Chapter 12.04
SIDEWALK AND DRIVEWAY CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS*

Sections:

I. Sidewalks

12.04.020    Materials and conformance with specifications required.

12.04.030    Width requirements.

12.04.040    Grade.

12.04.110    Expansion joints.

12.04.120    Drying period and aggregate specifications.

II. Driveways

12.04.130    Purpose and effect of provisions.

12.04.135    General standards for construction, repair, and replacement.

12.04.140    Size and number of driveways permitted.

12.04.145    Driveway abandonment or non-use.

12.04.150    Construction of driveways where curbs and gutters exist.

12.04.155    Construction of driveways where standard curbs and gutters do not exist.

III. Planting Strips

12.04.165    Planting strip – Purpose.

12.04.170    Planting strip construction in new developments.

12.04.175    Permits required for work in planting strips.

12.04.180    Paving of narrow planting strips permitted.

12.04.185    Fixtures and development prohibited in planting strips.

12.04.190    Permitted landscaping materials and required maintenance.

12.04.195    City permitted to disrupt planting strip, curbs, and sidewalks for construction or hazard removal.

12.04.210    Drainage of surface water required.

12.04.220    Vehicle parking areas – Barriers required when.

12.04.230    Improvements – Maintenance required.

12.04.240    Restrictions and variance of requirements – Appeals.

12.04.250    Violations.

*    For statutory provisions regarding acquisition, construction, maintenance, use and vacation of streets, alleys and sidewalks, see RCW Chs. 35.68 – 35.79; for provisions making these chapters applicable to code cities, see RCW 35A.47.020.

I. Sidewalks

12.04.020 Materials and conformance with specifications required.

It is unlawful to build, construct, replace or renew any public sidewalk in the city with any material other than stone or concrete, in accordance with the city standard plans and specifications. (Ord. 99-27 § 3, 1999: prior code § 9.16.010).

12.04.030 Width requirements.

All sidewalks constructed within the city, whether in renewal of other sidewalks or otherwise, shall not be less than six feet in width; provided, however, that the city engineer may permit the construction of walks not less than five feet in width where rights-of-way are not sufficient to permit six feet widths or where anticipated pedestrian traffic is minimal. (Ord. 99-27 § 4, 1999: prior code § 9.16.020).

12.04.040 Grade.

All sidewalks shall be laid on the true grade which shall be determined by the city engineer. (Ord. 99-27 § 5, 1999: prior code § 9.16.030).

12.04.110 Expansion joints.

At such points as may be directed by the city engineer and which shall be approximately thirty feet apart, all concrete sidewalks shall have a one-fourth-inch expansion joint extending entirely through the concrete base and wearing surface. The expansion joint material must be premolded, of cellular nature and composed of approved vegetable material which is impregnated and bound together with an approved binder. (Prior code § 9.20.060).

12.04.120 Drying period and aggregate specifications.

When completed the walk shall be kept moist and protected from traffic for at least three days, or as the city engineer may direct. American-made materials shall be used by the contractor, and the aggregate shall conform to the standard specifications adopted by the department of highways of the state of Washington. (Prior code § 9.20.070).

II. Driveways

12.04.130 Purpose and effect of provisions.

The purpose of Sections 12.04.140 through 12.04.240 is to standardize and regulate the location, size and construction of driveways from the standpoint of proper design and safe and efficient entry to and exit from roadways, and the safety of pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk area. Any access from a public roadway onto private property, shall be through driveways constructed, altered or repaired according to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.135 General standards for construction, repair, and replacement.

Driveway construction, repair, or replacement shall conform to the following standards:

A. Driveways shall be located so that they do not create a hazard to pedestrians or motorists, or invite or compel illegal or unsafe traffic movements. The location and design shall be in accordance with the city standard plan for driveways.

B. Driveways including the flare or radius shall be confined within the extended property lines of the parcel(s) being served by the driveway.

C. The angle between any driveway and the street roadway or curb line shall be not less than forty-five degrees.

D. The two side borders of each driveway shall be parallel (excluding the driveway flare). Where the driveway flare is part of the sidewalk the slope of the driveway and flare shall conform to Washington Barrier-Free Access standards as directed by the city engineer.

E. Driveways shall be constructed so that they do not endanger or conflict with operation of any existing street lighting standard, utility pole, traffic regulating device, water meter or fire hydrant. The cost of relocating any such structure, when necessary to do so, shall be borne by the property owner doing such work. Relocation of any such structure shall be performed only through the written permission of the person having authority and control of the particular structure involved.

F. Every driveway must provide access to a garage, carport, parking apron or other structure which serves a use permitted by Section 20.100.040 of this code. Vehicles are prohibited from parking in the driveway between the curb line and the property line.

G. Driveways which provide access only to the area between the street or curb and the abutting private property, or which result in vehicles parking in such a manner as to protrude over or into a sidewalk area or street, are not permitted. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.140 Size and number of driveways permitted.

A. The width of any driveway shall meet the following minimum and maximum width requirements:

Minimum

Maximum

1. Residential

a. Circular drive

15 feet

20 feet

b. Single drive

15 feet

20 feet

2. Commercial/Industrial

a. Circular drive

15 feet

20 feet

b. Single drive

30 feet

40 feet

3. Exceptions to these measurements may be approved by the city engineer for specific unique reasons.

B. The width of any driveway shall not be less than fifteen feet, exclusive of the driveway flare, measuring perpendicular to the centerline of the driveway.

C. There shall not be more than two driveways on one street for any one ownership except where a single ownership is developed into more than one unit of dwelling or operation, each sufficient in itself to meet the requirements for off-street parking and/or loading or forming a separate residence and where the necessity for separate access to the street is evident. In such cases there shall be not more than two driveways on one street for any one unit of operation.

D. The minimum length for any driveway shall be either six feet from back of curb or from the curb to the property line, which ever is greater, unless otherwise directed by the city engineer. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.145 Driveway abandonment or non-use.

Any driveway which no longer provides access to a use permitted by Section 20.100.040 of this Code, or which has become abandoned or unused through a change of the conditions for which it was originally intended or which for any other reason has become unnecessary, shall be closed and the owner of the property served by the driveway shall replace it at the owner’s expense with a standard curb and gutter and, where sidewalks are present, a sidewalk shall be installed. All such facilities are to be constructed according to the city standard plans and specifications provided in this title. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.150 Construction of driveways where curbs and gutters exist.

Where standard curbs and gutters exist or are to be constructed in conjunction with driveways, the following provisions shall apply:

A. Where concrete sidewalks exist along with standard curbs and gutters, six inch thick concrete driveways shall be placed from the curb line through to the back of the existing sidewalk or to the property line, whichever distance is greater.

B. Driveways to be constructed across existing sidewalks shall be constructed at the grade determined by the city engineer. If the existing sidewalk is at a different grade, the sidewalk shall be adjusted as necessary to meet the grade of the new driveway. The engineer will make every attempt to limit the scope of the sidewalk adjustments to the subject property, but the adjustments must extend far enough on either side of the driveway that uneven joints or grades in excess of those prescribed by the Washington Barrier-Free Access Code are avoided.

C. Where curbs exist, but sidewalks are not present and they are not required for the proposed project, driveways shall be constructed as follows:

1. The driveway, including the sidewalk section, shall be constructed of six inches of concrete from the curb line to the property line, or for a distance of six feet, whichever is greater.

2. Driveways shall be placed to conform to the future grade for sidewalks and curbs as determined by the city engineer. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.155 Construction of driveways where standard curbs and gutters do not exist.

Where standard concrete curbs and gutters do not exist, the following provisions shall apply to the construction of driveways:

A. Residential Properties.

1. Driveways accessing residential properties are not required to be paved.

2. Paved surfaces for vehicle parking on residential properties shall be provided as required by Chapters 20.126 and 20.127 of this code.

3. Where such driveways are to be paved, the construction shall be a minimum of three inches of crushed rock and two inches of asphalt from the edge of the roadway to the property line or for a distance of six feet, whichever is greater.

4. Concrete driveways shall not be permitted unless standard curbs and gutters are constructed at the same time.

B. All Properties Other Than Residential. When driveways are constructed to serve any other property than that developed for residential use only, the following improvements shall be required in connection with such driveway construction:

1. Construction of standard curbs and gutters along the planned edge of the roadway as determined by the city engineer shall be required and shall extend the full length of the property ownership.

2. Driveways shall be constructed as necessary for the intended load, but not less than six inches of concrete.

3. Driving and parking surfaces inside the property shall be provided as required by Chapters 20.126 and 20.127 of this code. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

III. Planting Strips

12.04.165 Planting strip – Purpose.

Planting strips are an important feature of the community in general and the streetscape in particular. They provide green space in the urban environment and they perform an important storm water infiltration function for the right-of-way and adjacent property. Because of the increasing importance of storm water management for compliance with the Endangered Species Act, properly landscaped planting strips which can provide storm water infiltration capacity represent a significant priority for use of the public right-of-way.

Planting strips also contribute to the transportation function of the public right-of-way. They provide a space for egress from parked vehicles, and a separation between pedestrians and traffic lanes. To this end it is necessary to manage the type of surfacing, landscaping, and obstructions placed in planting strips.

The following standards for construction and maintenance of planting strips are developed with these functions in mind. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.170 Planting strip construction in new developments.

In new developments, planting strips shall be constructed according to the provisions of Title 19 of this code. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.175 Permits required for work in planting strips.

All work in the planting strip, requires a development authorization according to the provisions of Chapter 20.14 of this code, and may additionally require a right-of-way construction permit, and other permits applicable to the work being done. This requirement applies to work on driveways, sidewalks, and all other forms of paving and excavation; landscaping; installation of irrigation systems; and all other work except for planting of lawn grass and low-growing ground cover.

Street tree planting, maintenance, removal, and stump grinding requires a street tree permit from the parks and recreation department, but does not require a development authorization or a right-of-way construction permit. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.180 Paving of narrow planting strips permitted.

A. Planting strips of fifteen inches or less in width may be paved upon approval of the city engineer and issuance of a development authorization and a right-of-way permit. The following standards apply to this permit:

1. The planting strip must be bounded by a city standard curb and sidewalk.

2. Paving shall match the pattern and slope of the existing sidewalk.

3. Paving shall be four inches of concrete over two inches of crushed rock. A soil sterilant shall be applied to the base soil prior to paving.

4. No ornamental feature or vertical obstruction is permitted in the paved planting strip area.

5. Traffic control signs, utility poles and public fixtures authorized by other sections of this code, or by state statute are permitted subject to their appropriate placement standards.

B. Paving of planting strips in excess of fifteen inches wide shall not be permitted in areas other than the central commercial zone.

C. Paving of planting strips or public right-of-way where sidewalks and/or curbs do not exist is not permitted. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.185 Fixtures and development prohibited in planting strips.

The following are not permitted in planting strips:

A. Round stone, ornamental gravel, or any similar loose ground cover materials.

B. Decorative landscaping rocks, boulders, railroad ties, fences, trellises, sculptures, lawn furniture, or any similar obstruction.

C. Bushes, hedges, and similar large plantings which obstruct entry and exit from parked vehicles, or which obstruct view from driveways, or which reach a height greater than two and one-half feet.

D. Signs, placards, yard lights, basketball hoops and similar fixtures.

E. Driveways which do not provide access to a use permitted by Section 20.100.040 of this code. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.190 Permitted landscaping materials and required maintenance.

Planting strips shall be landscaped and maintained according to the following standards:

A. Planting strips shall be maintained by the abutting property owner.

B. Planting strips shall be graded to match the curb and sidewalk, and shall be maintained so as to provide safe unobstructed access from the street.

C. Planting strips shall be covered with one or more of the following living plant materials:

1. Lawn grass.

2. Rug juniper, knick-knick, or similar low shrubbery vegetation which does not exceed eight inches at maturity.

3. A minimum of fifty percent coverage with moss, sedum, or similar ground-hugging plants combined with stepping stones or paving blocks.

D. Irrigation shall be supplied as necessary to keep the plant material healthy and to avoid fire hazard or other public nuisance.

E. Street trees approved by the municipal arborist.

F. Low growing seasonal flowers in beds not to exceed ten square feet, separated by a minimum of ten feet of lawn area and which do not exceed two and one-half feet in height. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.195 City permitted to disrupt planting strip, curbs, and sidewalks for construction or hazard removal.

All plant materials, landscaping, lawn fixtures, signs, fences, curbs, concrete walks, sidewalks, stepping stones, and any other manner of development in the planting strip, whether placed by permit or without permit, is placed in the public right-of-way at the property owner’s expense and sole risk. All such materials and improvements are subject to removal by the city or franchised utility provider for the purpose of utility or street construction or repair, or to abate a vision clearance or traffic obstruction. Removal of these materials and improvements shall not be subject to reimbursement from, or claim against the city for damage or replacement.

When a planting strip, curb, or sidewalk is disrupted for city construction purposes, the city will repair or replace the curb, sidewalk, and irrigation system existing underground irrigation systems with like improvements, and will plant appropriate lawn grass or place lawn sod at the city’s discretion. No other plant material or improvement, or fixture or development in the planting strip will be replaced by the city. (Ord. 2002-17 § 2(part), 2002).

12.04.210 Drainage of surface water required.

A. Paved or Hard Surfaced Areas.

1. Whenever any area in connection with a service station, parking lot or similar place is to be paved or hard surfaced, a plot plan of the entire area to be improved shall be submitted to the city engineer. In addition to the information required for application for a driveway permit, the plot plan shall show the details of grading, drainage and surfacing, including the surfacing material to be used.

Developers of public and private parking areas shall also meet the requirements of the zoning ordinance.

2. All such paved or hard surfaced areas shall be provided with drainage systems approved by the city engineer to intercept and dispose of all the water that may fall upon such areas. Under no circumstances shall water be allowed to run across a sidewalk area. All drainage systems shall be of such design as to dispose of surface water as close to the point of origin as possible. Connections of storm systems to a sanitary sewer are not allowed.

3. No person shall construct or alter any such storm drainage structure without having first obtained written approval from the city engineer.

4. Connections to any existing storm sewer systems shall be inspected and appraised by an authorized representative of the engineering department prior to backfilling.

B. Driveways. Where any driveway is to be constructed across an existing or proposed drainage ditch, a suitable culvert or other drainage structure as approved by the city engineer shall be provided at the expense of the abutting property owner.

C. Where curbs and gutters do not exist, there shall be no filling of the planting strip area for any purpose, including but not limited to landscaping or parking, without the issuance of a permit and the approval of the city engineer. (Ord. 99-27 § 13, 1999: Ord. A-2745 § 7, 1974: prior code § 9.24.070).

12.04.220 Vehicle parking areas – Barriers required when.

Whenever any area on private property is used for the purpose of parking automobiles, trucks or other vehicles, whether for the sale of such vehicles, public parking or for other reasons, adequate barriers shall be provided where necessary to prevent the parking of vehicles in such a manner that they overhang the sidewalk. Such barriers shall be constructed as directed by the city engineer. (Ord. 99-27 § 14, 1999: Ord. A-2745 § 8, 1974: prior code § 9.24.080).

12.04.230 Improvements – Maintenance required.

All driveway paving, planting strip paving, or any other improvements within the space between the property line and the roadway shall be maintained in a safe and usable condition at the expense of the abutting property owner. (Ord. 99-27 § 15, 1999: Ord. A-2745 § 9, 1974: prior code § 9.24.090).

12.04.240 Restrictions and variance of requirements – Appeals.

In no case shall any driveway be so arranged as to allow the parking, loading, or servicing of any vehicle on a public sidewalk or in the public right-of-way.

The city engineer may vary the general requirements for driveways if in the city engineer’s opinion such a variance would facilitate a better movement of traffic or provide better protection to pedestrians. Appeals arising in response to any administrative decisions made concerning driveways must be made within fifteen days of the administrative decision and shall be taken to the hearing examiner for review. Any administrative decision which is not timely appealed, and the decision of the hearing examiner on any timely appeal, shall be final. (Ord. 99-27 § 16, 1999: Ord. A-2745 § 11, 1974: prior code § 9.24.110).

12.04.250 Violations.

In addition to any other available penalty or remedy, any sidewalk, driveway, planting strip, landscaping, curb, gutter, vehicle parking area, drainage system, or other improvement which is constructed, altered, repaired, or maintained in violation of the terms of this chapter shall forthwith be remedied by the violator or violators at no cost to the city, and if the violator or violators fail to make such remedy within fourteen days after receiving a request for remedy from the city engineer, the city may cure the sidewalk, driveway, planting strip, landscaping, curb, gutter, vehicle parking area, drainage system, or other improvement, at the joint and several expense of any and all violators. (Ord. 99-27 § 17, 1995).