TOWN OF BELL
BAYFIELD COUNTY, WISCONSIN
Private Highway Access, Private Driveway, and Private Road Ordinance
Ordinance #07-01 Amended July 14, 2020
SECTION (I) – TITLE AND PURPOSE
The title of this ordinance is the Town of Bell Private Highway Access, Private Driveway and Private Roadway Permit Ordinance. The purpose is to regulate, for public health and safety reasons, the establishment, repair, construction, improvement, modification, and reconstruction of private driveways and private roadways, to assure that the methods of repair, construction, improvement, modification, and reconstruction practices used in any driveway will protect properly the public health, safety, and general welfare of persons in the Town of Bell, and to limit and regulate highway access by motor vehicles to any town highway in the town. This is not a town zoning ordinance.
SECTION (II) – AUTHORITY
The town board has the specific authority under ss. 66.0425, Wis. stats., to adopt a town highway access permit ordinance, and has the general authority under its village powers under s. 60.22, Wis. stats., to adopt this ordinance.
The Town Board of the Town of Bell does ordain as follows:
SECTION (III) – DEFINITIONS
When used in this ordinance, the following terms are defined as follows:
A. “Improved lot or improved parcel” shall mean and refer to a lot or parcel of land which is served by or has available electrical service or another utility or which is otherwise physically improved so that it is intended for, available for or capable of being a site for the location, erection or construction of a principal building or of being used or occupied by one or more persons.
B. “Person” shall mean and refer to an individual person as well as a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, as well as any other entity.
C. “Principal building” shall mean and refer to a building or other structure which is intended for, suitable for or capable of being used for human occupancy. An accessory building is not a principal building.
D. “Private driveway” shall mean and refer to an improved or unimproved path, road, drive, way, or ground surface, extending from a public street, public highway, public road or private road, which connects with or will connect with any public highway, and provides or will provide vehicular ingress or egress to one improved lot, improved parcel or principal building.
E. “Private road” shall mean and refer to a privately owned and maintained road, drive, street, way or other improved or unimproved surface, not dedicated as a public road, public street or public highway, which provides the primary means of vehicular ingress and egress from a public road, public street or public highway to two or more improved lots, improved parcels or principal buildings.
F. “Private access” shall mean and refer to an improved or unimproved path, road, drive, way, or ground surface, extending from a public street, public highway, public road or private road, which provides ingress or egress to any parcel of land.
SECTION (IV) – STANDARDS
The following minimum construction and maintenance standards shall apply to private access, private driveways and private roads in the Town of Bell:
A. Minimum drivable surface of private driveways or private roadways 300’ or less in length shall be: 18 feet. Minimum drivable surface of private driveways or private roadways more than 300’ in length shall be subject to Section IV.F
B. Minimum width clearance: 24 feet.
C. Minimum height clearance (area free of tree branches, wires and other obstructions): 18 feet.
D. Minimum carrying capacity for bridges: 40,000 pounds (20 tons).
E. Maximum grade: 10%.
F. An at least 25 feet in length by 18 feet in width segment of private access, driveway, or private road surface shall be provided for each 300 feet of private driveway or private roadway length to provide for the safe passage of motor vehicles which meet traveling in opposite directions.
G. Where a private access, driveway, or private road intersects a public right of way, the portion of the private driveway or private roadway which is in the public right of way shall slope away from the public right of way a minimum of 1% and a maximum of 5% to prevent/reduce erosion into the public right of way.
H. A private access, driveway, or private road shall have a base consisting of suitable gravel or other material to support anticipated traffic as well as a 20-ton truck.
I. The private access, driveway, or private road shall have such culverts as are specified by the Town. Unless otherwise specified by the Town, each culvert required by the Town shall be at least 18 inches in diameter and 30 feet in length.
J. The dead-end of each private driveway or private road shall have a turn-around with a radius of at least 25 feet or another physical arrangement acceptable to the Town which permits a vehicle similar to a 20-ton fire truck to turn around.
K. At the location where the private access, private driveway, or private road intersects a public highway, public road, or public street, there shall be visibility of at least 150 feet for approaching traffic from each direction.
L. When a private access, private driveway, or private road intersects a public highway, public road, or public street, it shall be at an angle of 90°.
M. No private driveway or private road shall contain a curve or turn which is too sharp for a 31-foot fire truck to negotiate.
SECTION (V) – PRIVATE DRIVEWAY OR PRIVATE ROAD REQUIRED
A. No person shall erect, construct, place, or allow the erection, construction, or placement of a principal building on any lot or parcel of land in the Town unless such principal building is served by a private driveway or private road which complies with the requirements of this ordinance.
B. No principal building shall be erected, constructed or placed on any lot or parcel of land in the Town unless such lot or parcel of land is served by a private driveway or private road which complies with the requirements of this ordinance.
C. No person shall improve a lot or a parcel of land in the Town to make it an improved lot or improved parcel unless such lot or parcel of land is served by a private driveway or private road which complies with the requirements of this ordinance.
SECTION (VI) – APPLICATION FOR PERMIT
A person who desires to construct a private access, private driveway or private road in the Town shall first:
A. File with the Town Clerk a properly completed and signed application for a private access, private driveway or private road permit on what is then the form approved by the Town Board and pay the Town Clerk the then current application fee. (Blank application forms are available from the Town Clerk and on the Town website). Application will require a sketch and pre-inspection will require staked out route.)
B. A sketch must accompany the properly signed and completed application and pre-inspection will be required to stake out the proposed route.
C. The applicant must remit the application fee, which is intended to help defray the administrative expenses associated with the application, inspection and approval process.
D. After a properly signed and completed application for a private access, private driveway, or private road is filed with the Town Clerk with the required application fee, such application will be examined by the Town Clerk, the Town Board, or its designee.
E. If the application is not complete or is not completed properly or is otherwise insufficient, it may be returned to the applicant to correct the deficiencies.
F. If an application is determined to be properly completed and signed and the fee has been paid, the Town Board or its designee will inspect the site of the proposed private access, private driveway /private road.
G. After a site inspection has been made, the Town Board or its designee may, if it determines it is necessary, obtain additional information and perform additional inspections.
H. The Town Board will consider the application at the next practicable Town Board meeting. Town Board may approve the application, deny the application or approve the application upon such conditions as the Town Board deems appropriate under the circumstances. The applicant will be informed in writing of the Town Board’s decision.
I. If the application is approved by the Town Board, any private access, driveway, or private road which is constructed shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the permit requirements.
J. If the application is approved by the Town Board with conditions, any private access, driveway, or private road which is constructed shall be constructed and maintained in compliance with the conditions placed on the permit.
K. If the Town Board issues the applicant a permit for the construction of a private access, driveway, or private road, the applicant has twenty-four (24) months from the date of issue within which to construct the same, or the permit then lapses.
L. The Town Board or its designee may:
1.Order a person to apply to the Town for a permit for a private driveway/private road if a private driveway/private road has been constructed or it appears one is being constructed without the required permit.
2.Order a person to cease and desist in constructing a private driveway/private road in the Town if such private driveway /private road is not being constructed in accordance with the permit, a condition of the permit or this ordinance.
3.Order a person violating this ordinance to comply with this ordinance.
M. When the Town Board or its designee enters an order authorized by this ordinance, the recipient of such order shall promptly comply with the same.
N. If the applicant is aggrieved by the decision of the Town Board or its designee, the applicant may file a certiorari action in Bayfield County Circuit Court.
SECTION (VII) – APPLICATION FORM
The Town Board will, from time to time, adopt an application form for persons to complete to apply for a private driveway /private road permit. The Town Board will, from time to time, set the amount of the application fee to be paid by each applicant.
SECTION (VIII) – ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES
If Town Foreman or Fire Chief, or their designee, determines that the finished driveway does not meet the requirements of this ordinance, such person shall issue a notice of non-compliance. Upon receipt of such notice by Applicant, repairs must be completed within 30 days. The Applicant may appeal by email or letter sent to both the Town Clerk and to the Town Board, and the Town Board shall take up the matter at the next practical Town Board meeting. The decision of the Town Board shall be final.
SECTION (IX) – PENALTY AND COSTS
If a notice of non-compliance is issued and no appeal is taken or the Town Board denies an appeal, the property owner may be subject to a fine of not less than $10
Nor more than $500 dollars per day. Each day the violation continues shall be considered a new violation subject to this penalty.
SECTION (X) – SEVERABILITY
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance is held for any reason or be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance. The Town of Bell hereby declares that it would have passed and adopted this ordinance and each section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase hereof irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared unconstitutional or invalid.
SECTION (XI) – EFFECTIVE DATE
Following passage by the Town of Bell Town Board, this ordinance shall take effect July 14, 2020
Adopted by the Town Board of Supervisors for the Town of Bell on the 14th day of July, 2020.
Roger Lindgren, Chair
Attest: Mary Beth Tillmans, Clerk
Download this ordinance as a PDF.