Ada Township ‘s Driveway and Private Road Ordinance

There are a number of driveways and private roads in Ada Township that a Fire Department vehicle can not get in due to width, overhear clearance, sharp turns, and road surface.  The Fire Department urges every home owner to look closely at their driveway or private street to ensure that vehicles as large as a fire truck can get to your home.  If you have any questions the Fire Department will send a representative to your home and discuss your driveway or private road situation with you.  DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE A FIRE TO DETERMINE THAT THE FIRE DEPARTMENT CAN’T GET TO YOUR HOME.

 

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AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND SECTION 3.21 OF THE ADA TOWNSHIP ZONING ORDINANCE.

THE TOWNSHIP OF ADA ORDAINS:

	Section 1.  Amendment of Section 3.21 of the Zoning Ordinance.  Section 3.21 of the Ada Township Zoning Ordinance is hereby amended to read in its entirety as follows:

Section 3.21	PUBLIC STREET ACCESS AND PRIVATE ROAD AND DRIVEWAY STANDARDS.

A.	For purposes of this section, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

	(1)	private road: a privately-owned and maintained drive, street, or any improved or unimproved surface, not dedicated to the Kent County Road Commission as a public road, which provides the primary means of vehicular ingress and egress from a public road to two (2) or more dwelling units, lots, parcels or principal buildings, whether created by a private right-of-way agreement, easement or prescription.

	(2)	private driveway:  an improved or unimproved path, road or ground surface extending from a public street or private road, which provides vehicular ingress and egress to no more than one (1) improved lot, parcel or principal building. 

B.	Every principal building and use shall be located on a lot which either abuts a public street or has legal access to a public street on a private road, in accordance with the following provisions:

	(1)	A lot which abuts a public street shall abut the public street for a minimum width of thirty (30) feet.

	(2)	A lot which does not abut a public street shall have access to a public street on a private road which complies with all applicable standards contained in this Section. The lot shall abut the private road for a minimum width of thirty (30) feet.

	(3)	A lot which does not abut a public street shall be served by necessary easements granted to the Township for the construction, operation, inspection, maintenance, repair, alteration, replacement and or removal of pipelines, mains, conduits, wires and other installations of a similar character, for the purpose of providing 1) public utilities, including conveyance of sewage, water and storm water runoff across, through and under the property subject to said easement and 2) private utilities, including electrical distribution, telephone, natural gas and cable television, and to accommodate excavation and refilling of ditches and trenches necessary for the location of said structures.

C.	All private driveways which are greater than one hundred and twenty-five (125) feet in length, measured from the public road right-of-way, and all private roads, regardless of length, shall comply with all of the following standards:

	(1)	The inside radius of all horizontal curves shall be a minimum of twenty-five (25) feet.
	(2)	The design of any bridge or crossing of a culvert greater than forty-eight inches (48”) in diameter shall be approved by a registered professional engineer. All bridges and culverts shall be capable of supporting a vehicle loading of an HS-20-type vehicle, based on Michigan Department of Transportation standards.

(3)	The address for all lots or parcels accessed from a private road which does not have a name approved by the Kent County Road Commission shall be posted at the public roadway and at each driveway intersection with the private road. The street address for all lots or parcels accessed from a private road which has a name approved by the Kent County Road Commission shall be posted at each driveway intersection with the private road.

(4)	All lots or parcels accessed solely from a private road having a name approved by the Kent County Road Commission shall be addressed on that private road.

(5)	All gates blocking access to a private road shall have an access code determined by the Fire Department, and be equipped with a keyed switch which will keep the gate open. The keyed switch must use a Knox Box Key.

D.	A private driveway which is greater than one hundred and twenty-five (125) feet and less than eight hundred (800) feet in length, measured from the public road right-of-way, shall comply with all of the following standards:

	(1)	The standards of Paragraph C, above shall be met.

	(2)	The improved surface of the driveway shall have a minimum width of ten (10) feet.

	(3)	The area within two (2) feet of each side of the improved driveway surface, and within eleven (11) feet above the driveway surface,  shall be kept reasonably free of obstructions, such as tree trunks and large branches, which may interfere with use of the driveway by emergency vehicles.

	(4)	The maximum grade of the driveway shall be ten percent (10%), with the exception that the maximum grade within thirty (30) feet from the intersection of the driveway wit a public street or private road shall be four percent (4%).

	(5)	The driveway shall have an improved surface which consists of a minimum of six (6) inches of aggregate base meeting Michigan DOT specification 22A, and shall be maintained in a condition which is accessible to and usable by emergency vehicles during construction on the lot or parcel served by the driveway.

E.	A private driveway which is eight hundred (800) feet or more in length, measured from the public road right-of-way, shall comply with all of the following standards:

	(1)	The standards of Paragraphs C and D above shall be met.

	(2)	An improved area having dimensions adequate for maneuvering and turn-around of firefighting apparatus shall be provided near the end of the driveway, at a location approved by the Fire Chief.

	(3)	Marker posts, for purposes of providing distance information to emergency response personnel, shall be placed at locations determined by the Fire Chief.

	(4)	Vehicle passing/pull-out lanes with dimensions of ten (10) feet in width and forty (40) feet in length shall be installed adjacent to the driveway, at intervals of eight hundred (800) feet, or at locations approved by the Fire Chief.

F.	A private road which provides the primary access to three (3) or fewer dwelling units,lots, parcels or principal buildings, and which is less than eight hundred (800)feet in length, measured from the public road right-of-way, shall comply with all of the following standards:

	(1)	The private road shall comply with the standards of Paragraph C, above.

	(2)	The private road shall have a minimum right-of-way or easement width of thirty (30) feet.

	(3)	The improved surface of the private road shall have a minimum width of ten (10) feet.

	(4)	The area within two (2) feet of each side of the improved road surface, and within eleven (11) feet above the road surface, shall be clear of obstructions, such as tree trunks and large branches, which may interfere with use of the driveway by emergency vehicles.

	(5)	The maximum grade of the road shall be ten percent (10%), with the exception that the maximum grade within thirty (30) feet from the intersection of the road with a public street or another private road shall be four percent (4%).

	(6)	The road shall have an improved surface which consists of a minimum of six(6) inches of aggregate base meeting Michigan DOT specification 22A, and shall be maintained in a condition which is accessible to and usable by emergency vehicles during construction on the lots or parcels served by the road.

	(7)	Provision shall be made to ensure the continued repair and maintenance of the private road, and financing of the costs thereof by those property owners benefiting from the private road. This shall be accomplished through use of a recorded agreement between the parties in interest to the private road, or through a restrictive covenant, which shall run with the land. A copy of said agreement or restrictive covenant shall be provided to the Zoning Administrator prior to issuance of a permit for construction of the private road.

G.	A private road which provides the primary access to three (3) or fewer dwelling units, lots, parcels or principal buildings, and which is eight hundred (800) feet or more in length, measured from the public road right-of-way, shall comply with all of the following standards:

	(1)	The standards of Paragraphs C and  E, above, shall be met.
	(2)	An improved area having dimensions adequate for maneuvering and turn-around of firefighting apparatus shall be provided near the end of the road, at a location approved by the Fire Chief.

	(3)	Marker posts, for purposes of providing distance information to emergency response personnel, shall be placed at locations determined by the Fire Chief.

	(4)	Vehicle passing/pull-out lanes with dimensions of ten (10) feet in width and forty (40) feet in length shall be installed adjacent to the road, at intervals of eight hundred (800) feet, or at locations approved by the Fire Chief.

H.	A private road which provides the primary access to four (4) or more dwelling units,lots, parcels or principal buildings, shall comply with all of the following standards:

	(1)	The private road right-of-way or easement shall have a minimum width of sixty-six (66) feet.

	(2)	The area within eleven (11) feet above the road surface shall be clear of obstructions, such as tree trunks and large branches, which may interfere with use of the driveway by emergency vehicles.

	(3)	Marker posts, for purposes of providing distance information to emergency response personnel, shall be placed at locations determined by the Fire Chief.

	(4)	If the private road provides access to four (4) to nineteen (19) dwelling units, principal buildings, lots or parcels, it shall comply with the following minimum width, maximum grade and road surface standards:

		(a)	The grade of the private road shall not exceed ten percent (10%), with the exception that the private road shall have a maximum grade of four percent (4%) for a minimum distance of thirty (30) feet from its intersection with a public right-of-way or another private road.

		(b)	The private road shall have an improved surface at least twenty-two(22) feet in width, with a minimum of six inches (6") of aggregate base meeting Michigan DOT specification 22A.

	(5)	If the private road provides access to twenty (20) or more dwelling units, principal buildings, lots or parcels, it shall comply with the following minimum width, maximum grade and road surface standards:

	(a)	The grade of the private road shall not exceed six percent (6%), except as provided in subparagraphs (b), (c) and (d), below.

	(b)	The grade of the private road shall not exceed four percent (4%) for a minimum distance of thirty (30) feet from its intersection with a public right-of-way or another private road.
	(c) 	The Zoning Administrator, or, in the case of a site condominium or planned unit development, the Planning Commission, may authorize a maximum grade in excess of six percent (6%) and no greater than ten percent (10%), for a maximum run length of three hundred (300) feet, when deemed necessary to avoid disruption of significant natural features on the site.

	(d)	If the private road is located within a condominium subdivision for which a site plan was approved by the Planning Commission on or before January 1, 1999, or within a Planned Unit Development which received Preliminary PUD approval by the Township Board on or before January 1, 1999, the maximum grade standards of subparagraph 4 (a)shall apply, and not the maximum grade standards of subparagraphs 5(a) through 5(c).

	(e)	The pavement width, pavement surface and sub-grade shall be constructed in conformance with the "Local Road" typical cross-section contained in Kent County Road Commission "Requirements and Specifications for Plat Development," or similar successor regulations, a copy of which shall be kept on file in the office of the Township Clerk.

        (6)	The improved surface of the private road shall be a minimum of fifteen (15) feet from any adjoining lot or parcel which does not derive access from the easement or private road.
	
	(7)	A private cul-de-sac shall not exceed 2,640 feet (1/2 mile) in length if fifty (50) or more dwelling units derive their sole access from the private cul-de-sac.  For purposes of this paragraph, "private cul-de-sac" is defined to mean a segment of a private road which terminates in a cul-de-sac or dead-end so as to have only one outlet (a single means of ingress and egress) either to (a) a public street or (b) a private road that has more than one outlet to a public street.  The length of a private cul-de-sac shall be measured along its centerline, from its intersection with either (a) the centerline of a public street or (b) the centerline of a private road that has more than one outlet to a public street, to the terminal end of the private cul-de-sac (i.e., to the turn-around or dead-end).

	(8)	A private road shall be provided with a means for turn-around of vehicles, either by use of a cul-de-sac having an improved surface as required for the associated road surface and having a minimum outside radius of forty (40) feet, or by  use of a continuous loop road layout.

	(9)	All areas disturbed by the construction of the private road shall be provided with topsoil, seeded with perennial grass and protected against erosion.

	(10)	Provision shall be made to ensure the continued repair and maintenance of the private road, and financing of the costs thereof by those property owners benefiting from the private road.  This shall be accomplished through use of a recorded agreement between the parties in interest to the private road, or through a restrictive covenant, which shall run with the land.  A copy of said agreement or restrictive covenant shall be provided to the Zoning Administrator prior to issuance of a permit for construction of the private road.

	(11)	The private road shall be assigned a name which has been approved by the Kent County Road Commission, and shall be identified by a street sign installed by the Road Commission.

I.	Maintenance and Indemnification Requirements:

	(1)	Each owner and occupier of any lot or parcel which obtains its vehicular access from and benefits from a private road shall maintain the private road so that it is reasonably capable of providing sufficient access for the uses permitted on the lot or parcel, and for the provision of fire protection, police, ambulance and other emergency services. This obligation may be enforced against any owner or occupier described above without regard to the existence of any recorded agreement that may exist under the requirements of this Section.

	(2)	Each owner and occupier of any lot or parcel which obtains its vehicular access from and benefits from a private road shall indemnify and hold the Township harmless from all claims, liability and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorney fees, arising out of any failure to properly construct, maintain or repair the private road as required under this ordinance or under any private agreement that may exist under the requirements of this Section.

J.	A private road, as defined in this Section, shall not be constructed, extended, improved or relocated unless a permit authorizing such has been issued by the Zoning Administrator. 
	(1)	Application for a private road construction permit shall be made by submission of the following to the Zoning Administrator:

		(a)	A completed application form, supplied by the Township, containing the names and addresses of the owners and any other parties having any legal interest in the private road or the property across which the road is to be constructed.

		(b)	identification by parcel number of all properties having any legal interest in the private road.

		(c)	a map, drawn to scale, prepared by a registered engineer or surveyor, showing the precise location, route, dimension and design of the private road.  The map shall identify existing and proposed elevation contours within all areas to be disturbed or altered by the construction of the private road.

		(d)	the location of all public or private utilities to be located within the private road right-of-way or easement, or within twenty (20) feet thereof, including but not limited to water, sewer, telephone, gas, electricity and television cable.

		(e)	the location of any lakes, streams, drainageways, or wetlands, as determined by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, within the proposed private road right-of-way or easement or within one hundred (100) feet thereof.

		(f)	a copy of a recorded maintenance agreement or restrictive covenantwhich provides for the continued maintenance and repair, and the financing thereof by the parties in interest, of the private road, which complies with the requirements of this Section.

		(g)	an application fee, to be established by resolution of the Township Board.

	(2)	Upon receipt of an application for a private road construction permit, the Zoning Administrator shall refer the plans to the Township Fire Chief and Township Engineer for review. If the Township Fire Chief, Township Engineer and Zoning Administrator determine that the proposed private road improvements comply with all applicable standards and requirements of this Section, the Zoning Administrator shall issue a private road construction  permit, which shall authorize the construction, extension, improvement or relocation of the private road as set forth in the plans submitted with the application.

K.	No building permit shall be issued for the construction of a dwelling unit or other principal building to which access is provided by a private road, unless all of the following conditions are met:

	(1)	A permit for the construction of the private road, if required by this Section, has been issued by the Zoning Administrator.

	(2)	The design and construction of the private road complies with all applicable provisions of this Ordinance, based upon the total number of dwelling units, principal buildings or lots which will obtain access from the private road after issuance of the building permit.

(3)	The private road has either been completed to the satisfaction of the Zoning Administrator, or a financial guarantee in an amount equal to the cost of the construction and in a form acceptable to the Zoning Administrator has been provided, to insure the completion of the private road in accordance with the approved permit and plans within one (1) year from the date of issuance of the building permit.

(4)	The Building Official may refer applications for building permits to the Fire Chief for review, in determining compliance with the standards contained in this Section.

	The provisions of this Paragraph K. shall not be applicable to any lot which met the following conditions on or before March 13, 1990:

	(1)	the lot is served by an existing private road having a continuous improved surface at least eight (8) feet in width consisting of gravel road base, and is in other respects reasonably capable of providing sufficient access for the uses permitted on the lot and for the provision of fire protection, police, ambulance and other emergency services.

	(2)	the lot in question also met one of the following conditions:

		(a)	the lot consists of a "condominium unit" (i.e., a portion of a condominium project designed and intended for separate ownership and use as described in the condominium master deed) located within a "site condominium" development for which a condominium master deed has been recorded with the Kent County Register of Deeds in accordance with the requirements of the Michigan Condominium Act (PA 59 of 1978, as amended, MCLA 559.101 et seq.) and other applicable laws and ordinances; or

		(b)	the lot consists of a parcel described by metes and bounds for which a deed has been recorded with the Kent County Register of Deeds, or of a parcel described by a land contract or memorandum of land contract which has been recorded with the Kent County Register of Deeds; or

		(c)	the lot has been assigned a unique permanent parcel number by the Kent County Property Description and Mapping Department and is individually assessed and taxed on that basis.

L.	For any lot which does not abut a public road, or private road right-of-way, no building or structure shall be located less than forty (40) feet from all property lines.

M.	The requirements of Paragraphs A through L above shall be considered as minimum requirements for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare.  In addition to complying with these requirements, all lots shall in all other respects be provided with access sufficient for the provision of fire protection, police, ambulance and other emergency services.

Section 2.  Severability.

The various parts, sections and clauses of this Ordinance are hereby declared to be severable. If any part, sentence, paragraph, section or clause is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of the Ordinance shall not be affected thereby.

Section 3.  Effective Date.

This Ordinance shall become effective upon the expiration of 7 days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Township.

___________________________________  _______________________________
Deb Ensing Millhuff, Township Clerk  George Haga, Township Supervisor
 
I hereby certify that this ordinance was adopted by the Ada Township Board in regular session held on January 11, 1999, and that it was published in the Grand Rapids Press on, 1999. _____________________    Deb Ensing Millhuff, Township Clerk