[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Eastampton 4-26-1971 by Ord. No. 1971-4 (Ch. 49 of the 1974 Township Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following matters are hereby determined, declared and recited:
Some buildings or structures in the Township of Eastampton are so located on their lots as to prevent ready access to them by fire-fighting and other emergency equipment from the public street adjoining such lots, making it necessary to utilize the private driveways or other access areas on the lots to reach the structure.
In some cases such private driveways are so narrow that parking of motor vehicles or other obstructions on one or both sides of such driveways tend to prevent the ready access of fire-fighting and other emergency equipment in case of need, with consequent danger to the property and its inhabitants, as well as to the adjoining properties and their occupants and the Township at large.
Among such properties are stores, shopping centers and apartment projects or other rental projects where it is apparent that private effort through ordinary civil means by the owners to prevent tenants or customers from obstructing such driveways or access areas has proven futile.
By reason of the foregoing, it is determined that the public safety and welfare requires that a means be devised to designate such private driveways as fire lanes where necessary for the access of fire-fighting and other emergency equipment and to define and prohibit what shall constitute obstructions of such fire lanes.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The person named as owner in the current tax assessment records of the Township, and his address shall be the address shown therein to which his bills are sent.
- PRIVATE DRIVEWAY OR ACCESS AREA (or the grammatical variants thereof)
- Any portion of a lot of land, other than a public street, across which vehicles travel or must travel to reach a structure on the lot, and shall include parking lots appurtenant to the structure or structures thereon and the lanes, if any, marked or indicated thereon for vehicular travel, as well as driveways. Where the physical sidelines of such driveway are not clearly marked or defined, the report and regulations referred to in §§ 264-3 and 264-5 of this chapter shall include a designation of the area or lane that is to constitute the fire lane and shall require the sidelines of such lane to be marked by yellow lines.
Whenever the Fire Chief in the Township of Eastampton, upon his or her own volition or upon instruction by the Chief of Police or Fire Marshal, shall determine that in the event of an emergency it would be necessary to utilize the private driveway on any particular lot for access to the structures on such lots by fire-fighting and other emergency equipment, and that without utilization of such private driveways for such access, the fire or other emergency could not be effectively handled from the public streets adjoining the property, and that the obstruction of such driveway in whole or in part would impede such access with consequent danger to the public safety and welfare, he or she shall submit a written report thereof, together with his or her recommendations thereon to the Chief of Police or Fire Marshal, which recommendation shall include proposed regulations for preventing such obstruction.
The Chief of Police or Fire Marshal, upon receipt of the report, shall conduct a public hearing. Written notice of the hearing shall be given in person or by certified mail to the owner of the property 10 days prior to the date thereof, and the notice shall set forth the findings and recommendations of the Fire Chief. The notice shall also direct the property owner to show cause at the time and place therein set forth why the recommendations should not be accepted and such regulations or some modification thereof be adopted to prevent such obstruction. A brief notice of the time and place of such hearing, the address of the property to be affected and the place where such recommendations can be inspected prior to the hearing and that any interested person may be heard shall be published in the official newspaper of the Township once at least 10 days before the hearing.
After the hearing, the Chief of Police or Fire Marshal shall approve or disapprove the recommendations and findings of the Fire Chief, or some modification thereof. If the recommendations are approved by the Chief of Police or Fire Marshal, he shall designate the traffic, parking or other regulations so adopted and to be observed to prevent such obstruction and cause them to be filed with the Municipal Clerk as a public record annexed to this chapter.
Signs briefly digesting the regulations shall be placed along the driveway regulated.
Signs shall have white background, red letters and the words "fire lane."
In addition, a digest of the regulations, such as "no parking," shall appear under the designation "fire lane."
The signs shall be 24 inches by 18 inches square and erected on metal standards and be on the side facing the flow of traffic.
Signs shall be posted at intervals of 50 feet on the driveways or alleys designated.
[Amended 9-27-1971 by Ord. No. 1971-7]
No owner, tenant, customer, visitor, deliveryman or member of the public at large shall violate any of the provisions of the traffic, parking or other regulations so designated by the Chief of Police or Fire Marshal and so annexed to this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed an acceptance for public use of any such driveways.
[Amended 5-28-1974 by Ord. No. 1974-5]
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalty set forth in Chapter 1, Article II, Penalties for Violations, of the Township Code. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.