Town of Austerlitz, NY
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Austerlitz as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 90.
Notification of defects — See Ch. 138.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 167.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 183.
160a Sketches A, B and C
[Adopted 8-10-2000 by L.L. No. 2-2000]

§ 160-1 Adoption of standards.

The following standards for the design and construction of Town roads, private roads and driveways in the Town of Austerlitz are hereby adopted.

§ 160-2 Town roads.

A. 
General Town road requirements.
(1) 
All Town roads constructed after the date of the adoption of this article shall have a minimum right-of-way of 50 feet, which right-of-way shall be wider in areas requiring more area for slope maintenance. The paved surface shall be a minimum of 20 feet wide, consisting of two shoulders and ditches, each having a combined minimum width of five feet. The subbase must be approved by the Highway Superintendent and Town Engineer prior to the installation of gravel. The road base shall consist of a minimum of 12 inches compacted depth of bony bank-run gravel or hard shale to be approved by the Highway Superintendent. Over top, the stone or shale will consist of a minimum of six inches of compacted processed gravel (Subsection D). The Town Engineer may specify up to 18 inches of gravel and road fabric in road areas.
(2) 
The subbase materials as specified above shall be rolled and compacted to 95% standard proctor density with a ten-ton vibratory roller. The road base (Subsection D) shall also be compacted to 95% standard proctor density.
B. 
Drainage ditches.
(1) 
Ditches must be properly cut to 18 inches below the surface of the roadway to allow adequate drainage. On hills, as specified by the Highway Superintendent and Town Engineer, ditches shall be lined with stone six inches in diameter.
(2) 
All culvert pipes shall be sized by the developer's engineer and be approved by and be of materials acceptable to the Town Engineer, sufficient to handle the flow from a twenty-five-year storm event. Culverts shall be installed, with a minimum culvert of 12 inches in slopes of not less than 5% (1% is desirable). All drainage improvements shall be reviewed and approved by the Highway Superintendent in consultation with the Town Engineer.
C. 
Angle of intersection. In general, all roads shall intersect perpendicularly for a distance of at least 100 feet.
D. 
Top surface.
(1) 
The top surface of the paved roadway shall consist of 2 1/2 inches of dense binder (Type 2 asphalt) rolled with a ten-ton roller.
(2) 
A one-and-one-half-inch top course (Type 6F asphalt) shall then be applied and rolled with a ten-ton roller.
(3) 
All roads must be properly crowned with the cross slope of 1/4 inch per foot.
(4) 
The Planning Board may allow the substitution of motor paving to a compacted depth of four inches in lieu of hot-mix asphalt.
(5) 
In developments in which lots are sold and developed over a long period of time, paving of roads may be phased (subject to the approval by the Planning Board) so that pavement is required to be completed only as far as the farthest developed lot on the road.
E. 
Shoulders. Shoulders shall be constructed of compacted bank-run gravel, with a surface consisting of a three-fourths-inch-per-foot cross slope.
F. 
Dead-end roads. The maximum length of a dead-end road is 1/2 mile. All dead-end roads shall end in a cul-de-sac with a fifty-foot radius to provide adequate area for snow plows, fire trucks and other maintenance equipment.
G. 
Watercourses.
(1) 
Where a watercourse separates a proposed road from abutting property, provisions shall be made for access to all lots by means of culverts or other structures designed to handle a twenty-five-year storm event, to be approved by the Highway Superintendent in consultation with the Town Engineer.
(2) 
Where a subdivision is transversed by a watercourse, drainageway, channel or stream, a twenty-foot-wide stormwater easement or drainage right-of-way shall be provided as may be required by the Town Highway Superintendent in consultation with the Town Engineer.
H. 
Grades, changes of grade and curves. The maximum grade for a Town road shall be 10%. The average grade shall be no more than 8%, with the grade not exceeding 3% of the first 50 feet of roadway. All changes of grade in said roadway will be accomplished with a vertical curve of at least of 100 feet in length. Radius of curves shall be 200 feet minimum.
I. 
Visibility of intersections. In order to provide visibility for traffic safety, that portion of any corner lot (whether at an intersection entirely within the subdivision or of a new road with an existing road) which is shown shaded on Sketch A, annexed hereto and made a part hereof,[1] shall be cleared of all growth (except isolated trees) and obstructions above the level three feet higher than the center line of the road. If directed, ground shall be excavated to achieve visibility.
[1]
Editor's Note: Sketch A is included at the end of this chapter.
J. 
Guide rails. All new roadways shall have embankments of slope not greater than one on three (one vertical, three horizontal). Slopes that are steeper than one on three will require the installation of a guide rail, which shall meet the requirements of NYSDOT Standard Specifications, Section 606.
K. 
Road names. All roads must be named with names that are substantially different so as not to be confused in sound or spelling with present names. All project plans shall have road names on them prior to final approval by the Planning Board. All road names must be approved by the Town Board and then be filed with county. All roads must have road signs erected and maintained.
L. 
Performance bond. The Planning Board shall require a developer to provide a performance bond by a surety or other security acceptable to the Planning Board to secure the complete construction of any road that would be dedicated to the Town.
M. 
Enforcement. The Town Highway Superintendent or other designee, in consultation with the Town Engineer, shall (at the developer's expense) inspect the completed road for conformance with the approved plans prior to acceptance of the road by the Town Board and during such phases of construction as the Town deems appropriate. Each Town road shall be built so as to have standard cross sections generally in accordance with Sketch B, annexed hereto and made a part hereof.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Sketch B is included at the end of this chapter.

§ 160-3 Private roads.

A. 
Applicability. The within private road specifications are applicable to developments containing a maximum number of five building lots per access to a public road. For all developments containing six or more building lots, the specifications concerning Town roads shall be applicable.
B. 
Dimensions. All private roads shall have a minimum right-of-way width of 50 feet. For all developments containing three building lots or less, the minimum travel surface in the said right-of-way shall not be less than 16 feet in width. For all developments containing four or five building lots, minimal travel surface within said right-of-way shall be a minimum of 18 feet in width. All private roads shall have a turnoff or passing zone for every 400 feet of length of roadway. Each turnoff or passing zone shall be a minimum of 30 feet in length and shall provide an additional eight feet in width so that the width of the travel surface through the passing zone shall consist of a minimum of 24 feet.
C. 
Maintenance agreements; homeowners' association. The Planning Board will require a maintenance agreement or a homeowners' association for the maintenance of a private road as a condition of any subdivision approval.
D. 
Performance bond. The Planning Board may require a developer to provide a performance bond by a surety or other security acceptable to the Planning Board to secure the complete construction of any road that would be dedicated to the Town.
E. 
Maximum length. The maximum length of a dead-end private road shall be 1/2 mile, ending in a cul-de-sac with a fifty-foot radius or an L-shaped turnaround that meets with the approval of the Highway Superintendent.
F. 
Maximum number of parcels. The maximum number of parcels allowed on any private road with a single access to a public road is five. A development that is served by a series of private roads that have a single access to a public road may not serve more than five parcels. The development of more than five parcels would require direct access to a public road. This additional access must be at least 1,500 feet from any other access road serving the development. The within requirement shall be applicable for every additional five building lots or parcels.
G. 
Grades, changes of grade and curves. The maximum grade for a private road shall be 10%, averaged over a distance of 500 feet. In no case shall the grade exceed 15%. The grade shall not exceed 3% for the first 50 feet of roadway. All changes of grade in said roadway will be accomplished with a vertical curve of at least 100 feet in length. Radius of curves shall be 200 feet.
H. 
Dedication of private roads as Town roads. Nothing herein shall be construed to mean or require the Town to accept private roads for dedication. However, if the owner of a private road is desirous of having a private road dedicated to the Town, he or she is responsible for the upgrading of that private road to Town road specifications, including grading, widening and paving, prior to making such dedication offer. Formal Town acceptance of any such private road can be made only after inspection by the Highway Superintendent, in consultation with the Town Engineer, and action by the Town Board.
I. 
Private road specifications. Private roads must meet all other specifications for a Town road except for the paving of the road surface.
J. 
Plan review. Before any subdivision approval is granted, the Planning Board may elect to have the proposed road design reviewed by the Highway Superintendent and/or the Town Engineer to determine that the private road, as designed, meets the Town's design and construction standards as set forth herein. Each private road shall be built so as to have standard cross sections generally in accordance with Sketch C, annexed hereto and made a part hereof.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Sketch C is included at the end of this chapter.
K. 
Intersections. Where a private road intersects a paved road, it shall be paved for a distance of 50 feet from the edge of the intersection.

§ 160-4 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 160-4, Driveways, was superseded 5-15-2014 by L.L. No. 1-2014. See now Article II, Driveways.

§ 160-5 Waivers and variances.

[Amended 8-14-2008 by L.L. No. 1-2008]
The Planning Board, upon specific request and by specific resolution, including a statement of findings, may waive and/or vary any portion of § 160-2 relative to Town roads, § 160-3 relative to private roads and § 160-4 relative to single driveways,[1] subject to the approval of the Town Board and the Highway Superintendent. The Town Board, upon specific request and by specific resolution, including a statement of findings, may, without resolution from the Planning Board, waive and/or vary any portion of § 160-2 relative to Town roads. The statement of findings shall include, but not be limited to, written recommendations from the Town Engineer and Highway Superintendent. Waivers and variances may be subject to appropriate conditions and guarantees. Waivers and variances shall be specific to particular applications, shall be consistent with the intent of this article, and shall be made only upon a finding of the Town Board that the interests of justice will thereby be served without impairing the public health, safety and general welfare. Waivers and variances shall not nullify the intent of this article and shall only be given when, in the judgment of the Town Board, sections of this article are deemed inappropriate and when the interests of the public health, safety and general welfare of the Town are not served by strict compliance with the standards in this article.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Article II, Driveways.
[Adopted 5-15-2014 by 160L.L. No. 1-2014]

§ 160-6 Policy and purpose.

It is the policy of the Town of Austerlitz to further the safe access to properties and roads within the Town of Austerlitz and to ensure that private driveways facilitate the proper drainage of surface waters and stormwater runoff so as to not be detrimental to the Town's drainageways and systems and to further the public health, safety and general welfare. The purpose of this article is to provide a process for review of new and existing driveways and to provide minimum requirements and standards for driveway construction and maintenance in furtherance of the aforesaid policy.

§ 160-7 Application.

The requirements of this article shall apply to all new and existing driveways accessing public and approved private roads in the Town of Austerlitz. Driveways proposed onto state highways also require approval from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) and driveways proposed onto county highways also require approval from the Columbia County Department of Public Works (DPW).

§ 160-8 Design standards.

A. 
For access onto any public road:
(1) 
General standards. A driveway servicing one residence or parcel of real property shall have a minimum width of travel surface of 12 feet and be configured and situated so that vehicles are able to turn around and exit the premises without backing onto a main road. A turnoff or passing zone must be built into the driveway for every 400 feet of length, which turnoff or passing zone shall be at least 30 feet in length and shall provide an additional eight feet of width. A driveway servicing more than one residence or parcel of real property shall have a minimum width of 18 feet. All driveways in excess of 150 feet in length shall have an area such as a loop or hammerhead design so that vehicles (including emergency vehicles) can turn around and exit the driveway without backing down the driveway.
(2) 
Finished grade. All access grades within 30 feet of the road's driving surface should be no more than 2% and in no case more than 3%. Any grade beyond this thirty-foot point shall not exceed 15%.
(3) 
Access grades shall be constructed to slope downward from the edge of the road surface to the existing drainage ditch line at a rate of 3/4-inch per foot.
(4) 
Ditching and drainage facilities shall be adequate along length of driveway to accommodate runoff and not affect adjoining properties or roads.
B. 
For access onto Town roads:
(1) 
The angle of all new driveways accessing Town roads shall be between 80° and 90° for a minimum distance of 20 feet from the edge of the Town road's driving surface.
(2) 
The return radius between the edge of the driveway and the edge of the existing Town road's driving surface shall be a minimum of 15 feet on each side of the driveway.
(3) 
Driveways shall have an adequate sight distance in each direction meeting the requirements of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices measured 20 feet back from the edge of the Town road's pavement at a forty-two-inch eye height.
(4) 
Sight easements shall be provided across all driveway corners. No obstructions to vision such as shrubbery, brush, trees, earth, fencing or structure shall be permitted at the road intersections within the triangle formed by the intersection of the road center lines and a line drawn between points along such lines 30 feet distance from their point of intersection and 10 feet back from the edge of the pavement of the road. This restriction does not apply to United States Postal Service mailboxes.
C. 
For access onto state or county roads:
The curb cut and driveway requirements of the state or county shall be adhered to in addition to the general standards set forth in this section. If there is a conflict between jurisdictional requirements or standards, the stricter requirements or standards shall apply.

§ 160-9 Construction specifications.

A. 
For driveways accessing existing Town roads:
(1) 
Driveways for accessing single residential parcel or lot. Culvert pipe(s) shall be new and supplied by the property owner. Prior to construction. applicants shall contact the Town Highway Superintendent for specifications of the size of pipe and materials. Once the culvert pipe has been delivered and is available at the property for installation, the Highway Department shall be responsible for its proper installation. Such installation shall occur within a reasonable time after the culvert pipe is available at the property for installation. The Town will bear the cost of installing the culvert pipe to the extent that the installation does not involve stream crossings or specialized equipment and does not require more than one day of work by the Highway Department. The property owner will be responsible for reimbursing the Town for such additional costs if such are necessary.
(2) 
Driveways for accessing multiple residences or residential parcels or nonresidential parcels. Driveway culverts shall be of such size and made of such material with the appropriate wheel load rating standards as approved by the Town Highway Superintendent. The culvert pipe shall be installed at the owner's expense and shall be inspected and approved by the Town Highway Superintendent after installation. The Highway Superintendent may require the owner to supply engineering plans or reports to adequately assess the amount of drainage flow in order to adequately size the culvert and drainage system in which it is placed.
B. 
For driveways accessing new roads. All driveway culverts and drainage systems shall be supplied and installed by the property owner at the property owner's expense. The new road and driveways accessing said new road shall comply with the requirements of § 160-3 of the Town of Austerlitz Code.
C. 
For driveways accessing state or county roads. The requirements of the state or county, whichever applies, shall be adhered to. Cost of construction or installation shall not be borne by the Town.
D. 
For all driveways.
(1) 
For any driveway, the Town Highway Superintendent reserves the right to review the site and advise best management practices that shall be set in place before and during construction.
(2) 
Driveways shall be constructed so that the entrance onto any state, county, Town or private road is consistent with the Highway Superintendent's requirements for safety and proper drainage.
(3) 
Where any driveway that predates the adoption of this article and subsequently requires a culvert to be installed in order to rectify a drainage issue affecting a Town road, the driveway culvert shall be ordered and installed by the Highway Department and the property owner shall reimburse the Town for 50% of the Town's costs for the culvert pipe and installation.

§ 160-10 Maintenance.

A. 
All driveways within the Town of Austerlitz must be kept in good driving condition, free and clear of surface water, debris or obstacles that prevent or hinder access by vehicles, including, but not limited to, emergency vehicles.
B. 
Surface water from driveways or onto driveways within the Town of Austerlitz shall be diverted away from roads and road drainage systems to the maximum extent practicable to avoid flooding or the ponding of surface water on any road and any surface water that flows along or down a driveway shall be diverted into the appropriate culvert or drainage ditch or facility.
C. 
All driveways within the Town of Austerlitz shall be maintained in such a way as not to cause any erosion or drainage to adjacent roads or property. Privately owned ditches must be maintained in a manner that prevents storm runoff from private drives from entering onto a Town road. The Town will hold individual property owner(s) financially responsible for any damage to Town roads relating from private drive runoff (i.e., washouts, debris, failure of proper ditch maintenance, drainage of surface water onto surface of driveway, etc.).

§ 160-11 Approval of driveways; application for driveway permits.

Prior to the construction of a driveway that enters a Town, county. state or private road, approval must be obtained from the appropriate governing authority or agency, and a copy of such approval forwarded to the Code Enforcement Officer. Where a driveway enters a county or state road, a driveway permit from the Town of Austerlitz is still required and an inspection will be conducted in order to ensure that the design standards of § 160-8 of this article have been met.
A. 
Application for a driveway permit shall be filed with the Town Code Enforcement Officer. A driveway permit application fee of $25 for residential properties and $100 for nonresidential properties will be required if the applicant has not secured a building permit.
B. 
Prior to construction, applicants shall arrange a time for the Town Highway Superintendent to conduct an initial inspection to review the location of the proposed driveway.
C. 
Before a driveway permit can be approved, a final inspection will be necessary to verify that the requirements and standards of this regulation have been met to the satisfaction of the Highway Superintendent.
D. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall not consider a driveway permit application for on-site construction until an initial driveway inspection has been performed and an acceptable location has been sited. In order for the Code Enforcement Officer to perform necessary inspections, a passable driveway also must be constructed in the sited location prior to the issuance of any building permit application for additional on-site construction.
E. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall not issue a certificate of occupancy until the driveway is completed, inspected and approved by the Highway Superintendent.
F. 
The person to whom such permit is issued shall be responsible for all damages caused to the road itself, any public utilities in the road; any cracked or damaged sewer and water pipe shall be replaced with new pipe under the supervision of the Highway Superintendent. Before the certificate of occupancy can be issued, any damaged ditches, curbs, sidewalks, or other improvements shall be repaired or replaced in as good condition as before the construction commenced.
G. 
No debris shall be left in the Town road at the end of each workday.
H. 
If any excavation is caused in any Town street or highway relating to the driveway construction, it shall be restored within the time granted in the permit, with approved bank run gravel and shall be kept and maintained level with the unexcavated portion thereof for a period of one year from the date of the permit so that said excavated portion shall be left in as good, substantial and permanent condition as before the excavation; and if not so restored and maintained, the work shall be done under the direction of the Superintendent of Highways and the cost thereof shall be a lawful charge against the person to whom the permit was issued. No person, persons, firm or corporation making or having made any such excavation in or upon any street or highway aforesaid, shall permit such excavation to remain open or uncovered either day or night, without having or causing the same to be properly barricaded by day and night and in addition thereto, shall place at such location, flares, red lanterns or other warning devices, by night, so as to properly warn all persons of the danger of such hole or excavation.

§ 160-12 Access for proposed new lots.

An applicant proposing a subdivision on a Town road shall not receive final approval without first meeting with the Town Highway Superintendent regarding the accessibility of each lot. The applicant shall provide the Code Enforcement Officer with a signed letter from the Highway Superintendent on his letterhead verifying that he has inspected the site and has determined that each new lot can be adequately accessed from a Town road.

§ 160-13 Certificates of insurance.

A. 
The permittee on all nonresidential properties shall present to the Town certificates of insurance evidencing the acquisition of liability insurance coverage naming the Town as an additional insured on a noncontributory basis with the minimum limits of coverage for bodily injury equal to $1,000,000 for each person injured, $2,000,000 for aggregate bodily injury resulting from each occurrence, and $500,000 for property damage.
B. 
Said insurance shall be maintained throughout the term of the permit and the aforementioned certificates shall provide for 30 days' notice to the Town prior to cancellation of coverage.
C. 
All persons performing work under this permit are to be covered by workers' compensation insurance and disability benefits insurances as required by state law.

§ 160-14 Maintenance bond and letter of credit.

The permittee on all nonresidential properties shall present to the Town a maintenance bond and/or a bank letter of credit in favor of the Town in such amount as the Highway Superintendent, with the advice of the Engineer serving the Town and/or the Attorney serving the Town, shall recommend to the Code Enforcement Officer, dependent upon the number and extent of the driveways being constructed pursuant to such permit, guaranteeing compliance with the provisions of the permit. At such time, if ever, that said bond or letter of credit is expended, the permittee shall replace the same within five days' written notice of the Town, failing which the permit shall be subject to revocation.

§ 160-15 Indemnity and save harmless.

The permittee on all nonresidential properties shall agree to fully indemnify, defend, save and hold harmless the Town and all or its departments, bureaus, divisions, boards, officers and employees from and against any and all claims, costs, damages, expenses, charges, risks, losses, lawsuits, judgments, executions, penalties, fines, assessments or any other liability of any type arising out of, occurring in connection with, or resulting from any and all activity to be performed by permittee pursuant to said permit.

§ 160-16 Appeals; variance of requirements.

Any property owner who demonstrates that the application of the requirements or standards of this article causes undue hardship may apply to the Town Board of the Town of Austerlitz for relief and upon such application, the Town Board, in its sole discretion, may vary or waive one or more requirements of this article provided that such variance or waiver is consistent with the policy and purposes of this article.

§ 160-17 Title.

This article shall be known and cited as the "Town of Austerlitz Driveway Law."

§ 160-18 Separability.

Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this article be declared unconstitutional or unjust for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this article shall not be affected thereby.

§ 160-19 Inconsistency.

All resolutions or ordinances or local laws or portions thereof of the Town of Austerlitz not consistent with this article in whole or in part shall be repealed. This article is intended to supersede and replace § 160-4, entitled "Driveways," of the Town of Austerlitz Code as adopted by Local Law No. 2 of 2000.

§ 160-20 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
A violation of this article is an offense, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 per day of continuing violation.
B. 
In addition to the above-prescribed penalties, the Town Board may, in its discretion, revoke any permit previously issued after a public hearing at which the applicant shall have an opportunity to be heard, or in the alternative, may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with this article by injunction, abatement or otherwise compel cessation of each violation, and obtain restitution to the Town for costs incurred by the Town in remedying each violation. including but not limited to reasonable attorney's fees.