[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Harmony 10-5-1993 by Ord. No. 93-11. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This local law superseded former Ch. 81, Driveways, adopted 12-2-1980 by Ord. No. 0:80-9.
No person, individual, firm or corporation shall construct, reconstruct or enlarge a driveway onto a township or county road or street in the Township of Harmony without first having received a permit to do so from the Township of Harmony.
It is the intent of this chapter to exercise exclusive jurisdiction by the Township of Harmony over all driveways onto township streets, to exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the County of Warren with respect to the portion of any such driveway located within the right-of-way of a county road and to exercise exclusive jurisdiction by the Township of Harmony with respect to the portion of driveways intersecting county roads which are located outside of the right-of-way of any county road.
The following words and phrases as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:
- A driveway serving other than a residential use.
- A private accessway providing a method for motor vehicles to access a property from a public or private street.
- Shall have the same meaning as "street."
- Any street, avenue, boulevard, road, lane, parkway, viaduct, alley or other way which is an existing state, county or municipal roadway, or a street or way shown upon a plat heretofore approved pursuant to law or approved by official action or duly filed and recorded in the office of the county recording officer prior to the appointment of a planning board and the grant to such board of the power to review plats.
Permits shall be one of four classes defined as follows:
Class I: single-family residential dwellings with drives not exceeding six-percent maximum gradient and not requiring grading to achieve the minimum sight distances required herein, having no restriction in the minimum required sight triangle and not having a bridge or a culvert over four feet in diameter, or equivalent.
Class II: all other single-family residential dwellings serving not more than one dwelling.
Class III: residential lanes or driveways serving more than one single-family residential dwelling.
Class IV: all other driveways.
The number of driveways permitted from a proposed lot or site directly to any street shall be limited as follows, except under conditions where the safety and/or convenience of the general motoring public is impaired. Such conditions shall be determined and specified by the township body with authority to approve site plans, upon receipt of the advice of the Township Engineer:
Single-family dwellings on individual lots may have more than one driveway.
Service stations shall have at least two driveways.
All entrance and exit driveways to a street shall be located to afford maximum safety to traffic on the street. Lots existing prior to June 1, 1989, which cannot meet the requirements herein within the lot boundaries, shall be considered to meet these requirements through the use of a permanent easement or right-of-way through another lot;
Any exit driveway or lane shall be so designed in profile and grading and shall be so located as to permit the following minimum sight distances measured from a point a minimum of 15 feet behind the curbline or edge of the traveled way of the street. The sight triangle shall not contain any obstruction, which would obstruct the driver's view, of greater than one foot or less than 10 feet above the curb level, except that trees whose branches are trimmed away to above the ten-foot height may be permitted. The sight distance shall be measured from a point 3.5 feet above the pavement, representing the driver's eye, to a point 4.25 feet above the pavement, representing the height of the vehicle. The sight line shall come no closer than 0.5 foot to the road surface at any point. The sight distance shall be measured in both roadway directions with respect to the driver's position in both the oncoming vehicle position and the driveway position. Roads which are not posted for speed limits shall be considered to be 50 miles per hour unless horizontal geometric considerations dictate otherwise.
Where a site occupies two intersecting roads, no driveway entrance or exit shall be located within 40 feet of the point of tangency of the existing or proposed intersection curb radius of the site.
No part of any driveway shall be located within a minimum of 10 feet of a side property line. However, upon application to the township body with authority over site plan approval and upon approval of design by the Township Engineer, that body may permit a driveway serving two or more adjacent sites to be located on or within 10 feet of a side property line between the adjacent sites.
The geometric design of a driveway connection to a street shall be governed by sound traffic engineering principles. Below are guidelines in preparing a geometric design, but deviation from them will be necessitated from time to time due to the many variables encountered in the course of preparing a design. The applicant should be aware, therefore, that although the driveway layout may conform to these guidelines, conditions may dictate deviations from them, and requirements of the Township Engineer shall be final.
Two-way operation. Driveways used for two-way operation shall intersect the street at an angle as near to 90° as site conditions will permit and in no case will be less than 75°.
One-way operation. Driveways used by vehicles in one direction of travel, right turn only, shall not form an angle smaller than 45° with a street.
The dimensions of driveways shall be designed to adequately accommodate the volume and character of vehicles anticipated to be attracted daily onto the land development for which a site plan is prepared. The required maximum and minimum dimensions for driveways connecting to a street at 90° are indicated below. Driveways serving large volumes of daily traffic or traffic over 5% of which is heavy truck traffic shall be required to utilize high-to-maximum dimensions. Driveways serving low daily traffic volumes or traffic less than 5% of which is heavy shall be as follows:
Driveways connecting to a street at an angle shall have the same widths as shown in the table above. The width of depressed curb and the radius of curb returns shall provide for the sharpest turning radii of vehicles using the driveway, keeping said vehicles within their prescribed lanes.
Vertical curbs and alignment.
Any vertical curb on a driveway shall be flat enough to prevent the dragging of any vehicle undercarriage. The maximum permitted gradients for driveways are shown in the following subsection. The profile dimensions given beyond the sidewalk area are maximum or minimum values for grades and minimum values for lengths.
Should the sidewalk be so close to the curb at a driveway with a depressed curb as to cause the ramp to be too steep and is likely to cause undercarriage drag, the sidewalk shall be appropriately lowered to provide a suitable ramp gradient.
Future curb or gutter line. Driveways shall be designed and constructed such that the vertical alignment requirements shall begin at the future curb or gutter line of any street. The classification of the road shall be determined from the current Harmony Township Master Plan and the width requirements as set forth in § 148-14C(2) of the Harmony Township Subdivision Ordinance. The cross-section requirements shall be as set forth in the Harmony Township Street and Parking Lot Standards. The area between the existing roadway and the future curb or gutter line shall be paved and graded in accordance with the paving provisions of this chapter.
Bridges or culverts over four feet in diameter. All bridges or culverts in excess of four feet in diameter, or equivalent, shall be designed in accordance with the current American Association of State Highway Officials bridge practice to accommodate an H2O design vehicle.
Driveways in excess of 100 feet in length shall have horizontal alignment such that a fire truck can negotiate the drive. For the purpose of this determination, the American Association of State Highway Officials SU design vehicle shall be used for design purposes.
[Amended 5-3-1994 by Ord. No. 94-4]
The surface of any driveway shall be constructed with a permanent pavement of a type specified below:
Driveway design shall include provisions for storm drainage within the driveway and where it crosses existing roadside ditches or drainage structures.
No driveway shall be permitted to be constructed over or across the normal drainage gutter line of an existing street, except on approval of the Township Engineer. The Township Engineer shall be guided by the design standards set forth in Chapter 137, Site Plan Review, and Chapter 148, Subdivision of Land.
Application forms shall be obtained from the Township Clerk. Applications shall be accompanied by a legible plot plan or sketch of the property setting forth the following information:
Setback and location of structures.
Curb, if any.
Sidewalk, if any.
Utility installations affecting the driveway.
All physical features including trees and other obstructions within proposed sight triangles.
Advisory, directional, regulatory and advertising signs within proposed sight triangles.
The location of existing driveways on the lot in question and adjoining lots and lots across the road within the limits of the sight triangle.
Profile of the roadway in front of the parcel to the limits of the required sight triangle.
Contour lines for existing and proposed grading within the area of driveway construction and sight triangles.
Radius of curvature, where applicable.
Parking facilities, where applicable.
For other than single-family residential, the estimated number of cars and trucks using the driveway each day.
A profile of the driveway from the center line of the public road to the end of the driveway.
A typical section of the driveway.
Structural construction drawings of all bridges or culverts over four feet in diameter, or equivalent, and design computations therefor.
All plans shall be prepared by a professional engineer licensed to practice in New Jersey; provided, however, that an individual may prepare plans as required herein on property owned by that individual within the parameters established by N.J.S.A. 45:8-27.
Class I: single-family dwellings not part of a major subdivision. The application and accompanying data shall be submitted in triplicate to the Zoning Officer, who shall review the plan and shall do one of the following:
All other applications. The application and accompanying data shall be submitted in triplicate at the time of final subdivision or site plan application, or at the time of building permit application if a subdivision or site plan is not required, or at the time of construction or modification of the driveway, to the Township Engineer, who shall review the plan and shall do one of the following:
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued unless all driveways on the lot or site have been completed in accordance with the approved plan. Inspection to assure compliance will be done by the Township Engineer, except that Class I driveways shall be inspected by the Zoning Officer. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary hereinbefore mentioned, an applicant may, during the period from November 1 to April 15, apply for a certificate of occupancy and defer completion of a driveway on the lot or site in accordance with the approved plan; provided, however, that such applicant posts a performance guaranty with the township or, in lieu thereof, cash in an amount equal to 120% of the performance guaranty estimate prepared by the Township Engineer of the cost of completing construction of the driveway. The Township Engineer, in arriving at the performance guaranty estimate, shall be guided by the surface and other applicable provisions of this chapter, together with the design standards set forth in Chapter 137, Site Plan Review.
[Amended 8-3-2004 by Ord. No. 04-10]
Application fee for all classes (Classes I, II, III, IV): $25.
Review inspection and administration fee for all classes (Classes I, II, III, IV): $250.
Replenishment of escrow. When review and inspection costs exceed the initial escrow deposit, applicant shall, upon notification from the Township Engineer, pay such additional escrow deposit as requested, which shall be paid prior to Township Engineer's issuance of the certificate of approval (C.A.) which certifies completion of the driveway in accordance with the compliance standards established herein.
All driveways approved pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be maintained in such a fashion as to be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
The Zoning Officer or his duly authorized assistants shall have the duty and power to inspect or examine driveways approved to the provision of this chapter in the Township of Harmony to determine continued compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
When the Zoning Officer or his duly authorized assistants determine that a driveway is in violation of the provision of this chapter, he shall order the owner, in writing, to remedy such condition. Said written order shall specify the nature of the violation found to exist, the remedy ordered and the time permitted for such remedy, the penalties and remedies which may be invoked by the township.
If any violation shall not be abated after notice as provided above, the Zoning Officer or his duly authorized assistants shall prosecute either an action in the Harmony Township Municipal Court of an action in the Superior Court of New Jersey to enjoin and compel abatement of violations.
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter which results in damages to or obstruction of any street, gutter, storm drain, catch basin, inlet or culvert shall be responsible for all expenses incurred by the Township of Harmony in repairing said damage or removing said obstruction in addition to the penalties herein provided.
All users of a driveway as covered by the terms of this chapter shall be required to submit a written agreement to be approved as to form by the Township Attorney acknowledging responsibility to continue maintenance of the driveway in accordance with the standards of this chapter.
[Added 12-5-2017 by Ord. No. 17-12]
No person, persons, entity or organization shall construct any alterations and/or improvements to any driveway within the Township which would interfere or impede access of emergency service vehicles to the property. Alterations are defined as any changes, alterations or improvements constructed on or adjacent to a driveway that was not approved as part of the property's driveway permit. Alterations include but are not limited to placing of boulders, fences, signs or other decorative items at the entrance or along the edge of a driveway.
A determination as to what alterations impede or interfere with the access of emergency service vehicles shall be made by the Chief of the Harmony Township Fire Department.
Landowners or tenants wishing to make an alteration to their driveway, other than what was approved as part of the original driveway permit, should make an application to the Township Clerk who will forward the application to the Fire Chief for determination.
Any alterations installed that are found by the Harmony Fire Chief to be in violation of this section shall be given notice of the violation and 30 days to remove or relocate the alterations to the satisfaction of the Fire Chief.
Any person, persons, entity or organization who violates this section shall be subject to the penalties as set forth in § 81-13.
In addition to the violations set forth above, any landowner who was previously notified of an improper alteration shall be responsible for any damage to any emergency service vehicle resulting from the vehicle attempting to access the property to provide emergency services.
No emergency service agency/organization/company or the Township shall be responsible for any damage to a property or its alterations resulting from an attempt to access the property to provide emergency services, provided the landowner, tenant or occupant was previously notified of the improper driveway alteration.
[Added 6-9-2011 by Ord. No. 11-3]
An applicant for a permit for any class of driveway who is unable to comply with any of the design standards and/or construction improvement requirements applicable to a driveway by virtue of the foregoing provisions may apply to the approving authority for an exception to such requirements, providing the applicant shall clearly demonstrate and the approving authority shall be satisfied that such exception is reasonable and within the general intent and purpose of the provisions of this chapter and that the literal enforcement of one or more of the provisions hereof is impractical or will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the subject property and the driveway proposed to be located thereon.
Provided, however, that the approving authority shall not grant any such exception unless the approving authority is fully satisfied that the intent and purpose section will be satisfied by the granting of the exception and that the granting of the exception will have no adverse impact upon the public health and safety relating to the proposed driveway or be in conflict with accepted engineering principals. All doubts in the mind of the approving authority with respect to the advisability of the granting of any such exceptions shall be resolved in favor of a denial of such exceptions.
In the event the applicant for an exception from the provisions of this chapter is denied the exception sought, he shall have the right to appeal such denial to the Land Use Board, which shall hold a hearing thereon, attended by the Township Engineer, which shall render a determination within 45 days of the submission of such appeal.
Prior to the hearing of such appeal to the Land Use Board, the applicant shall post with the Board secretary an appeal application fee and escrow deposit in accordance with § 165-53, Fees, of the Zoning Ordinance.
Any application for an exception pursuant to the foregoing provisions from the requirements of § 81-3, Location, Subsection D, which seeks approval of a driveway located less than the minimum required 10 feet from a side property line and/or less than 10 feet from a rear property line shall require that notice of said application be given to the owner(s) of the property adjoining the portion of the applicant's property which proposes a driveway location less than 10 feet from a side or rear property line. Such notice shall be provided, either by personal service or by means of certified mail, return receipt requested, and proof of service of such notice shall be provided at least 10 days prior to the hearing to be held upon the application and filed with the Land Use Board secretary.