Township of Blairstown, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Blairstown as Sec. 9-2 (Ord. No. 86-4) of the 1977 Revised General Ordinances; amended in its entirety 9-10-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-13. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land development — See Ch. 19, § 19-503.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 87.
Excavations and obstructions — See Ch. 171, Art. II.

§ 92-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Blairstown Township Driveway Ordinance."

§ 92-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to control the access to lots and parcels of land lying in the Township of Blairstown and to assure that any access provided to such lots or parcels of land meet the minimum requirements hereinafter set forth and assure safe ingress and egress to such property.

§ 92-3 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter.
ALTERED
An existing point of access where present sight distance is reduced more than 10% or the grade within the first 25 feet from the intersecting road is altered more than 10%.
DITCHES AND DRAINAGEWAYS
Any stream, watercourse, pond, swale, swamp, depression, or ditch that shall be crossed in connection with the construction of a driveway.
DRIVEWAY
Any point of access on a lot or parcel of land, which lot or parcel of land has frontage on or is adjacent to a public road, used for other than purely pedestrian access. Said driveway point of access must front on such a public road as so defined.
PUBLIC ROAD(S)
Any road, street. drive or other way which is an existing state, county or Township roadway, or which is shown upon a plat heretofore approved pursuant to law, such as, but not limited to municipal subdivision approval, or which is shown on a plat duly filed and recorded in the Office of the County Recording Officer prior to the establishment of a Township Land Use Board; and includes the land between street lines, whether improved or unimproved, and may comprise pavement, shoulders, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, parking areas and other areas within the street lines.
[Amended 4-11-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02]

§ 92-4 Permit required.

No new driveway may be constructed or existing driveway altered by any person, firm, partnership or corporation, without first obtaining a permit from the Township driveway inspecting official as herein set forth.

§ 92-5 Filing procedure.

Any person wishing to construct a new driveway, or alter an existing driveway, shall file an application with the Township driveway inspecting official. Such application shall contain the following:
A. 
The number of driveway openings requested.
B. 
The land use of the lot to which access is sought.
C. 
A plot plan delineating the following:
(1) 
North arrow and scale of the plot.
(2) 
Name of abutting road or street.
(3) 
Identification of closest intersecting road and distance from proposed point of access.
(4) 
Location of the proposed driveway with respect to nearest sideline of the subject lot.
(5) 
The lot width of the subject lot.
(6) 
The edge of the pavement of the abutting road, type of road surface and culverts, utility poles, storm drain, swales and/or ditches within the right-of-way in front of the subject lot.
(7) 
The edge of the right-of-way of the abutting road.
(8) 
The location of any existing or proposed dwelling and/or garage or other accessory structure and of any existing or proposed septic system or well, if they are within 50 feet of the proposed driveway.
(9) 
The proposed surfacing material of the driveway.
(10) 
Proposed storm drainage improvements, if any, in accordance with normal design standards. If grades over 5% are involved, topographical data must be included to support the required design criteria in § 92-7.
(11) 
Sight distances, as required herein.
(12) 
A profile of the entire driveway showing both existing and proposed grades with a detail of the first four feet of the proposed driveway at the edge of the pavement and the showing the balance of the driveway to the dwelling.

§ 92-6 Minimum requirements.

All driveways shall be constructed or altered in accordance with the following minimum requirements:
A. 
Number. The number of driveways permitted from any lot to any abutting road shall be in accordance with the following standards, except where conditions of safety of the general motoring public is impaired.
(1) 
VR and R-5 residential zones.
Permitted Number
of Driveways
Lot Width
(feet)
1
Up to 200
2
200 or more
(2) 
All other zone districts. In determining the number of driveways to be permitted in all other zone districts, the requirements for development set forth in Chapter 19, Land Development, shall be considered as minimum requirements and at the time of site plan review, proposed driveway locations shall be reviewed in accordance with the site plan review standards, taking into consideration, to be applied where appropriate, the county standards for access to county roads.
B. 
Sight distances required.
(1) 
Any exit driveway shall be designed in profile, grading and location to permit the following minimum sight distance measured in each direction along the intersecting road. Any tree within two feet of the improved portion or shoulder, of the public road shall be removed. All minimum sight distances shall be created and/or constructed in such a manner as to be permanent in nature with minimum maintenance. The measurement shall be from the driver's seat of a vehicle standing on the portion of the exit driveway with the front of the vehicle a minimum of three feet behind the curb line or the edge of the shoulder of the intersecting road and the height of the eye of 3 3/4 feet to the top of object, 4 1/2 feet above the road surface.
Allowable Speed on Road
(mph)
Required Sight Distance
(feet)
30 or less
200
40
275
50
350
(2) 
An applicant for a driveway permit may apply for, and the driveway inspector, with the approval of the Township Engineer, may in his/her discretion grant a sight distance waiver, reducing the required sight distance, when it is determined that the requirements of this section can not be adhered to and that such waiver resulting in a reduction of the required sight distance can be granted without creating an unsafe condition detrimental to the applicant and/or the public. Any requests for a sight distance waiver shall be submitted in writing and shall include a written description, specifically describing the facts necessitating a waiver and agreeing to hold the Township harmless and to indemnify said Township from any damages proximately related to the grant of the requested waiver.
C. 
Angle of intersection. All driveways constructed or altered within 50 feet of the center line of the road shall intersect the abutting road at an angle as near to 90° as sight conditions will permit but in no case less than 70°.

§ 92-7 Design standards.

The following design standards shall be applied to all driveways requiring a permit, in accordance with § 92-4:
A. 
Curvature. To assure access for emergency vehicles, the driveway shall contain no curvature with less than a fifty-foot radius, and the driveway crown shall be relatively flat to prevent dragging of any vehicle undercarriage. Reasonable cutting and filling may be used to achieve compliance with the above requirements.
B. 
Width. All driveways constructed or modified shall have a minimum driving width of 10 feet.
C. 
Erosion. All driveways shall be constructed in such a manner that land areas abutting the driveway surface, and the driveway surface, shall be stabilized to prevent erosion. All driveways shall be designed so that surface water shall not be directed onto the abutting road and necessary care shall be taken to prevent siltation of road gutters, catch basins and cross drains. All driveways shall be maintained in such condition that their surface and adjacent areas are stabilized to prevent erosion. The following is therefore required for driveways ascending from the roadway:
(1) 
A section with a four to six-percent grade sloping down and away from the existing road and extending four feet from the edge of the road.
(2) 
An additional eight-foot-long section with a maximum grade of 8%.
(3) 
A maximum grade of 15% for the remainder of the driveway.
D. 
Ditches and drainageways. All driveways shall be designed and constructed so that existing drainage ditches and drainageways shall not be obstructed. Where necessary to provide or maintain free flow, which cannot be maintained with a shallow dish gutter, a reinforced concrete pipe, having a minimum diameter of 15 inches, shall be installed in the ditch or drainageway.
E. 
Intersection with abutting road. At the point of intersection with the abutting road, the driveway shall provide an even surface with the traveled way or shoulder and shall not extend into the traveled way or shoulder in such a manner as to cause a sharp increase or decrease in elevation, thereby creating an uneven driving surface.
F. 
Intersecting roads. When a site from which a proposed driveway exists occupies a corner of two intersecting roads, no driveway entrance or exits shall be located within 25 feet of the point of tangency of the existing or proposed curb radius of that site.
G. 
All driveways shall be constructed for a minimum distance of 25 feet from the improved portion (shoulder) of the public road of the following materials:
(1) 
Driveways entering unpaved roads and/or serving only one dwelling unit shall be four inches (compacted thickness) of quarry process (blend) stone thoroughly rolled and compacted, of the specified width.
(2) 
Driveways entering paved roads and/or serving more than one dwelling unit shall have a base course of four inches (compacted thickness) of quarry process (blend) stone thoroughly rolled and compacted and a surface course of two inches (compacted thickness) of bituminous concrete Type A or Type FABC-1.
H. 
Driveways which are to be constructed at a higher or lower elevation than the street and where the driveway grade exceeds eight 6% at any point within the first 250 feet feet of the improved portion (shoulder) of the public road shall be constructed in the manner following:
(1) 
The driveway shall be paved with two-inch compacted thickness of bituminous concrete, type FABC-1 on four-inch base of soil aggregate, Type 5A or 2B.
(2) 
Where the driveway crosses the gutter, the driveway Inspector, or Township Engineer if required, may require either maintenance of the existing gutter or installation of a suitably sized pipe.
I. 
Slopes; planting. All banks exceeding six feet in height shall have crown vetch or other stabilized material planted. Side slopes shall not exceed a ratio of 2:1.
J. 
Sidelines. The sidelines of the proposed driveway shall be identified by stakes placed 10 feet from the edge of the road and thence at twenty-five-foot intervals along the driveway center line.
K. 
The driveway inspector, or Township Engineer, may require that drainage improvements be installed or other measures be taken during driveway construction to insure that the surface water runoff from the proposed driveway onto the public road will not exceed the flows existing prior to construction.
L. 
Driveways of more than 200 feet in length shall have a suitable turn around for fire engines and other emergency vehicles within 20 feet of any proposed dwelling served thereby as set forth hereinafter. In addition thereto, all driveways shall be designed so as to provide for a pull over area, sufficient to allow opposing vehicles to pass, for each 200 feet.
(1) 
K-turn with a fifty-foot depth, fourteen-foot width and fifty-foot center line radius.
(2) 
Looped driveway of fourteen-foot width and fifty-foot or more center line radius.

§ 92-8 Review of application and issuance of permit.

A. 
The driveway official may inspect the premises and shall review the application as to the proposed improvements, and if it is his/her determination that the proposed improvement complies with the standards of this chapter, including the requirement that the driveway access to the premises be from a portion of land fronting a public road as defined in § 9-3 herein, then he/she may issue a permit to said applicant, provided there is full compliance with this chapter. If the determination is that the proposed driveway does not comply with the terms of this chapter, then the applicant shall be notified of the denial of the application with the reasons for denial set forth therein. In the event the lot or parcel of land in question has a prior approved subdivision plat or plan evidencing a prior subdivision approval granting access by a private road in accordance with the terms and conditions of this chapter, said driveway inspector may approve such a permit for access to the lot or parcel of land from such private road upon showing of sufficient proof to demonstrate that the prior subdivision approval permitted access from the private road, and that all other provisions of this chapter are complied with. In no event shall the driveway inspector issue a permit for a driveway to a lot or parcel of land, if the driveway location for access to the lot or parcel of land is not from a public road, which public road is the frontage or adjacent to the lot. Driveways across right-of-way, easements or the like to the lot or parcel of land are prohibited.
B. 
If the driveway inspector deems that the site has special problems such as, but not limited to, adequate pipe size, as set forth in § 92-7D, or a safe and adequate site distance, as set forth in § 92-7F, he/she then may refer such application to the Township Engineer for review and comment. Costs of such review shall be at the expense of the property owner.
C. 
The inspection official shall take action on all applications not later than 30 days after the date said application is filed, unless such application has been referred to the Township Engineer. In such event the inspection official shall take action not later than 60 days after the date said application is filed. Failure to act shall constitute a denial of the application.

§ 92-9 Fees.

Driveway permit fees shall be assessed against the applicant for the permit as follows:
A. 
The applicant shall pay an application fee of $185, which said fee shall include the cost of three driveway inspections. Any additional inspections shall require an additional payment of $50 per inspection.
B. 
Fees for a permit to alter existing driveways shall be the same as for a new driveway permit.
C. 
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued until the driveway has been completed in accordance with the terms and provisions of this chapter with the exception that the construction official may, in said official's discretion, upon written request by applicant, for good cause, issue a temporary certificate of occupancy upon the express condition that applicant post a cash bond in a sum equal to the square footage of pavement required to complete the driveway in accordance with the terms and provisions of this chapter, multiplied by the sum of $3 per square foot. Said temporary certificate of occupancy shall specifically require completion of the driveway within 90 days of issuance, provided, however, if said temporary certificate of occupancy is issued during the winter months, it shall require completion of the driveway at the later of 90 days from issuance or the first day of May next occurring.

§ 92-10 Building permits.

No building permit shall be issued in connection with construction of a new structure until the following:
A. 
The driveway inspector, or Township Engineer if required, has approved the existing driveway or issued a driveway permit as required to install a new driveway or bring the existing driveway into conformance with this chapter.
B. 
The driveway location is staked out from its intersection with the public road to its terminus at the structure for which the building permit is requested.
C. 
Neither the existence of minor or major subdivision approval, nor that the driveway is to be constructed by the property owner or subdivider, shall create an exemption from the requirements of this chapter.

§ 92-11 Liability for damages.

Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter, which results in damage to or obstruction of any public road, gutter, storm drain, ditch, basin, inlet or culvert, shall be responsible for all expenses incurred by the Township in repairing said damage or removing said obstruction in addition to the penalty herein provided.

§ 92-12 Appeals.

[Amended 4-11-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-02]
Any person aggrieved by the decision or action of the inspecting official under this chapter may appeal that decision to the Land Use Board pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70b. Such appeal shall be made, in writing, and filed within 10 days from the date of such decision or action. This appeal will be heard in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Land Use Board and a decision rendered in accordance with the requirements of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-73.

§ 92-13 Surface water diversion.

No property owner, while constructing a driveway pursuant to this chapter or otherwise, shall divert, direct, pump or discharge water onto the surface of any Township road or Township right-or-way so as to cause unsafe conditions or deterioration or erosion of public road surface.

§ 92-14 Violations and penalties.

Any person, persons, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 and/or imprisonment for 30 days in the county jail, or both, at the discretion of the Judge. Each and every day that a violation continues after notification thereof shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct violation.

§ 92-15 Adjustment of fees and deposits.

This chapter shall take effect immediately upon passage and publication in the manner provided by law. Fees and deposits established herein may be adjusted from time to time by publication of a fee schedule or fee schedule ordinance.