[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Wilkins: Art. I, 6-1-1925 as Ord. No. 80; Art. II, 8-29-1977 as Ord. No. 621. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-1-1925 as Ord. No. 80]
Any property owner building a driveway from his property to any public road or street in the township shall be required to place a storm sewer pipe at least 12 inches in diameter underneath said driveway where the driveway connects with the public road or street to prevent water from standing on the road or at the side of the road.
[Adopted 8-29-1977 as Ord. No. 621]
The intent of this Article is to provide controls with which the Township of Wilkins can regulate driveway access from nonresidential land uses to rights-of-way of streets that are functionally classified as local streets in the township.
No person shall construct, open up or connect any driveway to a public right-of-way of a local street from a nonresidential land use without first obtaining a driveway permit, the conditions for which are further set forth in this Article, and complying with the provisions of Section 308 of Chapter 173, Zoning.
As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A private road giving access to a public right-of-way from private land.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- The total width of any land and air space assembled, reserved or dedicated and maintained by governmental action to permit public right of passage or for other public or quasi-public purposes.
- A. That portion of a public street which is improved, designed or ordinarily intended for vehicular use.
- B. The roadway width normally measured between regularly established curblines or between outer extremities of the shoulders, whichever is appropriate.
- C. The area of a public street, sometimes referred to as the "cartway" or "pavement."
- A. ARTERIAL STREET:
- B. LOCAL STREET:
- (1) All publicly owned, operated and maintained roadways in Wilkins Township which are not owned, operated and maintained by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by the County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, are, for the purpose of this Article, functionally classed as "local streets."
- (2) The function of a "local street" is to provide access to abutting land uses and, as a secondary purpose, to provide for the distribution of vehicular traffic between intersecting local streets and traffic arteries.
Applications for driveway permits can be obtained from the Township Ordinance Enforcement Officer at the Wilkins Township Municipal Building, 110 Peffer Road, during any normal business day. An application fee shall be paid at the time of filing in an amount set by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
All persons seeking to construct, open up or connect any driveway to a public right-of-way of a local street from a nonresidential land use must complete a driveway permit application and submit the completed application to the Ordinance Enforcement Officer for the Township of Wilkins. A site plan, drawings and supportive material clearly describing the applicant's intent shall be submitted with the driveway permit application. All driveway permit documents shall be prepared in sufficient detail so as to afford a clear description of:
The land use and purpose for which the property is to be used or reused.
The proposed location of all driveways and driveway approaches to all public roadways to which access is being sought.
The precise location of all driveways and driveway approaches serving all abutting properties.
The number of parking spaces within the areas which can be served by the proposed driveways.
The information shown on all driveway permit documents shall be in sufficient detail to:
All drawings are to contain the North point and a legend to clearly identify all elements of the plan that will be critical for a proper evaluation by the Ordinance Enforcement Officer. All plans and drawings shall be to scale. Graphic scales shall be used.
The completed application form and required support data listed above are to be submitted to the Township Ordinance Enforcement Officer during normal working hours.
The Township Ordinance Enforcement Officer shall be afforded three calendar weeks for the review of the application and support material.
The Township Ordinance Enforcement Officer may require the applicant to also submit a detailed report of existing and forecasted vehicular traffic activity which may result from a driveway or driveways being connected to the right-of-way of a local street from a nonresidential land use.
It will be the duty of the Ordinance Enforcement Officer to advise the applicant of the need for this traffic report during the application review. The purpose for this traffic report is to further afford the Ordinance Enforcement Officer an opportunity to determine if traffic generated by the proposed land use or reuse will adversely affect traffic flow and safety, particularly within the environs of the planned land use or reuse.
The traffic report must be prepared by an expert in the field of traffic engineering or transportation planning or by others considered qualified and acceptable to the Township Ordinance Enforcement Officers.
The traffic report shall clearly and concisely describe pertinent vehicle safety and traffic capacity information. The report shall also contain conclusions concerning the impact of the proposed, use or reuse on the flow of traffic, traffic capacity and safety on affected public roads and at all potential conflict points within the environs of the planned land use or reuse.
A driveway between a nonresidential land use and the right-of-way of a local street can only be granted under the following conditions:
No driveway shall be provided to a local street if a driveway access can be provided to an arterial street.
All portions of the driveway must lie wholly within the zoned property being considered for use or reuse.
No portion of any driveway or driveway approach shall be constructed closer than five feet from the side property lines or the side property lines extended to the edge of the right-of-way.
Driveways shall not exceed 24 feet in width. Driveway approaches shall not exceed 30 feet in width measured at the edge of the roadway.
All driveways and driveway approaches shall be constructed consistent with good engineering practice and with materials acceptable to the township engineer.
Sight distance for motorists entering the local street from the proposed driveway shall not be less than 100 feet along the local street. Sight distance from the eye-level equivalent (3.75 feet) of a motorist stopped on the driveway no closer than 10 feet from the edge of the roadway of the local street is measured along center lines of vehicle gravel paths on the local street.
The applicant's development shall not generate so much vehicular traffic that traffic volumes on the local street linking the proposed development with the nearest artery exceed 300 vehicles per hour (two-way) during the peak hours of operation or during the peak street traffic hours and/or more than 2,000 vehicles in an average twenty-four-hour day.
When volumes generated by the proposed development are added to potential traffic generated by possible future land use on the local street in a ten-year forecast period, total local street traffic volumes shall not produce average daily (twenty-four-hour) traffic volumes in excess of 2,000 vehicles and/or more than 300 vehicles per hour (two-way) during the peak street traffic hours or during the peak hours of business activity.
Nonconformance to any of the preceding minimum restrictions shall result in denial of the application to construct, open up or connect a driveway to a public right-of-way of a local street from a nonresidential land use by the Ordinance Enforcement Officer. Such denial shall be furnished the applicant in writing. The denial shall state the reasons for denial by the Ordinance Enforcement Officer.
If, based on information supplied with the applications for driveway permits and/or requested by the Ordinance Enforcement Officer, a driveway to the right-of-way of a local street will not have an adverse effect on traffic flow or the residential quality of a local street but that traffic control may be needed to improve traffic flow and safety, the Ordinance Enforcement Officer is to advise the applicant of the need to prepare appropriate preliminary design drawings for required traffic control devices.
If traffic control devices are to be considered, the permit to construct, open up or connect a driveway to a public right-of-way of a local street from a nonresidential land use will not be issued by the Ordinance Enforcement Officer of the Township of Wilkins until after preliminary approval of those traffic control devices that are under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is obtained and after a written statement is received from the applicant that the applicant for the proposed land use or reuse will assume all costs relevant to the engineering design and installation of the recommended traffic control devices and sufficient surety of the funds required for said controls is posted.
Where approvals for traffic control devices are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Township Ordinance Enforcement Officer will advise the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) of impending applications for installation of such traffic control devices. On request by PennDOT, the Ordinance Enforcement Officer will forward all information, sketches and support data provided to him/her by the applicant to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District Office for their evaluation.
If, in the judgment of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District Office, traffic control devices will meet warrants established by the commonwealth for such control devices, it shall be the duty of the applicant to have prepared all necessary preliminary design drawings and support data for the recommended traffic control devices. This information is to be prepared in a manner consistent with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requirements as set forth in its design manuals. Once completed by the applicant, these preliminary drawings and support data are to be forwarded to the Township Ordinance Enforcement Officer for transmittal to the District Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Where traffic controls are required, no local street driveway access shall be opened until controls are installed as designed.
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which shall violate the provisions of this Article shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment of such fine and costs, such person, the members of such partnership or the officers of such corporation shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Each day that a violation is continued shall constitute a separate offense. In appropriate cases, actions seeking injunctive relief may be filed.
The applicant or developer of nonresidential land use or reuse seeking driveway access to local streets has the right of appeal or to seek variance to this Article by direct written appeal showing cause for such appeal or variance to the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Wilkins.
The Board shall conduct hearings and make decisions in accordance with the following requirements:
Notice shall be given to the public, the applicant, the Ordinance Enforcement Officer and to any person who has made timely request for the same. Notices shall be published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality. Such notice shall state the time and place of the hearing and the particular nature of the matter to be considered at the hearing. The first publication shall be not more than 30 days or fewer than 14 days from the date of the hearing.
The parties to the hearing shall be the municipality and any person affected by the application who has made timely appearance of record before the Board and any other person, including civic or community organizations, permitted to appear by the Board. The Board shall have power to require that all persons who wish to be considered parties enter appearances, in writing, on forms provided by the Board that purpose.
The Board members shall have power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and production of relevant documents and papers, including witnesses and documents requested by the parties.
The Board shall render a written decision or, when no decision is called for, make written findings on the appeal within 45 days after the last hearing before the Board.
A copy of the final decision or, where no decision is called for, of the findings shall be delivered to the applicant personally or mailed to him/her within five days following its date. To all other persons who have filed their name and address with the Board not later than the last day of the hearing, the Board shall provide, by mail or otherwise, brief notice of the decision or findings and a statement of the place at which the full decision or findings may be examined.
The appellant shall, on appeal, pay a filing fee to cover the cost of notice and stenographic services in an amount set forth in an appropriate resolution or motion adopted by the Board of Commissioners.