Chapter 13.52
DRIVEWAYS GIVING ACCESS TO ARTERIAL STREETS

Sections:

13.52.010    Definitions.

13.52.020    Permit required.

13.52.030    Permit and inspection fees.

13.52.040    Number of driveways permitted.

13.52.050    Traffic signals may be required at parcel owner’s cost.

13.52.060    Spacing requirements.

13.52.070    Joint access.

13.52.080    Corner clearance.

13.52.085    Safe access to public streets.

13.52.090    Regulation of turns.

13.52.100    Construction standards.

13.52.110    Minimum sight distance.

13.52.120    Basis for arterial access denial or variance granting.

13.52.130    Driveway access may be improved with street improvement project.

13.52.140    Driveway improvement plan – City council hearing and decision.

13.52.150    Driveway improvement plan – Owner responsibility.

13.52.160    Unsafe driveway – Traffic study.

13.52.170    Unsafe driveway – Public hearing.

13.52.180    Unsafe driveway – Improvements must be approved.

13.52.190    Unused driveways – Owner responsibility.

13.52.200    Prohibited acts.

13.52.210    Nuisances designated – Abatement.

13.52.220    Enforcement.

13.52.230    Driveways accessing certain rights-of-way prohibited – Variance.

13.52.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Arterial street” means every public highway, or portion thereof, designated as such by ordinance, in accordance with the law of the state.

“Driveway” means a vehicle access between abutting property and a city right-of-way or a city street.

“Minor street” means any city street not designated by competent authority as an arterial street, a state highway, a parkway, an expressway, or a freeway.

“Parcel” means any piece of real property in a single ownership. [Ord. 8760 § 1, 1979].

13.52.020 Permit required.

A permit, issued by the public works department on written application, is required for the construction or reconstruction of any driveway giving access from a parcel to a street or alley. No other permit for driveway construction or reconstruction shall be required when such a permit is obtained. The public works department shall only issue permits for driveways after that department has ensured that:

A. The requirements of this chapter are complied with;

B. The proposed construction or reconstruction is in accordance with standard plans and specifications adopted by the public works department and available for public inspection; and

C. The proposed construction or reconstruction is in accordance with good and accepted engineering practice. [Ord. 10021 § 1, 1990; Ord. 8760 § 2, 1979].

13.52.030 Permit and inspection fees.

The public works department shall be authorized to charge the following fees:

A. For examining plans and issuing a driveway permit, $25.00; and

B. Such field inspection and plans examination fees as shall reimburse the city for the actual cost thereof when the costs of inspection, examination of plans, and issuance of the permit aggregate more than $25.00 in the course of issuance of a permit required by this chapter. [Ord. 8760 § 20, 1979].

13.52.040 Number of driveways permitted.

Each parcel shall be permitted one driveway giving access to an abutting arterial street, either permitting direct access to the parcel, or jointly with an adjoining parcel. Additional driveways giving access to one or more arterial streets shall be permitted only under the following conditions:

A. When the owner of the parcel can demonstrate that the daily volume of traffic using a single driveway would be in excess of 5,000 one-way vehicle trips per day; or

B. When the owner of the parcel can demonstrate that the vehicle traffic using a single driveway would exceed the capacity of a stop sign-controlled intersection during one peak street traffic hour, or the peak site traffic hour, as capacity is determined by a qualified professional engineer, and approved by the director of public works. [Ord. 8760 § 3, 1979].

13.52.050 Traffic signals may be required at parcel owner’s cost.

The public works department may require the installation of electric or electronic traffic signals at the cost of the owner of a parcel to control the ingress and egress of traffic from the driveway when either:

A. At the time of application for a permit, it is determined that:

1. The parcel would be allowed two or more driveways under the provisions of the chapter; and

2. As the result of a traffic study, it is demonstrated that one or more electric or electronic traffic signals is necessary to ensure the safety of the motoring public.

B. In the case of a parcel served by one or more driveways already in existence, it is shown by a traffic study conducted by the department of public works that:

1. The parcel would be permitted two or more driveways under the provisions of this chapter; and

2. It is demonstrated that one or more electric or electronic traffic signals is necessary to ensure the safety of the motoring public. [Ord. 8760 § 4, 1979].

13.52.060 Spacing requirements.

Driveways providing access to arterial streets shall be spaced a minimum of 200 feet apart; provided, that the public works department may issue a permit which will result in lesser spacing when all the following factors are present:

A. The parcel does not have adequate frontage on the arterial street to provide the 200 feet spacing;

B. After good faith attempts, the owner of the parcel is unable to secure joint access through an adjoining parcel;

C. The parcel to be served cannot be served from another street; and

D. The resultant driveway provides maximum spacing from adjacent driveways giving access to the arterial street, and proper corner clearance is provided for. [Ord. 8760 § 5, 1979].

13.52.070 Joint access.

The public works department shall encourage and facilitate the use of joint access driveways serving two or more adjoining parcels. Where joint access driveways are feasible and not objected to by the owners of the affected parcels, the public works department may require:

A. Owners of parcels using the joint access driveway to share the cost of construction or reconstruction of the driveway;

B. Owners of parcels using the joint access to share the cost of electronic or electric traffic signals at the driveway; and

C. Location of the joint access driveway in order to more conveniently serve all parcels using it. [Ord. 8760 § 6, 1979].

13.52.080 Corner clearance.

At the intersection of two streets, there shall be a minimum of 50 feet of tangent curb to the beginning of a driveway opening. If there is no curb, the distance shall be 80 feet measured from the edge of pavement of the intersecting street to the beginning of a driveway opening. [Ord. 10021 § 2, 1989; Ord. 8760 § 7, 1979].

13.52.085 Safe access to public streets.

Access to public streets and alleys shall be located to minimize safety hazards. The public works director may deny access to a street or alley where physical conditions create a safety hazard. The criteria for evaluating locations shall be based upon the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Washington State Department of Transportation Standards, Institute of Traffic Engineers Standards, and AASHTO Standards. [Ord. 10021 § 3, 1989].

13.52.090 Regulation of turns.

The public works department, through its traffic engineer or other responsible official may, in accordance with the city’s traffic code or as otherwise permitted by law, limit or prohibit turns to or from driveways giving access to arterial streets by requiring the placement of official traffic control devices when it appears that there is inadequate corner clearance, sight distance or driveway spacing; or when traffic capacity, delay or safety conditions require such prohibitions. The cost of the traffic control devices shall be borne by the owner of the parcel. [Ord. 8760 § 8, 1979].

13.52.100 Construction standards.

All driveways providing access to arterial streets shall be constructed in such a manner that:

A. The maximum width of the driveway is 30 feet overall, and no more than 15 feet is allowed for each lane of traffic;

B. The angle measured from the street right-of-way to the side of the driveway lanes of traffic is no less than 60 degrees, on either side of the driveway;

C. Driveways through which the daily traffic volume is less than 2,500 one-way vehicle trips shall be of the depressed curb type; and

D. Driveways through which the daily traffic volume is in excess of 2,500 one-way vehicle trips may be of either the depressed curb type, or of the curb return type, at the option of the owner of the parcel. [Ord. 8760 § 9, 1979].

13.52.110 Minimum sight distance.

All driveways giving access to arterial streets shall be constructed in such a manner that the following minimum sight distances are available along the arterial in each direction from the driveway:

Street Design Speed

Minimum Sight Distance

20 mph

175 feet

25

220

30

265

35

310

greater than 35 mph

as determined by the public works department

Sight distance shall be measured in accordance with good engineering practice. [Ord. 8760 § 10, 1979].

13.52.120 Basis for arterial access denial or variance granting.

The public works department may, when required or permitted by traffic conditions and the maintenance of safety on any arterial street:

A. Deny an application for a driveway permit, when a parcel abuts on both an arterial street and a minor street, and adequate access is available via the minor street, regardless of the degree of improvement of the minor street; and

B. Grant variances from the requirements of this chapter where:

1. The use of the parcel is either single-family, or duplex residential; or

2. The owner of a parcel provides a traffic study acceptable to the department of public works showing that the variance is feasible and desirable, and in accordance with the intent of this chapter. [Ord. 8760 § 11, 1979].

13.52.130 Driveway access may be improved with street improvement project.

When the city undertakes to improve an arterial street, including improvements to curbing, gutters, drainage, widening, or major changes in traffic flow controls, the department of public works may, as part of the improvement project, present a plan for improving driveway access to the hearing examiner, which shall hold a public hearing on the plan, after providing no less than 15 days’ notice to owners of parcels abutting the arterial to be improved. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 28; Ord. 8760 § 12, 1979].

13.52.140 Driveway improvement plan – City council hearing and decision.

A. The hearing examiner, after hearing on the driveway access plan, shall declare its findings, and thereupon may:

1. Approve the plan, and direct its carrying out;

2. Modify the plan or require its modification; or

3. Reject the plan.

B. The driveway improvement plan as finalized by hearing examiner action must comply with all relevant conditions set forth in this chapter, unless it is rejected. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 28; Ord. 8760 § 13, 1979].

13.52.150 Driveway improvement plan – Owner responsibility.

Owners of driveways affected by a driveway improvement plan finalized by the hearing examiner shall bear such costs of improvements as the hearing examiner shall direct; and shall do such other things to improve driveway access to their parcels as shall be required by the city council, and shall ensure that such work is inspected by and approved by the public works department. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 28; Ord. 8760 § 14, 1979].

13.52.160 Unsafe driveway – Traffic study.

When, in the judgment of the public works department, a driveway access to an arterial street is unsafe, the public works department may conduct a traffic study of the driveway access and prepare a plan improving the same or requiring its elimination. [Ord. 8760 § 15, 1979].

13.52.170 Unsafe driveway – Public hearing.

After at least 15 days’ notice to the owner of the parcel served by the driveway access deemed by the public works department to be unsafe, the hearing examiner shall hold a public hearing thereon. After public hearing, the hearing examiner shall declare its findings, and as a result thereof, may:

A. Direct improvement of the driveway in accordance with the standards set forth in this chapter; or

B. Direct that the driveway be closed or barricaded in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; and

C. Declare who shall bear the cost of such barricading, closing, or improvement. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 28; Ord. 8760 § 16, 1979].

13.52.180 Unsafe driveway – Improvements must be approved.

The public works department shall be responsible for inspection and approval of all improvements to driveways found by the hearing examiner to be unsafe, and no driveway improvements undertaken after a declaration that they are unsafe shall be deemed completed until the public works department approves the work. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 28; Ord. 8760 § 17, 1979].

13.52.190 Unused driveways – Owner responsibility.

Whenever an established driveway providing access to an arterial street is abandoned, or ceases to be used as a driveway, the owner of the parcel to which the driveway provides access shall take such measures, including the reconstruction of curbing and sidewalks or the provision of barriers, as shall close the driveway to vehicular traffic. [Ord. 8760 § 18, 1979].

13.52.200 Prohibited acts.

It is a misdemeanor:

A. For any person to construct, reconstruct, or cause to be constructed a driveway providing access to an arterial street without first obtaining a permit therefor;

B. For any person who is the owner of a parcel abutting on an arterial street, to occupy the parcel while it is served by a driveway that was constructed or reconstructed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, without first obtaining a permit required by this chapter;

C. For any person who is the owner of a parcel abutting on an arterial street to allow the existence of an abandoned or unused driveway that provides access to the arterial street; or

D. To fail to comply with the directions of the hearing examiner relating to the improvement, barricading, or closing of any driveway. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 28; Ord. 8760 § 21, 1979].

13.52.210 Nuisances designated – Abatement.

The city may undertake an action to abate nuisance driveways in accordance with the procedure for abatement of nuisances provided by the city’s criminal code, or otherwise by law. Nuisance driveways are those driveways providing access from a parcel to an arterial street that:

A. Have been constructed or reconstructed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, without first having obtained a permit as required by this chapter; or

B. Have been abandoned or have fallen into disuse, but are still passable to vehicular traffic; or

C. Have been allowed by the parcel’s owner to continue to exist unchanged for more than 120 days after the hearing examiner has directed that the driveway be improved, closed, or barricaded. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 28; Ord. 8760 § 22, 1979].

13.52.220 Enforcement.

The city’s public works department shall be responsible for the enforcement and administration of this chapter, except that regularly appointed inspectors and law enforcement officers of the following departments of the city shall have authority to issue citations for violations of this chapter:

A. Public works department;

B. Police department;

C. Legal department;

D. Department of planning and development;

E. Any governmental agency having authority to enforce the building codes. [Ord. 8760 § 19, 1979].

13.52.230 Driveways accessing certain rights-of-way prohibited – Variance.

A. No driveway shall be constructed which provides vehicular access to the following rights-of-way:

1. Garden Terrace (alley between Garden Street and Morey Avenue – Highland Drive) between 17th Street and Garden Street.

B. Any driveway which was lawfully constructed prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section may be reconstructed, resurfaced or otherwise modified, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A) of this section; provided, that such action may not generate additional vehicular traffic accessing the rights-of-way listed above.

C. The hearing examiner may grant a variance to permit construction of a driveway accessing a right-of-way listed in subsection (A) of this section if the applicant demonstrates (1) that without a variance the applicant’s property cannot be reasonably used, (2) that the lot for which the driveway would provide access either legally existed on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section or was proposed in a complete short plat application filed with the city on or before January 28, 1991, and (3) that the granting of the variance will not be unduly detrimental to the public welfare. The hearing examiner may condition a variance so as to mitigate any adverse impacts which might otherwise result from granting the variance. Conditions may include, but are not limited to, erosion control, additional right-of-way dedications, street improvements, vision clearance and other mitigating measures. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 28; Ord. 19171 § 1, 1991].