Town of Millsboro, DE
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Millsboro 8-5-1985 by Ord. No. XXXIV. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 174.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 200.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall be applicable unless the context indicates to the contrary:
BUSINESS OCCUPANCIES
Include all buildings used for the transaction of business (other than that covered under mercantile) for the keeping of accounts and records and similar purposes. Minor office occupancy incidental to operations in another occupancy shall not be considered for purposes of review under this chapter.
EDUCATIONAL OCCUPANCIES
Includes all buildings used for the gathering of groups of six or more persons for purposes of instruction.
EMERGENCY ACCESS
That portion of accessibility to a building or parcel of land which is necessary for emergency vehicles to gain access to exits, standpipe connections and building perimeter of a building during an emergency or like condition.
ENFORCING AUTHORITY
The Chief of Police of the Town of Millsboro or his duly authorized representative.
FORESTRY LANE
A fire lane providing perimeter access for emergency vehicles and personnel to a building, the lane to be delineated and marked by shrubbery or other plantings.
INDUSTRIAL OCCUPANCIES
Include factories making products of all kinds and properties devoted to operations, such as processing, assembling, mixing, packaging, finishing or decorating and repairing.
INSTITUTIONAL BUILDINGS
Those used for purposes such as medical or other treatment or care of persons suffering from physical or mental illness, disease or infirmity; for the care of infants, convalescents or aged persons, and for penal or corrective purposes. Institutional buildings provide sleeping facilities for the occupants and are occupied by persons who are mostly incapable of self-preservation because of age, physical or mental disability or because of security measures not under the occupants' control.
MERCANTILE
Includes shopping centers, stores, markets and rooms for the display and sale of merchandise. Mercantile occupancies are broken down into three classes as noted below:
A. 
Class A: all stores having aggregate gross area of 30,000 square feet or more or utilizing more than three floor levels.
B. 
Class B: all stores of less than 30,000 square feet aggregate gross area, but over 3,000 square feet, or utilizing any floors above or below street floor level.
C. 
Class C: all stores of 3,000 square feet or less aggregate gross area and limited to street floor only.
MIXED OCCUPANCIES
Two or more classes of occupancy occurring in the same building, in which case the most stringent requirements shall apply to the building, except as set forth in the definition of "place of assembly" below.
PERIMETER ACCESSIBILITY
The building's perimeter, which normally constitutes the building's exterior walls, and shall be measured at and along the uppermost portion of the building's exterior wall.
A. 
Includes, but is not limited to, all buildings or portions of buildings used for gathering together 50 or more persons in commercial places of assembly and 100 or more persons in noncommercial places of assembly. Places of assembly shall include those facilities used for such purposes as deliberation, worship, entertainment, amusement or awaiting transportation. Places of assembly are classified as follows:
B. 
Class A: capacity of 1,000 persons or more.
C. 
Class B: capacity of 300 to 1,000 persons.
D. 
Class C: capacity of 100 to 300 persons.
E. 
Occupancy of any room or space for assembly purposes by less than 100 persons in a building classified for a primary use shall be classed for the primary use for purposes of review under this chapter.
PRIMARY EXITS
The principal entrance/exit to a building and/or developed parcel of land.
PRIMARY FIRE LANE
That portion of the emergency access which shall serve the primary exits and typical storefront portions of a building or developed parcel of land.
A. 
Includes buildings or groups of buildings under the same management in which there are more than 15 sleeping accommodations for hire, primarily used by transients who are lodged with or without meals, whether designated as a hotel, inn, club, motel or by any other name. So-called apartment hotels shall be classified as hotels because they are potentially subject to transient occupancy like that of hotels.
B. 
Includes buildings containing three or more living units with independent cooking and bathroom facilities, whether designated as apartment house, tenement, garden apartment or by any other name.
C. 
Includes buildings where group sleeping accommodations are provided for persons not members of the same family group in one room or in a series of closely associated rooms under joint occupancy and single management, as in college dormitories, fraternity houses, military barracks and ski lodges, with or without meals.
D. 
Includes buildings in which separate sleeping rooms are rented providing sleeping accommodations for a total of 15 or less persons, on either a transient or permanent basis, with or without meals, but without separate cooking facilities for individual occupants, except as provided in one- and two-family dwellings.
E. 
Includes dwellings in which each living unit is occupied by members of a single family, with rooms rented to outsiders, if any, not accommodating more than three persons.
SECONDARY EXITS
The required exits from either the sides or rear of a building which are not customarily used for customer entrance/access.
SECONDARY FIRE LANE
That portion of an emergency access which shall provide accessibility to secondary exits, fire department connections and alike features of fire protection which are not normally considered as part of the storefront portions of a building or parcel of land and do not normally have customary access by the public.
STORAGE
Includes all buildings or structures utilized primarily for the storage or sheltering of goods, merchandise, products, vehicles or animals.
The purpose of this chapter is to specify basic design and marking criteria in order to provide access by emergency equipment and personnel to buildings, fire hydrants, standpipe and sprinkler connections and exits to buildings in multifamily residential buildings, commercial buildings, public and private places of assembly and buildings involving educational, institutional, industrial and storage occupancies, and to avoid requirements which might involve unreasonable hardships or unnecessary inconvenience and interference with the normal use of a building or a parcel of land but to require compliance with a minimum degree of accessibility.
A. 
This chapter sets forth the design and marking of fire lanes and other such items necessary to locate effectively and extinguish a fire or similar emergency around a building or upon property.
B. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the design or marking of fire lanes and similar matters by the owner when, in the opinion of the enforcing authority, such marking exceeds the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
The provisions of this chapter encompass new and existing buildings and properties; provided, however, that for an existing building or existing parcel of land, the provisions hereof are not intended to require access to the degree that would be required in the construction of new roads but it is intended to require uniform marking and Fire Department accessibility.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not be applicable to a single commercial establishment, whether new or existing, having less than a total of 2,500 square feet of floor space.
No modifications, alterations, additions or change in occupancy shall be made to any building, structure or land unless there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter except as provided in § 97-4B of this chapter.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter or any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $200 or be imprisoned for a term of not less than five days nor more than 30 days, or both, and shall pay the costs of prosecution.
For the purpose of this chapter, each day that a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.
A. 
Every building, structure and property shall be provided with sufficient emergency entrances and exits in order to provide effective ingress and egress to and from the building by emergency personnel to necessary equipment, including but not limited to fire hydrants, Fire Department connections, drafting pads, standpipes and sprinkler systems.
B. 
All emergency ways shall be clearly marked pursuant to the applicable provisions of this chapter.
C. 
All emergency exterior accessways shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full and instant use in the event of an emergency.
D. 
Every fire lane, hydrant, Fire Department connection and other like equipment shall be maintained by the property owner in order to keep said equipment properly marked, in good operating condition and visible at all times.
E. 
In the absence of any specific provisions in this chapter, signs or other notification, the color yellow shall denote "no parking."
F. 
All fire hydrants installed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall meet the specifications of the Town of Millsboro and shall be approved by the Chief of Police.
A. 
The location of a fire lane is dependent upon many considerations, such as occupancy, building height, type of construction and property grade.
B. 
The following criteria are submitted as a guide for the design and construction of fire lanes:
(1) 
A fire lane to be used for one-way traffic shall have a minimum width of 24 feet.
(2) 
A fire lane to be used for two-way traffic shall have a minimum width of 24 feet.
(3) 
Fire lanes shall be constructed pursuant to the specifications of the Town of Millsboro for street construction.
(4) 
All places of assembly and commercial establishments shall be provided with a fire lane not less than 24 feet in width. The fire lane shall extend for the entire length of the main area for ingress and egress to the building. The area of building perimeter shall be calculated pursuant to § 97-10G.
A. 
Building perimeter accessibility shall be determined pursuant to Subsection G of this section.
B. 
Fire lanes, both primary and secondary, shall not be located closer than 10 feet to an exterior wall of a building.
C. 
Fire lanes, both primary and secondary, shall not be located further than 50 feet from an exterior wall if one or two stories, 40 feet if three or four stories and 30 feet if over four stories in height.
D. 
Primary fire lanes shall be required to run along the front of the building as determined by the primary entrance/exit, windows, balconies, etc. In cases where there is more than one primary entrance/exit, each shall be served by a primary fire lane even if this exceeds the percent accessibility as required in Subsection G of this section.
E. 
Secondary fire lanes are acceptable to achieve the remaining required perimeter accessibility percentage and to provide access to Fire Department connections and secondary exits. In the case where it is determined that no primary fire lanes are required, secondary fire lanes may be used.
F. 
Perimeter accessibility may be reduced 40% when building is completely protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with NFPA 13 and approved by the Building Inspector or his duly authorized representative.
G. 
Perimeter accessibility percentages.
Type of Occupancy
Number of Stories
Place of assembly:
1-2
(Up to 25 feet)
3-4
(25 feet to 50 feet)
Over 4
(Over 50 feet)
Class A
85%
100%
100%
Class B
70%
90%
100%
Class C
50%
75%
100%
Educational:
All schools
50%
85%
100%
Day-care facilities
60%
90%
100%
Institutional
60%
100%
100%
Business
30%
65%
100%
Mercantile:
Class A
75%
100%
100%
Class B
50%
70%
85%
Class C
25%
50%
65%
Residential
35%
70%
100%
Industrial
Will be reviewed on an individual basis
Storage
Will be reviewed on an individual basis
NOTE: Any building not classified above will be reviewed on an individual basis.
H. 
Subsection G is a requirement for minimum accessibility, and larger percentages may be required in certain instances as determined by the Building Inspector or his duly authorized representative.
A. 
All exits from the building to the fire lane shall be marked with "no parking" signs and with diagonal demarcation lines as shown in Figures No. 1 and No. 2 attached hereto and made a part of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Figures No. 1 and No. 2 are included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Demarcation lines on primary exits from a building to a fire lane shall be measured from the center line of the exitway and shall extend for a distance of eight feet on either side of the center line of the exitway closest to the fire lane.
C. 
Demarcation lines on secondary exits shall be measured from the center line of the exitway and shall extend for a distance of six feet on either side of the center line of the exitway closest to the fire lane.
D. 
Markings need not be located on sidewalk surfaces, but shall extend from the end of the sidewalk surface to the fire lane.
E. 
No objects, stands, displays or other impediments to pedestrian and vehicular traffic shall be located within the demarcation area.
A. 
All fire lanes on private property shall be marked pursuant to Figures No. 1 through 7, inclusive.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Figures No. 1 through 7 are included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Approved signs (Figure No. 7[2]) shall be located along the curb or building line and shall be spaced at intervals of not more than 150 feet. All signs shall be located not less than six feet above the pavement and no higher than eight feet above the pavement.
[2]
Editor's Note: Figure No. 7 is included at the end of this chapter.
C. 
The words "FIRE" and "LANE" shall be stenciled on the road surface and read in such a way that the word "FIRE" shall be nearest the driver as he approaches the printing.
D. 
Each word shall be at least 10 feet in height and 12 feet or 24 feet in width so as to define the location of each lane.
E. 
The distance between the first and second word shall be not less than 30 feet.
F. 
The distance from the word "LANE" of the preceding message to the word "FIRE" of the upcoming message shall be not more than 100 feet.
G. 
Each fire lane shall be clearly defined by a demarcation line of not less than four inches wide on each side and parallel to the fire lane.
H. 
The beginning and end of each fire lane shall be denoted by demarcation lines not less than four inches in width.
A. 
All locations for fire hydrants shall be marked pursuant to the Figures No. 3, 4 and 5.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Figures No. 3, 4 and 5 are included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Where fire hydrants are located along the curbline, the area between the fire hydrant and the fire lane shall be stenciled with the words "NO PARKING" which shall extend for a distance of 15 feet measured from the center line of the fire hydrant.
C. 
Where fire hydrants are located on a curb island extension in such a manner that the hydrant is directly accessible to the traffic lane or the fire lane, the curb island extension shall be painted for the distance it traverses the traffic lane. The words "NO PARKING" shall be stenciled thereon.
D. 
The distance between a fire hydrant and the nearest demarcation line of a fire lane shall be no greater than seven feet.
E. 
The steamer connection on all fire hydrants shall be positioned so as to be facing the fire lane.
F. 
No fire hydrant shall be located within a parking lot in such a manner that it can be surrounded by parked vehicles. In the case of an existing fire hydrant, markings shall be provided as set forth in Subsection G of this section.
G. 
Where fire hydrants are located in parking lots or other areas susceptible to being blocked by parked vehicles, they shall be marked as follows:
(1) 
Fire hydrants shall be protected in all directions for a distance of seven feet with barriers or curbs as shown in Figure No. 4.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Figure No. 4 is included at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
One access lane which may be a traffic lane with a minimum width of 16 feet shall extend through the parking area and shall be adjacent to the demarcation area of the fire hydrant.
(3) 
The access lane shall extend from a through traffic lane to a through traffic lane.
The following criteria shall be used in designating and marking standpipe and sprinkler connections:
A. 
All standpipe and sprinkler corrections shall be marked pursuant to Figure No. 6.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure No. 6 is included at the end of this chapter.
B. 
Demarcation lines shall be measured from the center line of the connection and shall extend for a distance of four feet on either side of the connection.
C. 
Markings need not be located on sidewalk surfaces but shall extend from the end of the sidewalk surface to the public way.
D. 
No objects, stand, displays or other impediments to vehicular or pedestrian traffic shall be located within the demarcation area.
A. 
All lines marking demarcation lines shall be four inches in width.
B. 
All demarcation lines shall be yellow in color and only a vivid and durable paint suitable for road surfaces shall be used.
C. 
When the words "FIRE LANE" are required on road surfaces, the width for principal letter strokes shall be 12 inches for a primary fire lane (24 feet in width) and eight inches for a secondary fire lane (12 feet in width).
A. 
All forestry lanes shall be not less than 16 feet in width.
B. 
Forestry lanes shall be constructed with not less than six inches of crusher-run stone on a well-compacted base of select material with a four-inch maximum cover of topsoil and seed.
C. 
All forestry lanes shall be marked by the use of trees and shrubs not smaller than three feet and not larger than five feet, with a minimum distance between trees and shrubs located on each side of the forestry lane of 20 feet.
D. 
Trees and shrubs of the same size and type shall be placed at the end of the forestry lane to designate its termination point as set forth in Figure No. 8.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure No. 8 is included at the end of this chapter.
E. 
All forestry lanes shall be provided with adequate curb cuts, and each side of the curb cuts shall be provided with signs the same type of which are specified in § 97-12.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to stop, stand or park a motor vehicle in any place which has been designated and properly identified as a fire lane pursuant to the provisions of this chapter ordinarily designated for a fire hydrant or standpipe connection, except in compliance with the directions of a police officer or traffic control device.
B. 
Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall pay a fine not less than $10 nor more than $25 and shall pay the cost of prosecution, provided that, with the consent in writing of the person charged with the violation under this section, the Chief of Police or his designated representative is authorized to accept and receive, without hearing, not less than $10 as a penalty for such violation.
C. 
Any police officer of the town, while in the performance of his duty, may remove or cause to be removed any motor vehicle parked, stopped or left standing in a fire lane or in a location so as to cause an obstruction to the accessibility to a fire lane, fire hydrant or standpipe connection. If any motor vehicle is removed pursuant to the provisions of this section before the same shall be released therefrom, the owner or operator shall pay the fine imposed pursuant to the provisions of this section, the costs of removal and a reasonable charge for storage, not to exceed the amount set forth from time to time by the Town Council for each day or part thereof that the vehicle is so stored and any court costs. In addition, said owner or operator shall sign a receipt for such motor vehicle prior to its being released to him by the storage facility. In the event that the payment is made under protest, a bail bond for further appearance shall be posted as required by a court of competent jurisdiction.