Township of Franconia, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Franconia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 118.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 122.
Zoning — See Ch. 145.
[Adopted 8-5-1969 by Ord. No. 54]
On or after the passage of this article, it shall not be lawful for any person to construct or reconstruct any driveway or alter the grade line or width of any shoulder within the right-of-way of township roads until a permit to perform such construction or reconstruction has been issued by the Board of Supervisors of the township.
This article shall be known as the "Township Driveway Ordinance."
The purpose of this article is to provide for the construction of access driveways and abutting graded areas in such a manner so as to facilitate the safe and unobstructed movement of vehicular traffic.
The provisions of this article shall be held to be minimum requirements to meet the above-stated purposes. Where the provisions of this article impose greater restrictions than those of any statute, other ordinance or regulations, the provisions of this article shall prevail. Where the provisions of any statute, other ordinance or regulation impose greater restrictions than those of this article, the provision of such statute, ordinance or regulations shall prevail.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESS DRIVEWAYS
Any means for passage of vehicles between property abutting on a township highway and the highway. It shall be deemed to include that part of the driveway that lies within the established right-of-way limits of the township highway. It will also include such drainage structures as may be necessary for the proper construction and maintenance thereof.
All construction, grading or planting within the right-of-way of township roads shall be executed in accordance with plans and specifications showing all proposed works in a manner satisfactory to the township. Such plans may be part of or included in plans prepared for building, zoning, subdivision or sewage applications.
A. 
A permit will be issued, in writing, when a plan is deemed satisfactory to the township.
B. 
Under no circumstances whatever shall a verbal approval or permission given by anyone be considered a justification for any deviation from the approved plans, or the violation of any of the rules and regulations governing construction within the right-of-way of township highways.
The applicant requesting a permit to construct shall pay over to the township such filing fee as the Board of Supervisors shall establish from time to time by resolution.
It shall be the duty of the Township Roadmaster or his representatives to supervise, superintend and inspect all work within the right-of-way of the township highway in conformity with the ordinances of the township.
Notice must be given said Inspector when the work is sufficiently advanced for inspection, when it shall be the duty of the proper officer to inspect the same within two working days after receipt of said notification.
[Amended 9-12-1988 by Ord. No. 147; 6-10-1996 by Ord. No. 237]
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this article shall, upon being liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the township, pay a fine not exceeding $600 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the township. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of violation by the District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
[1]
Editor's Note: The foreword to these rules and regulations read as follows:   "The Board of Supervisors is of the opinion that it is necessary that the location, design, construction and maintenance of driveways entering upon township highways be regulated for the purpose of security for such highways, economy of maintenance, preservation of proper drainage, and safe and convenient passage of traffic thereon.   "The object of these regulations is to establish uniform controls governing such location, design, construction and maintenance. The Board of Supervisors is cognizant of the fact that abutting property owners have the right of access, except along limited access highways. It must be recognized, however, that indiscriminate roadside development and uncontrolled highway connections can result only in lower highway capacity and increased hazard to all traffic.   "Most roadside interference can be attributed to vehicular traffic entering, leaving and parking adjacent to the access driveways of residences, business establishments and other roadside developments along the highway.   "To this end, the township has deemed it advisable to publish these regulations."
The following words and phrases when used in these regulations shall, for the purpose of these regulations, have the following meanings, respectively, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
CORNER CLEARANCE
The distance, at an intersection of two highways, between the near edge of the access driveway approach and the point of intersection of the pavement edges or the curbline extended.
INTERMEDIATE ISLAND
That section of the roadway right-of-way between the pavement edge or curb and the property line, which occurs between driveways.
PAVEMENT EDGE
The edge of the main traveled portion of any street or highway, exclusive of shoulder or berm.
PERMANENT-TYPE CONSTRUCTION
Plain or reinforced concrete, bituminous concrete or macadam of required thickness.
PERSON
Any natural person, firm, copartnership, association or corporation.
PROPERTY LINE CLEARANCE
The distance, measured along the pavement edge or curb, between the property frontage boundary line and the edge of the driveway.
RADIUS CURB
That section of curb forming an arc beginning at the end of the driveway and continuing to the throat of the driveway.
RURAL AREA
An area where roadways have been built to typical rural highway standards without sidewalks and curbs.
SETBACK
The lateral distance between the right-of-way line and the roadside business building, liquid fuel pump island, display stand or other object, the use of which will result in space for vehicles to stop or park between such facilities and the right-of-way line.
SHOULDER LINE
The intersection of the shoulder slope with the side slope or ditch slope.
SIDEWALKS
A permanent hard-paved walkway, continuous for a reasonable distance and integral part of the highway development, solely for use of pedestrians.
STABILIZED MATERIAL
Any aggregate such as gravel, stone, slag or mixtures of such aggregates with soil, placed in such a manner as to provide a smooth, stable, all-weather surface not subject to undue raveling.
URBAN AREA
An area where the roadways have been built to typical city street standards, including sidewalks and curbs.
VEHICLE
Any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway.
A. 
All driveways shall be located, designed and constructed in such a manner as not to interfere or be inconsistent with the design, maintenance and drainage of the highway.
B. 
Access driveways shall be located in such manner that they will not cause the following: interference to the traveling public; a hazard to the free movement of normal highway traffic or areas of undue traffic congestion on the highway. In accordance with this principle, driveways should be located where the highway alignment and profile are favorable; i.e., where there are no sharp curves or steep grades and where sight distance, in conjunction with the driveway access, would be adequate for safe traffic operation.
C. 
Access driveways should not be located at interchanges, ramp areas or locations that would interfere with the placement and proper functioning of highway signs, signals, detectors, lighting or other devices that affect traffic control. The location of a driveway near a signalized intersection that has an actuated traffic signal may include a requirement that the permittee provide (without expense to the township) additional detectors for the control of traffic movement from his establishment or for relocation of existing detectors.
D. 
Where highway curbs exist, driveway approaches shall be installed 1 1/2 inches above the adjacent highway or gutter grade to maintain the proper drainage.
E. 
Where highway curbs do not exist, driveways shall be constructed in such a manner as not to interfere with the drainage grade line of shoulders. If, in the opinion of the Roadmaster, a pipe is required to maintain the grade line, the permittee shall install such pipe at his expense, parallel to the pavement edge and at a minimum distance of 10 feet therefrom and on the grade line as directed by the Roadmaster (unless advised to the contrary by the township engineer). Where a pipe is placed in the shoulder line, the driveway may slope away from the roadway at a lesser gradient than the normal shoulder slope but not less than 1/4 inch per foot from the paving edge to the pipe. The minimum pipe length shall be equal to the width of the driveway plus eight feet.
The permissible number, arrangement and width of driveways shall be governed in part by the highway frontage of abutting private property. The number of driveways permitted shall be the minimum number required to serve adequately the needs of the abutting property. Frontages of 50 feet or less shall be limited to one driveway. Normally, not more than two driveways need to be provided to any single property tract or business establishment. Exception may be made where the frontage exceeds 300 feet in length or where the frontage is along a divided highway. In such instances, requests for additional driveways shall require prior approval from the township.
A. 
The location and angle of an access driveway approach in relation to the highway intersection shall be such that a vehicle entering the driveway may do so in an orderly and safe manner and with a minimum of interference to through highway traffic, and leaving the driveway may enter safely into the lane of traffic moving in the desired direction.
B. 
Where the access driveway approach and highway pavement meet, flaring of the approach may be necessary to allow safe, easy turning of the vehicle when entering or departing from the driveway.
C. 
No part of any access driveway shall be constructed outside of the applicant's frontage.
D. 
Each roadside business establishment shall provide sufficient parking or storage space off the right-of-way to prevent the storage of vehicles on the driveway or the backing up of traffic on the traveled roadway.
E. 
No part of the highway right-of-way shall be used for servicing of vehicles, displays or conducting a private business. The area between the edge of the pavement and the right-of-way line shall be kept clear of all buildings, sales exhibits, business signs, parking areas, service equipment, etc., excluding mailboxes.
F. 
Improvements on private property adjacent to the right-of-way shall be so located that parking, stopping and maneuvering of vehicles on the right-of-way will not be necessary in order for vehicles or patrons to be served properly. For example, liquid fuel pump islands installed in service stations adjacent to the highway shall be located not less than 12 feet outside of the right-of-way line, when a driveway is established and the permit is issued. This subsection is not intended to imply that, should the highway be widened at a later date, the fuel pumps have to be moved back in order to comply with the twelve-foot minimum distance from the right-of-way line. However, a greater distance is recommended to provide sufficient space for large vehicles.
A. 
Angle of access driveway approach.
(1) 
Control dimensions.
(a) 
Single driveway: as near 90º as site conditions permit.
(b) 
Two driveways:
[1] 
Two-way operation: as near 90º as site conditions permit.
[2] 
One-way operation: 45º minimum.
(2) 
Single access driveway approaches shall be positioned at right angles 90º to the highway or as near thereto as site conditions permit. When two access driveways are constructed on the same property frontage and used for one-way operations, each of these driveways may be placed at an angle less than a right angle, but not less than 45º to the highway.
B. 
Corner clearance.
(1) 
Control dimensions.
(a) 
Rural: 30 feet minimum.
(b) 
Urban: 20 feet minimum.
(2) 
Corner clearance shall be a minimum of 30 feet in rural areas and 20 feet in urban areas. These dimensions must include pavement edge distance of 10 feet in rural areas and five feet in urban areas.
C. 
Intermediate island between multiple driveways.
(1) 
Control dimensions.
(a) 
Rural: 20 feet minimum.
(b) 
Urban: 15 feet minimum.
(2) 
An intermediate island shall separate all multiple driveways opening upon the same highway. The island area shall extend from the shoulder line, ditch line or curbline to the right-of-way line. The minimum length for an intermediate island measured along the right-of-way line shall be 10 feet. The minimum length measured along the shoulder line, ditch line or curbline shall be 20 feet in rural areas or 15 feet in urban areas.
(3) 
The intermediate island area shall be clearly defined. Intermediate islands of 20 feet or less measured along the shoulder line, ditch line or curbline, shall be defined by a permanent-type curb. Additional curbing may be required at the discretion of the Township Engineer.
D. 
Radius curb.
(1) 
Control dimensions. The maximum and minimum length for radius curbs shall be as follows:
(a) 
Rural residential:
[1] 
Five feet minimum.
[2] 
Twenty feet maximum.
(b) 
Rural commercial:
[1] 
Five feet minimum.
[2] 
Fifty-five feet maximum.
(c) 
Urban residential:
[1] 
Five feet minimum.
[2] 
Twenty feet maximum.
(d) 
Urban commercial:
[1] 
Five feet minimum.
[2] 
Fifty-five feet maximum.
E. 
Setback.
(1) 
Recommended control dimensions.
(a) 
Fuel pump islands: 12 feet minimum outside the right-of-way line.
(b) 
It is recommended that all liquid fuel service stations, business establishments and other roadside developments other than private residences shall be located a sufficient distance from the right-of-way line as to provide ample driving area and parking off the right-of-way, prevent storage of vehicles on the access driveways and the backing up and turning of vehicles on the highway pavement.
F. 
Width of access driveway approaches.
(1) 
Control dimensions.
(a) 
Residential:
[1] 
Ten feet minimum.
[2] 
Twenty feet maximum.
(b) 
Commercial:
[1] 
Fifteen feet minimum.
[2] 
Thirty-five feet maximum.
(2) 
The width of access driveways shall not exceed the above dimensions when measured at right angles to the center line of driveway. Where a commercial access driveway approach and the highway pavement meet, flaring of the driveway shall be required to allow safe and easy turning of the vehicle either into or out of a commercial development. Service station driveways shall not have a flared width greater than 65 feet.
G. 
Curb.
(1) 
All curbs must be of a permanent type.
(2) 
In urban or rural areas where no curb exists, one of the following types of curb may be used:
(a) 
Eight-inch-high vertical face curb.
(b) 
Six-inch-high sloped face curb.
(3) 
Where the property abutting highway right-of-way will be used for parking area, the township may require curb to be placed. This curb will be required to confine the traffic movement to the access driveway and to prohibit encroachment upon sidewalks or shoulder area.
H. 
Sight distance.
(1) 
Access driveways shall be located at a point of optimum sight distance along the highway within the property frontage limits. The profile of the driveway and the grading of the right-of-way area shall provide a maximum sight distance so that the operator of a vehicle departing from such a driveway will have optimum visibility in either direction along the highways.
(2) 
Where adequate sight distances cannot be attained, the location of the driveway will be at the discretion of the Township Engineer.
I. 
Slope of access driveway.
(1) 
All driveways shall be constructed in such a manner as not to impair drainage within the highway right-of-way, alter the stability of the roadway subgrade or materially change the drainage of adjacent areas. Where open shoulders or berms exist the grade of a paved access driveway(s) shall slope away from the highway pavement at the same rate as the existing shoulder (unless advised to the contrary by the Township Engineer) for the width of the shoulder. The gradient of a driveway beyond this point (within the highway right-of-way) shall be not less than 1/4 inch per foot.
(2) 
Driveway ramps may extend from the face of the curb up to the outer edge of the sidewalk area in those cases where a planted area occurs between multiple driveways. The rate of slope for such driveway ramps preferably should not exceed one inch per foot. Where conditions are such that one-inch-per-foot slope is not obtainable, the sidewalk area of the driveway may be lowered sufficiently to obtain the allowable ramp slope and the sidewalk may be warped up to meet the normal sidewalk grade, at a rate of slope not to exceed 3/8 inch per foot.
(3) 
Where a drainage ditch or swale exists, adequate pipe shall be installed under the driveway (by the permittee) in accordance with township specifications. Minimum diameter of such drainage pipe shall be 15 inches or (eleven-by-eighteen-inch arch) unless otherwise specified by the Township Engineer.
J. 
Access driveway pavement. Access driveways shall be appropriately surfaced between the traveled road and the business or service area with a stabilized material or a higher material when specified by the Township Engineer.
K. 
Deceleration and acceleration lanes.
(1) 
The shoulder or berm area leading to the entrance driveway of a business establishment or other roadside developments in rural areas may be paved for a suitable distance, to permit vehicles to decelerate or accelerate in safety when entering or leaving the property. Such paving shall be limited to the area in front of the abutting property and shall be done by the property owner, at his expense, in accordance with township specifications.
(2) 
Special attention will be given to permit requests for the construction of access driveways to large business establishments, shopping centers, outdoor theaters, etc., particularly when the volume of traffic generated may necessitate acceleration and deceleration lanes, standby lanes, jughandles, channelization, etc. In all such cases, the permittee will be advised that costs incident to the construction of such additional roadway improvements shall be at no expense to the township. Such work shall be constructed under the supervision and inspection of the township.
All driveways, adjacent areas and areas between such driveways, including channelization, paving drainage, etc., installed by the permittee shall be maintained by the property owner in such a manner as not to interfere or be inconsistent with the design, maintenance and drainage of the highway, or the safe and convenient passage of traffic upon the highway. The term "adjacent area" shall apply only to that area within the permittee's property line extended.
These rules and regulations shall become effective on the fifth day of August 1969 and shall continue in full force and effect thereafter until amended, modified, revoked or rescinded by the township.