Borough of Alpha, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Alpha 6-26-2007 by Ord. No. 07-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Flood hazard control — See Ch. 222.
Site plan review — See Ch. 315.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 340.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 346.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 350.
Zoning — See Ch. 410.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards for the design, location and construction of driveways and driveway openings within the Borough in order to provide for the safety and general welfare of the traveling public, preserve municipal road surfaces and roadside drainage structures, ensure adequate access for emergency vehicles and to minimize sedimentation and soil erosion.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
MODIFIED DRIVEWAY
An existing driveway serving a residential dwelling which is proposed to be resurfaced, widened or narrowed.
NEW DRIVEWAY
All other driveways.
A. 
No new or existing driveway which connects with a state, county or municipal roadway shall be constructed or modified unless the owner first obtains a driveway permit from the issuing authority. If the driveway connects to a state or county roadway, the owner shall also obtain a permit for the portion of the driveway within the road right-of-way from the governmental unit having jurisdiction.
B. 
Any portion of a modified driveway which is located outside of the road right-of-way shall be exempt from the design and construction standards set forth in this section.
C. 
The Alpha Borough Zoning Officer shall be the issuing and enforcement authority for driveway permits.
The number of driveways permitted from a proposed lot or site directly to any Borough roadway shall be limited as follows, except under conditions where the safety or convenience of the traveling public is impaired. Such conditions shall be determined by the appropriate Borough official or body upon receipt of advice from the Land Use Board engineer.
Length of Lot Frontage on Each Street
(feet)
Permitted Number of Driveways Street
150 or less
1
151 to 800
2
Each additional 800
1
NOTES:
Single-family dwellings on individual lots may have more than one driveway.
Service stations shall have at least two driveways.
A. 
All driveways which exit or enter onto a Borough roadway shall be located to afford maximum safety to the traveling public.
B. 
All residential driveways shall be designed in profile, grading and location so as to provide the following minimum sight distances measured from a point 15 feet behind the curbline or edge of traveled way on the Borough road considering an eye height of 3.5 feet and object height of 3.5 feet as required by AASHTO's A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets. The clear sight area shall not contain any obstructions from 20 inches above the center line grade of the Borough road to a point 120 inches above the center line, except that utility poles and street trees shall be permitted, provided that they do not create a safety hazard.
Speed Limit
(mph)
Required Sight Distance
(feet)
25
240
30
275
35
315
40
350
45
420
50
475
C. 
For roads which do not have posted speed limits, the speed limit shall be considered to be 50 miles per hour. For the purpose of establishing the required safe sight distance for operation of the driveway. The issuing authority may allow a lesser sight distance based upon a lower speed limit if the applicant provides satisfactory documentation that the law and/or the geometry of the roadway dictates a traveling speed of less than 50 miles per hour or that statutory speed limits for residential and/or business districts pursuant to Tile 39, Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations, apply along the particular section of roadway.
D. 
Industrial and commercial driveways shall comply with the above sight distance requirements, except that, where truck traffic is anticipated, the Land Use Board engineer may require sight distance beyond that shown above in order to assure safe and suitable ingress and egress in accordance with AASHTO standards and accepted engineering practice.
E. 
Where a site occupies a corner of two intersecting roads, no driveway shall be located within 40 feet of the point of tangency of the existing or proposed curb or edge-of-pavement radius.
F. 
No portion of a driveway shall be located within a minimum of 10 feet of a side property line.
G. 
Except in the case of a single-family dwelling, any site having two or more driveways connecting to a Borough roadway shall maintain a minimum clear distance of 150 feet between the driveways measured at the right-of-way line.
The geometric design of a driveway shall be governed by sound traffic engineering principles and the ability of the driveway to provide adequate access for motor vehicles and emergency service and fire apparatus in all weather conditions. The following minimum standards shall be maintained:
A. 
Horizontal curves shall have a minimum center line radius of 50 feet.
B. 
Vertical curves shall be flat enough to prevent the dragging of any vehicle undercarriage.
(1) 
For sag curves, the maximum change in grade shall not exceed 12% in a length of 10 feet.
(2) 
For crest curves, the maximum change in grade shall not exceed 8% in a length of 10 feet.
C. 
All driveways shall be designed and constructed to the following widths:
(1) 
Single-family residential driveways shall have a minimum width of 10 feet. Where depressed curb is utilized, the curb opening shall be a minimum of four feet wider than the driveway but not less than 20 feet in total width. Where no curb exists, additional pavement shall be provided for turning having a radius of not less than five feet or more than 10 feet.
(2) 
Commercial and industrial driveway widths shall be designed to accommodate the volume and character of vehicles entering and leaving the site. For two-way operation, the driveway shall have a minimum width of 24 feet and a maximum width of 40 feet. For one-way operation, the driveway shall have a minimum width of 20 feet and a maximum width of 34 feet. Where depressed curb is utilized, the curb opening shall be a minimum of four feet wider than the driveway. Where a curb radius is utilized, the radius shall be not less than 25 feet or more than 40 feet.
D. 
Maximum driveway grades shall conform to the following:
(1) 
Residential driveways shall be constructed at a profile grade not exceeding 15%, except that, within the road right-of-way or within 25 feet of the center line of the road, whichever is greater, the grade shall not exceed 4%.
(2) 
Commercial or industrial driveways shall be constructed at a profile grade not exceeding 6% or 4% within 100 feet of the road right-of-way line.
E. 
All driveways shall intersect perpendicular to the existing road pavement or traveled way. Any curbed or angular approach of the driveway for aesthetic or topographical reasons shall be accomplished outside of the road right-of-way or beyond 25 feet from the center of the existing pavement, whichever is greater.
F. 
All new driveways shall be designed and constructed so as to provide sufficient turning areas on site in order that vehicles are not required to back out onto any public street. Relocated, reconstructed or altered driveways serving existing improved properties shall be required, to the greatest extent practicable, to be designed and constructed so as to provide sufficient turning areas on site in order that vehicles are not required to back out onto any public street.
A. 
Driveways shall be designed to include proper provisions for handling stormwater runoff along the full length of the driveway and where the driveway crosses existing ditches or drainage structures within the public roadway.
B. 
Existing natural drainage patterns shall be maintained. Where possible, stormwater runoff from driveways shall be directed into natural drainage channels along the course of the driveway and into existing channels or storm drainage facilities within the public roadway, provided that the existing channel or facility has sufficient capacity and that the connection will not cause erosion or sedimentation in the drainage system.
C. 
Stormwater runoff from driveways shall not be discharged directly across a sidewalk or onto the paved or traveled portion of the public roadway where the discharge will create an excessive spread of water in the public roadway causing potential flooding or icing problems.
D. 
Stormwater runoff from driveways shall not be discharged onto adjoining properties in a manner which will cause erosion, sedimentation or flooding. Runoff from driveways shall be permitted to flow across property lines onto adjoining properties, provided that natural drainage patterns are maintained and that there is no significant increase in the peak rate of stormwater runoff onto the adjoining property and provided that the character of the runoff (i.e., sheet flow or concentrated flow) is not altered.
E. 
No driveway shall be constructed which will block or interfere with stormwater runoff in gutters or swales along the existing roadway or traveled way. Where necessary, a property-sized dish-type gutter shall be provided along the existing edge of pavement or traveled way to maintain the existing pattern of stormwater flow and to ensure that the flow of stormwater is not blocked or impeded in any way. Where a dish-type gutter is not sufficient to provide for adequate drainage, a properly designed culvert shall be installed. The design of the culvert and the culvert material shall comply with the minimum standards as set by the Borough Engineer or Zoning Officer.
A. 
The portion of the driveways located within the Borough right-of-way or within 25 feet of the center line of the road, whichever is greater, shall be constructed as follows:
(1) 
Residential driveways entering upon unpaved roads shall be constructed of six inches of I-5 soil aggregate or dense graded aggregate thoroughly rolled and compacted.
(2) 
Residential driveways entering upon paved roads shall have a constructed base course of six inches of I-5 soil aggregate or dense graded aggregate thoroughly rolled and compacted and a surface of two inches of bituminous concrete surface course.
(3) 
Commercial, industrial or other nonresidential driveways shall be paved and curbed as follows:
(a) 
The pavement shall consist of four inches of bituminous stabilized base course, either stone or gravel mix, and two inches of bituminous concrete surface course.
(b) 
Curbing shall be grey concrete, shall have an exposed face of seven inches and shall be air entrained with a twenty-eight-day compressive strength of 4,000 psi. Granite block curbing, when deemed appropriate, may be permitted by the Land Use Board.
B. 
The portions of driveways located outside of the road right-of-way shall be constructed as follows:
(1) 
Any portion of a residential driveway which exceeds a profile grade of 8% shall be paved with two inches of bituminous concrete surface course over a thoroughly compacted base course of six inches of I-5 soil aggregate or dense graded aggregate.
(2) 
Commercial and industrial driveways shall be constructed in accordance with Chapter 350, Subdivision, and Chapter 315, Site Plan Review, of the Code of the Borough of Alpha.
C. 
All materials and methods of construction shall comply with the latest edition of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction.
D. 
All driveways shall be constructed in accordance with the Borough of Alpha's Standard Driveway Construction Details.
A. 
All driveways shall be constructed and maintained in a manner so as to prevent erosion of the driveway and surrounding disturbed areas. Sediment, silt, stone, debris, etc. shall be prevented from washing onto and accumulating on the traveled way of municipal roadways or from filling up gutters, swales, catch basins, inlets or pipes.
B. 
The applicant shall be responsible for the immediate cleanup of any sediment, silt, stone or debris which is deposited into the municipal roadway or into storm drainage facilities as a result of his construction activities.
C. 
In the event that the construction of a driveway is subject to the provisions of the erosion and sedimentation control standards of the Warren County Soil Conservation District, then its standards shall apply whenever such standards are more stringent, detailed or comprehensive than the standards contained herein.
A driveway application shall consist of four copies of the completed application form, four copies of a driveway plan and an application fee and review and inspection deposit. Application forms shall be obtained from the Borough Zoning Officer. The driveway plan shall contain the following information:
A. 
For modified driveways:
(1) 
Block and lot number of the property;
(2) 
The location of property lines, road right-of-way lines and the name of the public roadway;
(3) 
Location of the edge of pavement of the public roadway;
(4) 
The location of existing curb and sidewalk in the public roadway, if present, along with construction details for modifications of the curb and sidewalk;
(5) 
Location and dimensions of the existing driveway and proposed widening or resurfacing;
(6) 
Driveway setback dimensions from property lines;
(7) 
Proposed driveway pavement material and thickness;
(8) 
Location of dwelling or garage.
B. 
For new driveways:
(1) 
All of the information required for a modified driveway, Subsection A(1) through (8) above;
(2) 
Center line radius of any curved portion of the driveway;
(3) 
Profile of the entire driveway showing tangent grades and vertical curve data;
(4) 
Grading plan showing existing and proposed two-foot contours;
(5) 
Utility lines or septic systems in proximity to the driveway;
(6) 
Location and size of turnaround area;
(7) 
Location of existing gutters, swales, ditches or storm drainage structures in the public roadway or along the course of the driveway along with any proposed measures necessary to comply with the storm drainage requirements of this chapter;
(8) 
The plan shall indicate the posted speed limit of the public roadway or that the roadway has no posted speed limits;
(9) 
The plan shall show and provide dimensions of the clear sight areas required. The plan shall also contain a note providing that the property owner shall be responsible to maintain the clear sight area free from any obstructions from 20 inches above the center line grade of the public roadway to a point 120 inches above the center line;
(10) 
The plan shall indicate the existing sight distance, in feet, in both directions from the proposed driveway location. The issuing authority may require additional information, including a profile of the public roadway extending to the limits of the required sight distance, a plan showing grading or removal of vegetation necessary to achieve the required sight distance and profiles from the driver's eye to the object along the sight lines required in this chapter, if deemed necessary to verify that adequate sight distance is provided.
C. 
Plans for modified driveways may be prepared by the property owner, so long as the plans are accurate and provide the required information. Plans for new driveways shall be prepared by an engineer licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey.
A. 
The applicant for a driveway permit shall submit four copies of the application form and driveway plan, along with the required fees to the issuing authority.
B. 
Upon receipt of an application for a driveway permit for a new driveway, the issuing authority shall submit a copy of the application to the Borough Engineer, the Chief of the Borough of Alpha Fire Department and the Borough Department of Public Works' senior repairer or supervisor for comment as to whether or not the proposed driveway complies with the design and construction standards set forth in this chapter and will provide adequate access for fire-fighting equipment, ambulances and other emergency vehicles necessary for the protection of the public health and safety in all weather conditions.
C. 
The issuing authority, within 15 days from the date of receipt of a driveway application, shall notify the applicant either that the application is approved or denied, along with the reasons for the denial. If, however, additional information is deemed necessary to complete his/her review, the issuing authority shall notify the applicant of the additional information which is required to be submitted.
The fees required to be submitted for review of driveway applications shall be in accordance with the Code of the Borough of Alpha.
A. 
The contractor who shall actually be performing the work shall continuously maintain insurance and other security for adequate protection of all his work from damage and shall protect the Borough's property from damage, injury or loss arising in connection with the contract. The contractor shall completely indemnify the Borough in regard to any such damage, injury or loss. The contractor shall take all necessary precautions for the safety of personnel on the work site and shall comply with all applicable provisions of federal, state and municipal safety laws and building codes to prevent accidents or injury to persons on, about or adjacent to the premises where the work is being performed. The contractor shall erect and properly maintain at all times, as required by the conditions and progress of the work, all necessary safeguards for the protection of workmen and the public. If it becomes necessary for the contractor, either as principal or by agent or employee, to enter upon the premises or property of the Borough in order to construct, erect, inspect, make delivery or remove property hereunder, the contractor hereby covenants and agrees to take, use, provide and make all proper, necessary and sufficient precautions, safeguards and protection against the occurrence of happenings of any accidents, injuries, damages or hurt to any person or property during the progress of the work herein covered, and to be responsible for and to indemnify and hold harmless the Borough from the payment of all sums of money by reason of all, or any, such accidents, injuries, damages or hurt that may happen or occur upon or about such work.
B. 
The contractor who shall actually be performing the work shall procure and maintain:
(1) 
Workers' compensation and employer's liability insurance in conformance with all statutory requirements prescribed by law, which shall be maintained in force during the life of this permit by the contractor, covering all employees engaged in performance of this permit in accordance with the applicable statute.
(2) 
General liability insurance with limits of not less than $1,000,000 for any one person and $1,000,000 for any one accident for bodily injury and $300,000 aggregate for property damage shall be maintained in force during the life of the permit by the contractor. The contractor shall procure and maintain an umbrella or excess policy with limits of not less than $5,000,000 for any one person or any one accident for bodily injury, unless a lesser limit is approved by the Borough. In the event more than one insured is named in the policy, a cross-liability endorsement shall be included which provides that the employees of each of the named insured are not excluded under the policy in respect to claims that are made against the other named insured.
(3) 
Automobile liability insurance covering contractor for claims arising from owned, hired and no-owned vehicles with limits of not less than $1,000,000 for any one person and $1,000,000 for any one accident for bodily injury and $500,000 for each accident for property damage shall be maintained in force during the life of this permit by the contractor.
(4) 
Lesser insurance coverages may be allowed for projects with moderate or medium liability exposure in accordance with the Borough's insurance coverage guidelines. Major or high hazard projects undertaken may require higher limits and specific coverages and recommended by the Borough's insurance agent.
C. 
A thirty-day notice of cancellation provision shall be provided.
D. 
Certificates of the required insurance as listed above shall be submitted, with the Borough of Alpha and the Borough Engineer listed as additional insureds.
A. 
In the event the literal enforcement of one or more provisions of this chapter is impracticable or will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question and the applicant for issuance of a driveway permit is unable to comply with all the provisions hereof and the issuing authority has refused to issue the requisite driveway permit or has imposed conditions upon the issuance of such permit, he may appeal such determination to the Land Use Board.
B. 
Such appeal to the Land Use Board shall be taken within 20 days by filing of a notice of appeal with the driveway-permit-issuing authority from which the appeal is taken, specifying the grounds for such appeal. The issuing authority from whom the appeal is taken shall immediately transmit to the Land Use Board all papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
C. 
The Land Use Board shall, within 45 days of the date of its receipt of such notice of appeal, conduct a hearing thereon and render a decision, which shall be binding upon the applicant and upon the issuing authority.
D. 
The Land Use Board shall have the power to grant such exceptions from the requirements and provisions of this chapter as may be reasonable and within the general purpose and intent of this chapter in the event the appellant clearly demonstrates to the Land Use Board that the literal enforcement of one or more of the provisions of this chapter is impracticable or will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question.
E. 
In determining such appeal, the Land Use Board shall be guided by the provisions of this chapter, their intent and purpose, sound engineering principles and practical considerations; provided, however, that the Land Use Board shall, prior to its rendering of a decision on such an appeal, seek the advice of the Land Use Board engineer and the Chief of the Borough of Alpha Fire Department on the issues raised in the appeal.
F. 
No appeal shall be granted, nor shall any exceptions be granted from the provisions of this chapter, unless the Land Use Board is first satisfied that the public health and safety will be adequately protected, that the interests of the Borough in maintaining its roadways in a safe, neat, clean and functional condition will be protected and that, in all circumstances, the driveway will provide safe and adequate access by fire-fighting equipment, ambulances and emergency vehicles necessary for the protection of the public health and safety in all weather conditions.
A. 
No building permit shall be issued for the construction or alteration of any building or structure where, inherent in any application for such permit, a driveway permit is required in accordance with the terms of this chapter until said driveway permit has been issued.
B. 
All work and improvements required by the driveway permit shall be completed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. The applicant shall notify the issuing authority when all driveway improvements have been completed. The issuing authority shall inspect the work for conformance with the approved design and shall advise the Construction Code Official as to whether a certificate of occupancy can be issued. The issuing authority may require an inspection of the driveway and a recommendation by the Borough Engineer if deemed necessary. If the work is found to be unsatisfactory, the issuing authority shall notify the applicant of the deficiencies.
C. 
In the event that all necessary work cannot be completed at the time of application for a certificate of occupancy due to unsuitable weather, unsuitable soil conditions or other unusual conditions, a certificate of occupancy may be issued, provided that a performance guaranty, in the form of cash, bond or a letter of credit in an amount sufficient to complete the work, as approved by the issuing authority, is filed with the Chief Financial Officer of the Borough. Upon certification by the issuing authority that all work as required by the driveway permit has been satisfactorily completed, the Chief Financial Officer shall return any remaining amount of the performance guaranty to the applicant.
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter which results in damage to or obstruction of any municipal roadway, gutter, storm drain, ditch, basin, inlet or culvert either during or subsequent to construction shall be responsible for all expenses incurred by the Borough in repairing said damage or removing said obstruction, in addition to the penalty provided herein.
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both. Each and every day that a violation continues after notification thereof shall constitute an additional, separate and specific violation.
All means of ingress and egress used as of the effective date of this chapter exclusively by farm machinery and equipment to access lands used solely for agricultural purposes shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that compliance with the provisions hereof and issuance of a permit pursuant hereto shall be required for any new accessway to farmlands, whether or not the access way is used exclusively for that purpose.