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 ofland.
(6) Agricultural Land. Land within the Town of Smelser that has
produced or is capable of producing a viable crop including forestry or
1.05 APPLICATION REQUJREMENTS AND PROCEDURES
(1) Who Must Apply? No person or entity shall establish, construct,
improve, modity, 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 pennit.
(2) Application Forms. The Town Board shall approve a form for
applications for driveway pennits. These are available from the Town Clerk.
(3) Application. Submit a completed Driveway Construction Pennit
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
(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.
1.06 SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF DRIVEWAYS
(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.
1.07 EXISTING DRIVEWAYS
(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
1.08 PARTNERS IN RURAL WISCONSIN
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.
1.11 EFFECTIVE DATE
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