Town of DeRuyter, New York

Private Road Law

Proposed Local Law # 2 of 2010: Private Road Law

(a.) Intent.

The Town of DeRuyter recognizes that, due to the specific requirements of any given development, application of adopted public road design standards may result in development with excessive paving and grading, increased storm water runoff, and loss of vegetation. It is also the intent of this Ordinance to recognize that storm water runoff has been traditionally treated as a by-product of development to be disposed of as quickly and efficiently as possible. The result has often been increased flooding, degradation of water quality, soil erosion and sedimentation, and a failure to capitalize on the benefit of creative storm water management. However, unobstructed, safe, and continuous vehicle access to lots is necessary to promote and protect the public health, safety, and welfare to ensure that public services can safely enter and exit private property at all times.
It is the intent of this Ordinance to permit access to the interior of certain properties within the Town of DeRuyter by private roads that are subject to minimum standards and specifications. These standards and limitations are intended to permit unobstructed, safe, and continuous vehicle access, as well as, encourage road design standards which will result in the reduction of impervious surfaces and the preservation of vegetation, in order to more appropriately manage storm water. It is further the intent of this Ordinance to ensure that private roads are maintained and repaired by the private property owners, who own and use the road.
The procedures, standards, and specifications hereinafter set forth are determined to be the minimum procedures, standards, and specifications necessary to meet the intent of this ordinance.

(b.) Definitions.
(1) Easement - The right of an owner of property by reason of such ownership, to use the property of another for purposes of ingress, egress, utilities, drainage, and similar uses. In the context of this Ordinance, private road easements shall be designated for purpose of ingress and egress.

(2) Private Road - An area of land that is privately owned, provides vehicular access to more than one (1) lot and has not been dedicated to public use other than access by emergency and public safety vehicles, and is maintained by its private owners.

(3) Public Street or Right-of-Way - A public or dedicated right-of-way, which affords the principal means of vehicular access to abutting property and which is under public ownership or control.

(4) Private Road Administrator - An official appointed by the Town of DeRuyter to administer the Private Road Ordinance.

(c.) Permit Application and Review Requirements.

 Each application for a private road shall be accompanied by completed plans prepared and sealed by civil engineer or land surveyor registered in the State of New York, which include the information contained herein. Where the required information is incorporated in the overall site plan of a development, separate road plans shall not be required.

The application and plans for a private road shall include the following information:
(1) The addresses of the lot or parcel number(s) to be served by the private road.

(2) A vicinity map of a minimum scale of one inch equals two thousand feet (1” = 2,000’), showing the location of the private road in the Township, any access roads and cross streets, road names, a scale, and a north arrow.

(3) Existing topography at two (2) foot contour intervals for the portions of the site sufficient to determine drainage from the private road easement to a suitable storm water outlet.

(4) Proposed improvements (including but not limited to, roads, sewers, and ditches) shown in plan and profile indicating all materials, grades, dimensions, and bearings in compliance with the standards set forth in Attachment A. The plans shall also show all existing and proposed grades, the location of all existing and proposed drainage facilities, the location of existing and/or proposed utilities and structures, other structures, physical or natural conditions existing adjacent to such improvements, and any connections to existing public and private roads.

(5) Soil borings within the proposed route of the road. Tree coverage and wetland areas within one hundred (100) feet of either side of the proposed route.

(6) Location of existing buildings on the lots or parcels being served or intended to be served by the private road, as well as, any existing building or structures in or adjacent to any proposed road easement.

(7) Plans shall show the existing or proposed location of private utilities and easements, such as gas, telephone, and electric.

(8) A complete statement of all the terms and conditions of the proposed road easement, including copies of all agreements or intended agreements regarding the maintenance and improvements of the right-of-way and roadway. Furthermore, said maintenance agreements shall be in such form as to be recordable with the Madison County Clerk’s office and shall specifically address the liability and responsibility of the parties to said agreement to maintain the private road pursuant to the specifications of this article, including, but not limited to, the responsibility of removing snow from said private roads. The recorded statement which runs with the land, shall also inform subsequent purchasers that the road is private and may never be maintained by the Town of DeRuyter or accepted into the Town of DeRuyter road inventory.

(9) Appropriate deed restrictions and/or master deed provisions shall provide for free and clear vehicular access for emergency service vehicles on all private roads.

(d.) Design Standards.
(1) The design and construction of all private roads shall comply with the most currently published American Society of Highway Traffic Officials (ASHTO) standards for the criteria applicable to the private road (see attachment A), subject to the approval of the Town of DeRuyter. If the private road provides direct access to a county road, approval of the road connection, placement, and design must be approved by the County Highway Superintendent prior to Town of DeRuyter approval. Likewise, a private road providing direct access to a state road must be approved by the New York State DOT and a private road providing direct access to a Town road must be approved by the Town Highway Superintendent.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Ordinance, private roads or easements approved by the Town of DeRuyter prior to the enactment of this Ordinance, shall continue to meet the specifications approved at the time of application. Upon expansion, reconstruction, or major alteration of an existing private road, new construction shall comply with the most currently published American Society of Highway Traffic Officials (ASHTO) standards for the criteria applicable to the private road. The Town of DeRuyter shall determine if this provision is met.

(e.) Inspection.

Prior to the initiation of construction, a pre-construction conference will be held with the applicant, Town of DeRuyter, and Private Road Administrator. Evidence of issuance of County Highway Department and soil erosion control permits shall be provided by the applicant at the time of the meeting.

All required improvements shall be inspected by the designated Town of DeRuyter official at various stages of construction. The Private Road Administrator shall make a final inspection upon completion of construction and shall report the results of the final inspection to the Town of DeRuyter in writing. The applicant's engineer shall certify to the Town of DeRuyter, before the final inspection and report thereon are made, that the required improvements were made in accordance with this article and all approved plans.

The costs of inspection, including compensation of the Town of DeRuyter official shall be paid by the applicant prior to the issuance of the certificate of completion. The Town of DeRuyter shall establish and determine the costs of inspection. If the applicant does not directly pay the costs of inspection, the same shall be paid from the deposit established by the Town of DeRuyter and held by the Town of DeRuyter, and the balance, if any, shall be returned to the applicant.

(f.) Private Road Permit Approval Procedure.

(1) Upon receipt of an application, the Private Road Administrator shall bring the application before the DeRuyter Planning Board at its next regular meeting. The DeRuyter Planning Board may refer the application to the Madison County Planning Department and any other appropriate body for review and comment.

(2) The Private Road Administrator shall report in writing to the DeRuyter Planning Board as to whether or not the proposed private road conforms to the standards and specifications of this Ordinance. Said report may include any suggested conditions to be attached to the Private Road Permit that, in the Administrator’s judgment, are necessary to achieve the intent of this Ordinance.

(3) The Town of DeRuyter Planning Board shall consider the application, the Administrator’s report, and all other relevant information in determining whether to grant the Private Roar Permit application. If the information submitted by the applicant does not establish that the proposed private road will conform to the standards and specifications of this Ordinance, the Town of DeRuyter Planning Board shall not grant the Private Road Permit. The Town of DeRuyter Planning Board shall impose such conditions on the approval of the Private Road Permit as it deems necessary to achieve the intent and objectives of this Ordinance, which may include, but need not be limited to, conditions suggested by the Administrator. The breach of any such condition proposed by the Town of DeRuyter Planning Board shall automatically invalidate the Private Road Permit.

(4) As a condition to the granting of any Private Road Permit under this Ordinance, the Town of DeRuyter Planning Board shall require that the applicant deposit with the Private Road Administrator a sum of money, bank letter of credit or certified check, in an amount sufficient to guarantee that the applicant shall perform the terms and conditions of the Private Road Permit, including the payment of required fees. Upon completion of all improvements required by this Ordinance, any unused portion of the deposit shall be refunded to the applicant.

(5) Upon receipt of the required deposit and predetermined fees and approval, the Private Road Administrator shall issue the Private Road Permit pursuant to the terms established by the Town of DeRuyter Planning Board approving the application.

(6) Only the Town of DeRuyter Planning Board shall have the authority to approve or deny applications for Private Road Permits.

(g.) Variances.
(1) Variances may only be granted by the Town of DeRuyter upon the finding that at least one of the two following conditions have been met:

a. That a variance or exemption is required in order to comply with conflicting County or State laws, rules, or regulations.

b. That there are such special circumstances or conditions affecting said property that strict application of the provisions of this Ordinance would clearly be impractical or unreasonable. This may include topographic, vegetative, or drainage conditions.

(2) In order to grant a variance, the Town of DeRuyter shall also find:

a. That the granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other property in the area in which said property is situated.

b. That such variance or exemption will not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of this Ordinance.

(h.) Violations.

 Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment not exceeding ninety (90) days, or both such fine and imprisonment.

(i.) Fees.

The Town of DeRuyter Town Board shall establish by resolution a fee schedule to defray costs of inspection, plan review, administration, and enforcement of this article.

(j.) Severability.

 The provisions of this ordinance are severable and any decision by any Court of competent jurisdiction that any provision or clause hereof is invalid shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this ordinance.

(k.) Compliance with Other Statutes, Ordinance Order, or Regulation.

 Nothing in this Ordinance is intended to permit any practice which is a violation of any statute, ordinance, order or regulation, and no provision contained in this ordinance is intended to impair or abrogate any civil remedy or process whether legal or equitable which might otherwise be available to any person.

(l.) Effective Date.

 This ordinance was adopted by the Town of DeRuyter Town Board at a regular meeting thereof held on the day of and shall become effective thirty days after publication.

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