupancy of Highways by Driveways and Local Roads.
B. 
Any driveway which requires the penetration, encroachment or occupancy of a local street right-of-way area shall be laid out, opened, designed, installed, constructed or substantially improved only in accordance with a permit issued by the Union Township permit officer under the provisions of this chapter, any other applicable ordinances of Union Township, and such driveway regulations, provisions and specifications as may be enacted by the Board of Supervisors of Union Township, from time to time.
C. 
Except as herein provided, any driveway which causes silt, stone, debris or water to be deposited in a right-of-way area of any local street shall be improved to eliminate said discharge. A permit shall be required as set forth above if the corrective work is a substantial improvement. In those instances where a road has adequate drainage facilities to control stormwater runoff onto the road right-of-way, the permit officer has the discretion to grant an exemption from the improvement requirements set forth by this chapter.
A. 
Any person required to obtain a driveway permit under the terms of this chapter shall make application for the same on a form approved by the Board of Supervisors and accompanied by a fee in an amount to be determined by the Board of Supervisors.
B. 
No permit as herein provided for shall be required for normal and customary maintenance and repair of an existing driveway, providing such normal and customary maintenance and repair does not constitute substantial improvement.
C. 
In addition to submitting to the permit officer the application and the application fee, the application shall be accompanied by the following information:
(1) 
A statement giving the location, purpose and description of all work to be done.
(2) 
A driveway sketch and driveway profile plan prepared by the applicant showing the area to be affected, existing improvements presently erected and/or constructed thereon, proposed improvements and all property boundary lines within 100 feet of the proposed driveway. The driveway sketch and driveway profile plan shall be subject to the approval of the Township Engineer.
(3) 
If the discharge or passage of surface water drainage onto or within the right-of-way area of a local street will be affected, stormwater runoff calculations indicating runoff prior to and after the proposed work, when such calculations are requested by the permit officer.
(4) 
Information pertaining to the treatment of storm drainage and means of sediment and erosion control during and after the proposed work, when requested by the permit officer.
D. 
The location, design and mode of construction of all driveways and drainage facilities is subject to the approval of the permit officer. The permit officer may require that the plans filed with the application shall be altered to reflect any changes or modifications which the permit officer shall deem necessary to meet the requirements of this chapter.
E. 
All work shall be in strict compliance with the plans and specifications for which the permit officer issued a permit.
F. 
The permit officer shall not issue a permit for any work to be performed under the terms and conditions of this chapter until such time as the permit officer shall receive from the applicant all required information and until such time as the permit officer has had an adequate opportunity to investigate and research the said application. The permit officer shall either approve or reject an application for a permit within 30 days after the permit officer has received from the applicant all information and documentation required by this chapter.
A. 
All driveways and related improvements shall be constructed and located in such a manner as not to impair drainage or maintenance within any street right-of-way area, alter the stability of a roadway subgrade, materially change the drainage of adjacent areas, interfere with the traveling public, present a hazard to the free movement of normal street traffic, create areas of undue traffic congestion on the highway, or create a drainage or sedimentation problem on an adjacent property or street. All surface water runoff from the driveway shall be retained on the applicant's lot whenever possible.
B. 
All work for which a permit is required under the provisions of this chapter, shall be done in accordance with the standards of this § 86-5 and any other driveway regulations, provisions and specifications adopted by the Board of Supervisors from time to time. With respect to all driveways which access onto state highways, the design criteria applicable shall be those set forth in Title 67 of the Pennsylvania Code at Chapter 441, Access to and Occupancy of Highways by Driveways and Local Roads.
C. 
Driveway entrances shall be so located as to provide reasonable and safe sight distance to the operator of a vehicle departing from a driveway onto a local street. The location of all driveways is subject to approval by the permit officer. Clear sight triangles shall be provided at all proposed driveway intersections. The clear sight triangles shall be free from any vegetative obstructions. Within such triangles, no vision obstructing objects other than utility poles, streetlights, street signs or traffic signs shall be permitted that obscure vision above the height of 30 inches and below 10 feet measured from the center-line grade of the intersecting driveway and the local street.
D. 
A clear sight triangle shall be established from a distance of 50 feet measured in each direction from the point of intersection of the center lines of the driveway and a street, and from a point 20 feet behind the edge of the cartway of the intersecting street. The sight distance is determined in the field from a distance into the driveway of 10 feet from the pavement/cartway edge. All visual obstructions shall be removed permanently from this sight area.
E. 
Any repairs to a driveway for which a permit has been issued under this chapter shall be done in such a manner that the repairs shall not change the original design and specifications for the driveway, unless the new design and specifications are first submitted to the permit officer for approval. The permit officer will require the payment of the filing fee established by the Board of Supervisors.
F. 
Every driveway which requires the penetration or occupancy of a paved local street shall be paved from the pavement/cartway edge for a minimum distance of 20 feet. The area between the edge of the cartway and the ultimate right-of-way line shall not exceed a grade of 5%. All driveways exceeding a grade of 8% with positive drainage toward the public street to which it has access shall be paved. If paving of the driveway outside of the areas designated above is required for the purposes of drainage, erosion control, and/or safety, the permit officer shall have the authority to require that such additional paving be undertaken.
G. 
Driveway paving specifications shall consist of four inches of a compacted 2-A modified stone base and at least three inches of a bituminous base course.
H. 
All driveways shall have a width of at least 10 feet, and the entrance shall be rounded at a minimum radius of five feet. The entire driveway entrance, including the radii, shall be located within the frontage of the property which is to be served by the driveway. No driveway shall be closer than 10 feet from a property boundary line.
I. 
All driveways shall be located at least 50 feet from the point of intersection of the nearest street right-of-way line.
J. 
No single lot or parcel of land shall have more than one driveway. If the owner of a parcel with at least 125 feet of frontage demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board of Supervisors that an additional driveway is necessary, the permit officer will be directed to issue a permit for a second driveway in accordance with the terms of this chapter.
K. 
All driveways shall have a leveling area not to exceed a grade of 5% between the edge of the cartway and the ultimate right-of-way line. At no location shall the maximum grade of a driveway exceed 14%.
L. 
The intersection of all driveways within the pavement/cartway edge shall be constructed by use of either a drainage swale or pipe, at the option of the applicant and with the concurrence of the permit officer. If a drainage swale is used, it shall slope from the cartway at a grade of 5% for a minimum of eight feet from the pavement/cartway edge. If a drainage swale is used, the gutter shall be at least six inches lower than the edge of the pavement and eight feet from the edge of the pavement.
M. 
This criterion may be modified by the permit officer if field conditions dictate such. If a pipe is used, the size shall be determined by drainage computations using a ten-year storm frequency.
N. 
The minimum pipe size shall be 15 inches. The pipe shall be located at least eight feet from the edge of the pavement unless field conditions, upon Township inspection, indicate modification of this criterion. The drainage pipe shall be of a length considered sufficient by the permit officer.
O. 
Where driveways are placed in relation to curb areas, the curb depression shall be two feet wider than the drive. The curb shall be depressed to 1 1/2 inches from the gutter line.
P. 
All driveways shall have a cross section cross slope of 3/8 inch per foot incorporated as a crown or continuous slope from edge to edge of pavement or such other cross slope as may be approved by the permit officer upon satisfactory demonstration by the applicant of the appropriateness thereof.
Q. 
The angle of a driveway as it intersections a street shall be such that a vehicle entering the driveway may do so in an orderly and safe manner with a minimum of interference to other street traffic and such that a vehicle leaving the driveway may enter safely into the lane of traffic moving in the desired direction. Driveways shall intersect streets as nearly as possible at right angles, and in no case at an angle of less than 60° or more than 120°.
R. 
A driveway sketch and driveway profile plan prepared by the applicant showing the area to be affected, existing improvements presently erected and/or constructed thereon, proposed improvements and all property boundary lines within 100 feet of the proposed driveway. The driveway sketch and driveway profile plan shall be subject to the approval of the Township Engineer.
All driveways shall be maintained by the property owner in such a manner as not to interfere with the design, maintenance, and drainage of public streets, nor the safe and convenient passage of traffic upon the local streets. All such maintenance violations shall be subject to the maximum fines which can be imposed by this chapter.
A. 
No paving of a driveway for which a driveway permit has been issued pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall be commenced until the permit officer shall have inspected the site and approved the work performed up to the date of the site inspection. The applicant shall give the permit officer a minimum of 48 hours' advance notice before paving is commenced in order to afford the permit officer the opportunity to perform the site inspection.
B. 
Within 48 hours after completion of the work for which a permit was issued, the party to whom the permit was issued shall notify the permit officer of the completion of work so that the permit officer may inspect the same. If the work was not performed in accordance with the plans and specifications approved by the permit officer, the holder of the permit shall be directed by the permit officer, in writing, to take immediate steps at the permit holder's own expense toward placing the work in such conditions as to conform to the approved plans and specifications.
A. 
Any person, firm, corporation or other entity applying for any permit under this chapter agrees by making said application to indemnify and save the Township and its agents, servants, employees and/or contractors harmless from and against all liabilities of whatever nature arising during the performance of the work, whether or not the liability arises as a result of the negligence of the person, firm, corporation or other entity to whom the permit was issued.
B. 
The application for a permit shall contain appropriate language indicating that the applicant agrees to indemnify and save the Township harmless as aforesaid.
A. 
Any person, firm, corporation or other entity who violates or fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter or of any of the terms and conditions of any permit issued pursuant thereto shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty, of this Code.
B. 
The permit officer or any duly authorized agent of the permit officer of the Township may revoke any permit issued to any person, firm, corporation or other entity violating any of the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
The imposition of penalties herein prescribed shall not preclude the Township from instituting an appropriate action or proceeding to prevent the performance of work or acts declared to be unlawful under the provisions of this chapter, or to restrain, correct or abate a violation.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the Township's police power and is hereby declared not to be related to the zoning and/or land planning authority of the Township and any person aggrieved by the application, enforcement or other adjudication made pursuant to the terms of this chapter may appeal within 30 days of said adjudication for a hearing before the Board of Supervisors of Union Township in accordance with the applicable portions of the Pennsylvania Local Agency Law, as amended.
A. 
All ordinances and resolutions and parts of ordinances and resolutions inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter are hereby repealed insofar as they affect any work done after the effective date of this chapter, but said ordinances or resolutions or parts thereof shall not be repealed insofar as they apply to permits issued or acts of violations occurring before the effective date of this chapter.
B. 
Notwithstanding anything set forth above in this chapter, whenever the provisions of this chapter shall be inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter 200, Zoning, as amended from time to time, or other applicable Township ordinances as are from time to time in effect and the provisions of the said ordinances are more restrictive or contain more stringent requirements than are set forth in this chapter, then the provisions of the Chapter 200, Zoning, as amended from time to time, or other applicable Township ordinances shall prevail and be applicable.
C. 
The provisions of this chapter are intended as minimum standards for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare of the residents and inhabitants of the Township. However, if the literal compliance with any mandatory provisions of this chapter is shown by the applicant to the Board of Supervisors present at a public meeting to be unreasonable and to cause undue hardship as applied to the applicant's property, the Board of Supervisors may grant a waiver of such mandatory provisions if the waiver will not be contrary to the public interest.