Chapter 12.09


12.09.010  Title and purpose.

12.09.020  Applicability.

12.09.030  Definitions.

12.09.040  Administration.

12.09.050  Preliminary consultation.

12.09.060  Application requirements.

12.09.070  Minimum design standards.

12.09.080  Final approval.

12.09.090  Construction—Inspections.

12.09.100  Nonconforming private roadways.

12.09.110  Modifications.

12.09.120  Appeals.

12.09.130  Liability for damage.

12.09.140  Fees.

12.09.150  Violations—Penalties.

12.09.160  Severability.

12.09.010 Title and purpose.

This chapter may be cited as the “Kelso private roadway ordinance” and its purposes are as follows:

A. To promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare;

B. To adopt reasonable rules for the construction of approaches to city roads;

C. To ensure emergency vehicle access;

D. To provide for implementation of the city's policies to ensure adequate road designs and signing to avoid traffic hazards and the disruption of traffic flow;

E. To provide for expeditious review and approval of proposed private roads in concurrence with other required reviews. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.020 Applicability.

The regulations contained in this chapter shall apply to the construction of all new private roadways and alteration of existing private roadways within the city limits. The periodic cleaning and resurfacing of an existing private roadway shall not be considered an alteration and shall not require a permit as long as the specifications under which the roadway was approved are not compromised. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.030 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter the following definitions shall apply:

A. “All weather surface” means gravel or paved surface.

B. “Nonconforming private roadway” means a private roadway as defined by this chapter that fails to meet one or more of the physical requirements or standards specified in this chapter.

C. “Private roadway” means any vehicular access way, designed or intended to serve three but not more than fifty parcels or dwelling units or any commercial business, which has not been dedicated and accepted as a public roadway.

D. “Existing private roadway” means a private roadway that existed on or before the effective date of this chapter or a new proposed roadway for which a valid application for approval has been received by the community development department prior to the effective date of this chapter.

E. “New private roadway” means any private roadway proposed or established after the effective date of this chapter.

F. “Roadway Type I” means a private roadway intended to provide access to twenty but not more than fifty lots, parcels, or dwelling units, constructed to meet current specifications for city roadways.

G. “Roadway Type II” means a private roadway intended to provide access to at least ten but less than twenty lots, parcels, dwelling units or commercial uses, constructed to meet standards specified by this section.

H. “Roadway Type III” means a private roadway intended to provide access to at least three but less than ten lots, parcels, or dwelling units, constructed to meet the standards specified by this chapter. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.040 Administration.

All applications for private roadway approval under this chapter shall be made to the public works department. It shall be the duty of the city engineer to process any application pursuant to this chapter and to administer the provisions of this chapter. The city engineer shall approve and require the use of any forms deemed desirable to implement the provisions of this chapter. The director shall maintain records for all private roadway decisions. Such records shall be made available for public review upon request. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.050 Preliminary consultation.

Prior to making application for a private roadway permit, the applicant should consult with the public works department and the community development department regarding how to coordinate the application process with other permits and approvals which may be required. An application for approval of a private roadway may be submitted with and may be reviewed concurrently with one or more other permits and approval processes. The city engineer shall forward the application for a private roadway permit to the community development department and other departments of local/state agencies as deemed appropriate for review and comment. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.060 Application requirements.

Any person proposing to establish a private roadway shall submit an application to the public works department on such forms as may be required by the city engineer together with all applicable fees. A complete application shall contain the following information:

A. An application containing the name, address, and telephone number of the applicant and all persons with an ownership interest in the property;

B. Plans prepared by an engineer licensed in the state of Washington that include a site plan including erosion control and drainage measures, a vicinity map, road profile, and road cross-section with catch points at fifty-foot intervals along the roadway centerline;

C. A centerline description;

D. A copy of the private roadway maintenance covenant;

E. A copy of the roadway easement/right-of-way. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.070 Minimum design standards.

No permit for a private roadway shall be issued unless the proposed roadway is in conformance with the standards and requirements of this chapter. The minimum standards and requirements for private roadways shall be as provided in this section. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the private roadway standards shall apply to Type I, Type II and Type III private roadways.

A. Compliance with Other Regulations and Requirements. No private roadway permit shall be issued unless and until compliance with other applicable permit requirements and regulations is attained, except as may be permitted by the city engineer when the sequence of land development activities dictate otherwise.

B. Consistency with Comprehensive Plan. The proposed private road must provide safe and convenient access, promote orderly development, and meet the access requirements for the comprehensive plan land use classification in which it is located.

C. Maximum Dwelling Units – Consistency with the KEDM. The proposed private road shall be designed in accordance with the Kelso Engineering Design Manual.

D. Access Rights. Proof of access rights shall be required prior to issuance of a permit for a private roadway.

E. Names. All private roadways shall be named as approved by the community development department. The approved name of roads shall appear on any subdivision plat approved by the community development department for recording in the office of the Cowlitz County auditor.

F. Maintenance. The city will not maintain roadways, signs or drainage improvements on private roads. A private maintenance covenant recorded with the county auditor will be required for any private road. The covenant shall set out the distribution of expenses, remedies for noncompliance with the terms of the agreement, right of use easements and other considerations. The covenant shall include the following terms:

1. The covenant shall establish minimum annual assessments in an amount adequate to defray costs of ordinary maintenance and procedures for approval of additional needed assessments.

2. The covenant shall include a periodic maintenance schedule.

3. The covenant for maintenance shall be enforceable by any property owner served by that road.

4. The covenant shall establish a formula for assessing maintenance and repair costs equitably to property owners served by the private road.

5. The covenant shall run with the land.

6. “Maintenance” shall include, but not be limited to, road surfacing, shoulders, signs, storm drainage facilities and vegetation control. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.080 Final approval.

A. When the city engineer determines that the application contains sufficient elements and data to furnish a basis for review, copies of the application shall within five working days be distributed to the following:

1. Commnuity development department;

2. Fire marshal;

3. Local fire district;

4. School district;

5. City police department;

6. Any other federal, state or local agency which may have an interest in the proposal as determined by the director.

B. All findings and recommendations shall be returned to the city engineer within fifteen working days of receipt. If the findings and recommendations are not returned then the director may make such findings as he deems just.

C. The city engineer shall coordinate and assemble the reviews of the various departments and agencies and prepare a report summarizing the responses. The city engineer shall grant approval, approve with conditions, require modifications to meet the guidelines of this chapter, request additional information, or deny the construction of private roadways. Any denial shall be based on a determination that the establishment of private roads is inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter, and/or the application fails to meet the standards and requirements of this chapter.

D. The approved permit shall be valid for one year unless an extension is requested and granted.

E. Final permit approval is required for all private roadways prior to the start of construction. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.090 Construction—Inspections.

A. No construction shall begin until the plans have been approved and all erosion control measures are in place. The public works department shall be notified not less than forty-eight hours prior to the start of construction.

B. Within one year of issuance of a permit, the developer shall, at his/her expense, provide an engineer licensed in the state of Washington to inspect and certify that all road, grading and drainage facilities conform to the approved engineering plans and specifications. The applicant's engineer shall perform inspections as required to assure compliance with approved plans and prepare one set of as-built plans for the road and drainage system prior to final approval. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.100 Nonconforming private roadways.

No provisions of this chapter shall prohibit the issuance of a building permit for development of an existing lot accessed by an existing private roadway, notwithstanding the fact that such existing roadway may not comply with all applicable standards of this chapter; provided, that no existing lot accessed by a nonconforming private roadway shall hereafter be subdivided unless and until such roadway is brought into compliance with the standards and requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.110 Modifications.

Modifications to the standards and requirements contained within this chapter may be granted by the city engineer in accordance with the Kelso Engineering Design Manual. The applicant shall submit the required application, documentation and appropriate fee to the public works department. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.120 Appeals.

An appeal of any interpretation of the provisions of this chapter made by the director or city engineer and any related order, requirement, decision or determination thereto shall be reviewed by the planning commission or the hearing examiner, if authorized by the city council.

Any appeal shall be filed in writing with the community development department along with the appropriate fee established from time to time by the city council, within twenty calendar days from the issuance of the decision. The written appeal shall include a detailed explanation stating the reasons for the appeal. The community development director shall provide the hearing examiner or planning commission with findings and documentation relating to the application or other administrative action. The director or city engineer may prepare a separate staff report and recommendation for presentation to the commission or hearing examiner. The commission or hearing examiner, following a de novo hearing, may affirm, modify or reverse the interpretation of the provisions of this chapter and any related order, requirement, decision or determination made by the director. All costs related to use of the hearing examiner system shall be borne by the applicant.

The director shall cause notices containing information about the appeal, the location of the property, and the date, time, and place of the public hearing to be published in a newspaper of general circulation, to be posted on or near the project site on one or more signs, and written notice containing such information to be mailed to owners of the property located within three hundred feet of the perimeter boundaries of the property on which the private road is proposed, as shown by records of the Cowlitz County assessor, at least ten days prior to the hearing.

All findings shall be available to the public upon request no more than ten calendar days following the decision. The decision of the hearing examiner on an appeal, once received by the department, shall be mailed to the applicant within five working days, and such decision is final unless appealed to superior court. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.130 Liability for damage.

This chapter shall not be construed to hold the city, or any officer or employee thereof, responsible for any damages to persons or property by reason of the certification, inspection or non-inspection of any roadway or property as herein authorized. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.140 Fees.

The fees for processing applications, appeals, and for other administrative actions under this chapter shall be from time to time established by resolution by the city council. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.150 Violations—Penalties.

Any violation of this chapter shall be considered a civil infraction and a public nuisance. Violations are subject to the provisions of Chapter 8.24 of this code. Each day a violation exists is a separate violation. A finding of commission of infraction and/or payment of monetary penalty does not relieve the violator from compliance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)

12.09.160 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or any portion of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The city council hereby declares that it would have adopted the ordinance codified in this chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof irrespective of the fact that one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases or portions be declared invalid or unconstitutional. (Ord. 3676 § 2, 2008; Ord. 3481 § 1, 2001)