Driveway Ordinance / Application


The purpose of this Ordinance is to regulate the establishment, construction,

improvement, modification, or the reworking of a driveway that changes the

existing topography of the land to assure that the site, method of construction, and

conservation practices to be used will promote the public health, safety, and

general welfare of the community, preserve agricultural land and productivity,

protect natural and cultural resources, and enforce the goals and policies set forth

in the Town of Smelser Comprehensive Plan.


Jurisdiction of these regulations shall include all driveways on land within

the Town of Smelser.


These regulations are adopted under the general police powers authority

granted pursuant to sec. 60.10(2)(c), 60.22(3), and 61.34(1) of the Wisconsin



(1) Driveway. A private driveway, road, new or improved field road, or

other avenue of travel that runs through any part of a private parcel of land or that

connects or will connect with any public highway.

(2) Field Road. A road used only for agricultural purposes.

(3) Town Board. The Town of Smelser Board of Supervisors.

(4) Town Clerk. Clerk of the Town of Smelser

(5) Topography. The surface features of an area of land.

(6) Agricultural Land. Land within the Town of Smelser that has

produced or is capable of producing a viable crop including forestry or



(1) Who Must Apply? No person or entity shall establish, construct,

improve, modify, or rework a driveway that changes the existing topography of the

land without first obtaining a Driveway Construction Permit from the Town Board.

Existing Driveways constructed prior to implementation of this ordinance are

grandfathered in. Surface maintenance such as paving, seal coating, grading or

applying gravel does not require a driveway permits.

(2) Application Forms. The Town Board shall approve a form for

applications for driveway permits. These are available from the Town Clerk.

(3) Application. Submit a completed Driveway Construction Permit

Application with the appropriate fee and the following required attachments, as

required, to the Town Clerk.

(a) Plat map or

(b) Driveway Construction Plan

(c) or Other Documents. The Town may require other documents to be

attached to the Driveway Construction Permit Application.

(4) Application Review. Procedures for the evaluation of the Driveway

Construction Pennit include a site view of the proposed driveway and approval

during a presentation at a Town Board Meeting.

(5) Permit Period. The Driveway Construction Permit is effective for

12 months from the date of issuance. The pennit shall expire after 12 months

unless renewed.

(6) Renewal. The pennit may be renewed for 1 additional period of 12


(7) Driveway Inspection. The applicant shall notity the Town Clerk

within 30 days of completion of the construction or modification. Within 30 days

of notification, any dispute regarding the driveway location will be resolved by the

Town Board and be based upon town practices accepted by the WI Department of


(8) Building Pennits. No Building Permit for new residential

construction will be issued until the driveway is constructed according to the

specifications of this Ordinance. The only exception will be the final application

of gravel or other approved surface at the end of construction.

(9) Application Fee. An application fee of $50 will be charged.


(1 ) Culverts. Each driveway shall have a culvert at least 18 inches in

diameter at the ditch line where the driveway meets the public road, unless

modified by the Town Board. A culvert may not be necessary if the water can

drain in both directions. The Town Board of Supervisors will determine the culvert

length, necessity and if aprons may be required. Double walled poly culverts are


(2) Juncture with Public Road. A driveway shall have a maximum of

5% slope at the point where the driveway enters onto a public road. A slight dip

across the drive shall be placed just before the culvert at the entrance to a public

road to prevent debris from washing onto the public road.

(3) Drainage. Ditches along the right of way, roadway crowning, and

culverts shall be provided by the property owner for acceptable drainage. The

driveway shall be planned, constructed, and maintained in a manner that prevents

diversion of surface water onto the public road and/or the lands of other persons.

(4) Substrate. The portion of driveway within the town right of way

must have at least 4 inches of 2-inch rock on the roadbed, covered with 2 inches of

3/4-inch gravel. If it can be shown there is a suitable base, the provision requiring

4 inches of2-inch rock may be modified or waived by the Town Board. A field

road is exempt from this provision.

(5) Line of Sight. Preserving adequate sight distance helps prevent

dangerous travel conditions on Town Roads. A visualization field of 450 feet will

be required on roads with 45 mph speed limit. Sight obstructions can include crests

of hills, curves, buildings and vegetation. The town Board has the right to decrease

footage to 360 feet if deemed safe.

(6) Costs. All costs of construction of said driveway, including the cost

of the culverts shall be paid by the property owner requesting the permit.


(1) Hazardous Conditions. When washing or other conditions created

by existing driveways or field roads that do not meet the specifications required in

this Ordinance obstruct or become a potential hazard to a public road, the Town

Board shall notify the property owner of the conditions.

(2) Field Roads. No field road may be used for non-agricultural

purposes unless the field road has been approved as a driveway under this



The Town of Smelser in our Comprehensive Plan has established that we

are an agricultural community with normal day-to-day fanning practices. It is the

goal of the Town of Smelser to maintain a positive relationship between farmers

and non-farmers, as this benefits our entire community. It is with this intent no

driveway shall be approved in the Town of Smelser if the Town Board fmds that

the driveway or its intended usage will adversely impact the neighboring

productive agricultural, natural and cultural resources as described in the Town of

Smelser Comprehensive Plan.


(1) Forfeitures. Should a driveway be constructed or modified in

violation of the provisions of this Ordinance, or create a hazard that is not

corrected within 30 days of notification, or a period of time determined by the

Town Board, the owner(s) of the land through which the driveway passes shall,

upon conviction, pay a forfeiture of$1OO.OO plus applicable surcharges and court

costs per violation. Each day that the violation continues to exist shall constitute a

separate offense. An unlawful driveway constitutes a public nuisance and may be



The provisions of this Ordinance shall be deemed severable. It is expressly

declared that the Town Board would have passed the other provisions of this

Ordinance irrespective of whether or not one or more provisions may be declared

invalid. If any provision of this Ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of the

Ordinance and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances

shall not be affected thereby.


This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the day after

passage and publication as required by law .

(1) Town Board Approval. The Town Board adopted this Ordinance on

this 14th day of June, 2012

Approved: Pat Klar & Robert Droessler

Attest: Kim Kieler

Posted at three legal sites and Town Hall on 6/23/12