Guilford, Vermont

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Highway Ordinance

 

TOWN OF GUILFORD: HIGHWAY ORDINANCE


SECTION I - NEW HIGHWAY STANDARDS
The Board of Selectmen have determined that the best interests of the Town dictate that proposed roads to be accepted by the town as town highways should conform to certain basic and minimum standards in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the townspeople.  The Selectmen reserve the right to require other reasonable conditions to protect the townspeople for acceptance and are under no obligations to accept a proposed road.
Prior to acceptance by the Town of Guilford of any proposed street or road, blueprints and specifications for such proposed street or road must be filed with the Guilford Town Clerk by the developer. A road shall not be accepted as a town highway during the period between November 1st and May 1st. Those concerned are urged to consult with the Selectmen about these matters as the new highways are built and before application for final acceptance is made.
Minimum specifications are:
1.  The right-of-way must be a minimum of 50 feet in width.  The traveled  portion of the road is to be in the center of right-of-way.
2. The right-of-way must be cleared of all stumps, brush and trash.
All trees 24 feet from the center line of the road must be removed.
Placement of all culverts shall extend beyond the ditch line, not directly in said ditch, unless specified differently by the Road Commissioner.
In-town construction, repair or maintenance highways shall be done according to the procedures in 19 VSA Chapter 7.
4.The traveled surface, that is the usable road itself, must have a minimum width of 21 feet.
5. In addition, two-foot wide shoulders must be provided on each side of the road. These shoulders need not be at the same level as the traveled surface, but must be safe to drive on.
6. The gravel road shall consist of a total of 12 inches of bank run gravel, plus six inches of screened or crushed surface gravel with a maximum of 1 1/2" aggregate.
7. Adequate ditches, culverts, culvert headers and drainage must be installed. These are to be determined by the Selectmen with the advice of the Road Commissioner. Minimum culvert size shall be 15".
8. Road grades must not be greater than 10% for distances under 100 yards and for distances over 100 yards the grade shall be no more than 8%.
9. Sharp road curves shall be avoided.
10. Utility poles should be at least 24 feet from the center of the road.
11. Adequate guard rails or posts shall be installed at both ends of each culvert and anywhere else they are needed, as determined by the Selectmen with the advice of the Road Commissioner.
12. No financial compensation will be made by the town to obtain title to the right-of-way.  Those seeking to secure acceptance of a road as a town road shall provide the Town of Guilford with a quit-claim deed to the proposed right-of-way and must provide an official road survey to be recorded at the Town Clerk's Office.
13. Final acceptance as a town highway will take place after the necessary hearings and legal procedures are heard and subject to the approval of the Selectmen.
14. No back slope less than 2 to 1 shall exist unless there is ledge. Distances between ditch and ledge set-back are to be determined by the   30 MPH on the Guilford Center Road between Bridge #12, Brandy Bridge and intersection of Bonnyvale Road.
Driveways will intercept town roads at a 75 to 90 degree angle and will slope downward from the highway ½” per foot for a minimum of 15 feet.
Any specification herein which will result in an unusual hardship may Ê
be modified at the discretion of the Selectmen or Road Commissioner.
15.   All dead-end roads shall have adequate turn arounds for town equipment.  A clause in the deed to protect the town from all damages, which might occur to lawns, fences, trees, etc., in the use of these turn around spaces shall be required.
16. Any specification herein which will result in unusual hardship may be modified at the discretion of the Board of Selectmen.
17. The town will not be required to obtain run-off permission for culverts during initial construction.  This responsibility being that of the developer.

SECTION II -REGULATIONS GOVERNING TOWN TRAILS AND PENT ROADS
Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. Section 301 the following definitions are adopted:
1. "Pent road" is any town highway which, by written allowance of the Selectmen, is enclosed and occupied by the adjoining landowner with unlocked stiles, gates and bars in such places as the selectmen designate.
2. "Trail" means a public right-of-way which is not a highway and which:
A. previously was a designated town highway having the same width as the designated town highway, or a lesser width if so designated; or
B. a new public right-of-way laid out as a trail by the Selectmen for the purpose of providing access to abutting properties or for recreational use.  Nothing in this section shall be deemed to independently authorize the condemnation of land
for recreational purposes or to affect the authority of selectmen to reasonably regulate the uses of recreational trails.
Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. Section 304(a)(5), the following regulations governing the use of Town Trails and Pent Roads are adopted:
1. No person shall modify, upgrade, change the drainage on, or otherwise improve a town trail or pent road without first obtaining written permission from the
Guilford Board of Selectman and having it recorded with the Town Clerk.
2. No person shall put up gates, bars or stiles, or otherwise obstruct a town trail or pent road, without first obtaining written permission from the Guilford Board of Selectmen and having it recorded with the Town Clerk.
3. No person shall erect a building which will require use of or in fact use a town trail or pent road for purposes of access, without having it recorded with the Town Clerk.
4. No person shall subdivide land so as to create one or more lots requiring access by way of a town trail or pent road, without first obtaining written permission from the Board of Selectmen and having it recorded with the Town Clerk.
5. No person shall construct an access road entering upon a town trail or pent road without first obtaining written permission from the Board of Selectmen and
having it recorded with the Town Clerk.
6.   Any person doing any building, development or subdivision on or adjacent to a town trail or pent road may be required to bring that portion of the town trail or pent road being used by such building, development or subdivision up to Town of Guilford Road Specifications, if the Board deems this to be necessary.
7.Any work performed on a town trail or pent road shall be at the risk of the person granted written permission, and that person shall be responsible for any and all consequences of their actions.
8. A person who violates these regulations shall be fined not more than $50.00 per day for each violation.  No action shall be brought hereunder unless the alleged violator has been given notice of the violation by certified mail.  Each day in which the violation continues after receipt of such notice shall constitute a separate violation.


SECTION III -CLASS 4 TOWN ROAD POLICY
1.   The town will provide no maintenance or improvements on Class 4 Town roads not being maintained at present.  Present maintenance means negotiable by automobile at some point during dry season.
2.   The town will provide no maintenance or improvements on any road classified lower than Class 4 town road such as trails.
3.   In any request for upgrading a Class 4 town road to a Class 3 town road the Town requires the user of the Class 4 road to pay all of the improvement costs to bring the road up to the town standards for Class 3.  Requests must be submitted by December of the year preceding the year the work is requested to be done.
POLICY PROCEDURE
Before any changes are made in the classification of a road, the Selectmen must respond by following established procedures for reclassifying town highways which can be found in Chapter 7, Subchapter 1 of Title 19, Vermont Statutes Annotated.
Basically, the procedure is as follows:
A.   Selectmen can initiate this procedure with or without a petition if they choose.
B.   Selectmen must inspect the area and hold a public hearing.  Affected property owners must receive 30 days notice of the hearing, as must one or more of the petitioners and the municipal planning commission. It may be advisable (but not required) to send notices by registered mail.
C.   A notice of the hearing must be posted in the Town Clerk's Office and published in a local newspaper not less than 10 days before the hearing.
D.   At the hearing the Selectmen shall hear testimony for or against the proposed change. They then make a written decision including their reasons for the decision. This decision should be made in a duly warned meeting of the Board of Selectmen.
E.   Any person aggrieved by the decision can appeal through the court system.


SECTION IV -DRIVEWAY STANDARDS
Driveways or secondary approaches will be constructed as follows:
1.   Each lot owner, prior to connecting to a town highway, will obtain a permit from the Road Commissioner with the approval of the Selectmen. A fee to be set by the Board of selectmen is required.
2.   No drainage from driveways shall be permitted onto the town highway.
3.   The need for a culvert in the Town's right-of-way shall be determined by the Road Commissioner.  The culvert diameter, length and placement shall also be determined by the Road Commissioner.  The purchase and placement of said culverts shall be the responsibility of the lot owner.  After installation, repair and maintenance of culverts shall be the responsibility of the Town of Guilford.
The line of sight or sight distance to the right and left of the driveway will be
200 feet.
5.   No driveway may be constructed or maintained in such a way as to affect the grade of the highway, or to obstruct a ditch, culvert or drainage course that drains the highway. (19 VSA   1111(b).
6.   Driveways will intercept town roads at a 75 to 90 degree angle and will slope downward from the highway 1/2" per foot for a minimum of 15 feet.
7.   Any specification herein which will result in an unusual hardship may be modified at the discretion of the Selectmen or Road Commissioner.
8.   Enforcement: in the event any lot owner is not in compliance with the provisions of this ordinance or any permit issued hereunder, the Road Commissioner or Selectmen may suspend any permit under this section until compliance is obtained. Any permit may be suspended by issuance of a Notice of Suspension, which shall be sent to the lot owner by certified mail, return receipt requested. If there is continued use or activity after suspension, the Selectmen, on behalf of the Town, may physically close the driveway or access point if, in the opinion of the Selectmen, the safety of highway users is, or may be affected. In addition to the provisions above, any lot owner who violates a provision of this section, or any permit issued hereunder, shall be fined not more than $500.00.  Each week the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. (19 VSA    1111 (g).


SECTION V - PARKING REGULATIONS
No parking is permitted on the traveled portion of a road between
November 15 and April 1.
Vehicles shall not be parked on or near the traveled portion of a road so as to interfere with snow removal.
3.   There will be no parking on the traveled portion of the road within 100' of the Green River Covered Bridge.
4.   Violations of the above will result in vehicles being towed away at the owners and/or operators expense.


SECTION VII - PUBLIC NOTICE AND IMPLEMENTATION
Public Notice :  Town of Guilford, Board of Selectmen shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the public is notified of the existence of this Ordinance:  Highway
This Highway Ordinance shall be: 1) entered into the Selectmen's minutes and 2) shall be posted in at least five (5) conspicuous places within the Town of Guilford, and 3) the full text of the Ordinance or a concise summary of it published in the Brattleboro Reformer not more than fourteen (14) days following the date specified below when this ordinance is adopted.
This Ordinance is hereby adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Guilford on this _____ day of ____________, 1996 and shall, unless a petition is filed as provided by law, become effective upon the expiration of sixty (60) days after said date.


________________________
MERTON L. GARLAND, CHAIR
 ________________________
KATHLEEN E. SNOW, CLERK
 ________________________
 FREDERICK G. HUMPHREY
 BOARD OF SELECTMEN
 TOWN OF GUILFORD

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