Permits may be submitted in person on the ground floor of City Hall Public Works office, faxed to 785-832-3398, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to the Department of Public Works – ATTN: Public Works Driveway Permit, 6 E 6th St, Lawrence, KS 66044. The Public Works Department can be contacted by phone at 785-832-3123.
1.0 Driveway Construction Permit
Any person owning lands abutting any public street who may desire to construct a driveway from the curb line to the lot line may do so only on written permit from the City Engineer.
2.0 Construction Specifications
Driveways shall be constructed according to standard driveway specifications. Driveways shall be paved from the gutter for a distance of at least six (6) feet toward the property.
A committee of staff members shall be established to review all requests for driveway curb cuts and configurations which do not conform with these requirements. The Driveway Review Committee shall consist of the City Engineer, Engineering Supervisor, Planning Director, Assistant Planning Director, and the Codes Enforcement Manager. If the proposed driveway and curb cut are determined to be acceptable, a variance will be issued by the Driveway Review Committee. All requests to vary from these requirements must be submitted in writing to the City Engineer.
3.0 General Requirements for All Driveways
A. Driveway Curb Cuts
- Driveway curb cuts are defined as the area in the existing curbline, along a street, which needs to be removed in order to provide proper access for vehicles.
- Driveway curb cuts on corner lots shall be at least 25 feet from the curbline extended of a local street; 50 feet from the curbline extended of a minor arterial or collector street; and 75 feet from the curbline extended of a major arterial street.
- Driveway curb cuts on the same lot shall have a minimum of 20 feet between the inner edge of the drives measured at the curbline. This applies to both single-family and multi-family residences.
- Not more than one driveway curb cut per lot is permitted on the bulb of a cul-de-sac.
B. Driveway Aprons
- The driveway apron is defined as the area between the sidewalk and the curb. When there is no sidewalk, the apron shall extend a minimum of 6 feet from the back of the curb towards the property.
- The driveway apron shall be constructed with a minimum depth of 6 inches of Class A (AE, 4000 lb., 564 lb. Minimum cement content) Portland cement concrete. Welded wire fabric (6 x 6 – W 2.9 x W 2.9) or rebar (#4 bars @ 18″ centers) shall be placed in the apron 2 inches from the top of the concrete surface.
C. Construction Requirements
- The contractor who constructs the driveway is responsible for repairing any asphalt that may be removed or damaged in the street while removing the curb and gutter.
- The driveway, except the driveway apron, shall be constructed of one of the following improved surfaces:
- Four (4) inches of reinforced (welded wire fabric 6 x 6 – W 2.9 x W 2.9) Portland cement concrete.
- Five (5) inches of granular rock base with two (2) inches of asphaltic concrete.
- Seven (7) inches of granular rock with a double asphaltic prime seal.
- Five (5) inches of full depth asphaltic concrete.
- The curb and gutter section shall be separated from the driveway apron by a ½” minimum expansion joint. This expansion joint may be fiber, treated lumber, or redwood. This expansion joint may be used to establish the line and elevation of the back of curb. With this joint in place, the curb and gutter may be poured at the same time as the driveway.
D. Historic Resources Commission Requirements
- All driveways and curb cuts within historical districts, or their environs, must be approved by the Historic Resources Commission before construction is allowed. This request must be submitted to the Historic Resources Commission Administrator, in the Planning Department, for review based on the design criteria in Section 22-501 or the Secretary of Interior Standards, whichever is applicable. Once approval has been obtained, a permit to construct the driveway and curb cut will be issued by Building Inspection, if a new home is involved, or by the Engineering Department, if the home is existing.
4.0 New Homes: Single Family and Multi-Family
- A new residential driveway shall conform to one of the attached sketches, A, B, or C. When a building permit is issued for a new home, the driveway is also approved if it conforms to one of the attached sketches. If the driveway does not conform to the attached sketches, then it must be reviewed and approved by the Driveway Review Committee before a building permit will be issued.
- Each single family residential property will be allowed one driveway curb cut with the following exceptions: (a) Interior lots will be allowed two driveway curb cuts if the length of the lot line adjacent to the street is 100 feet or greater. (b) Corner lots will be allowed two driveway curb cuts if either lot line adjacent to the street is 100 feet or greater. These two curb cuts on corner lots may both be used along one lot line or one along each lot line; however, two curb cuts may be placed along one lot line only if that lot line is greater than 100 feet.
- On multi-family homes, two curb cuts are permitted on the duplex lot per the attached sketch.
5.0 Existing Homes: Single Family and Multi-Family
- All modifications to an existing residential driveway may not exceed the dimensions established in the attached sketches. A permit for modifications to an existing driveway must be issued by the Engineering Department before construction begins.
- If a homeowner wishes to widen their driveway, and the existing driveway is gravel, it may be widened with gravel. If the existing driveway is concrete or asphalt, the homeowner must use concrete or asphalt.
- When widening an existing driveway, with either concrete, asphalt, or gravel, as permitted by the above requirements, the entire driveway apron must be constructed, or reconstructed if necessary, to meet the requirements established in 3.B. If the existing driveway apron is concrete or asphalt, and in good condition, it will satisfy the requirement in 3.B.
- If an attached or detached garage is added to an existing home, the following requirements must be met:
- If access will be taken from an existing street, both the existing and new driveway must be constructed or reconstructed to meet the driveway requirements established in 3.0.
- If access will be taken from an existing alley, both the existing and new driveway must be constructed or reconstructed to meet the surfacing requirements established in 3.C.2. The maximum width of this driveway is 26 feet.
If an existing garage is to be demolished and reconstructed, or an existing carport is to be remodeled into a garage, the existing driveway may remain as constructed, i.e., if the surface is gravel, it may remain as gravel. However, the driveway apron must be constructed as established in 3.B.