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(A) Purpose and intent. It is the intent of this section to establish procedures and design standards for driveways and access points to promote efficiency and safety of the connecting street system, support operations of the surrounding pedestrian and bicycle network, ensure safe roadway access to all parcels and lots, and promote a vibrant and attractive streetscape character. These procedures and standards are intended to preserve and enhance the character of the community, and protect the health, safety and general welfare of Clayton’s residents.
(B) Access. For the purposes of this section, access means the point or points of ingress and egress from a development or parcel to the existing right-of-way network.
(C) Access required.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (C)(2) below, no principal building, structure, or use may be erected or established on any lot which does not abut at least 30 feet on a street that is publicly-dedicated and maintained by the town or the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
(2) The Board of Adjustment may authorize, as a variance, alternative driveway access when:
(a) The effect of such application would be to deprive the parcel of reasonable access; or
(b) The size, configuration, or lack of frontage makes alternatives infeasible.
(c) At a minimum, entrances and exits, except those associated with a single-family residential use, shall be subject to the dimensional standards provided in Table 4-1 below.
TABLE 4-1: DIMENSIONAL STANDARDS OF ACCESS WAYS
Min. Entrance/Exit Width
Two-Way without median
25 (35 maximum)
Two-way with median
Right Turn Radius (3)
1. All entrances and exits are subject to approval by the town and/or NCDOT. Widths exceeding these standards by up to 20% may be approved by the Planning Director or Town Engineer, depending on the use. Elsewhere a variance is required.
2. Width excludes median. 20 foot unobstructed pavement required on both sides of median, excluding landscape islands.
3. Measured on side of driveway exposed to entry or exit by right turning vehicles.
(D) Compliance with local and state requirements.
(1) Prior to beginning any construction, permits necessary to connect to the right-of-way network of the town or state shall be secured. Driveway connections to individual residences are generally excluded from this requirement, but may be necessary if a safety concern is identified.
(2) Failure to secure necessary permits prior to construction may result in the removal of the driveways and/or denial of access at that location.
(3) A certificate of occupancy shall not be issued until the access requirements of this chapter have been met.
(E) Access to residential subdivisions.
(1) When a residential subdivision borders on or contains a major thoroughfare, direct driveway access from lots within the subdivision onto the thoroughfare shall not be permitted.
(2) In order to accommodate emergency and service vehicles, the following standards shall apply:
(a) Any residential subdivision of greater than 30 lots shall include at least two separate and constructed access points.
(b) Residential subdivisions of 300 or more lots shall provide at least three separate and constructed access points.
(c) Street stub-outs to adjacent undeveloped properties shall be provided as deemed appropriate. Stub-outs to adjacent undeveloped properties shall not count towards the minimum number of required access points. All stub-outs shall be constructed to the property line.
(d) Street connections shall be made to existing stub-outs on adjacent developed properties. These street connections may count towards the minimum number of required access points.
(e) All required access points outlined in this section shall be constructed prior to plat recordation of the phase in which the access points are located.
(F) Multi-family residential developments. Multi-family projects having more than 100 dwelling units shall provide at least two separate and constructed access points. Required access points shall be constructed prior to issuance of the first certificate of occupancy for the phase in which they are located.
(G) Residential driveway standards. Residential driveway access to and from streets shall be constructed in accordance with town standards as outlined below:
(1) Design. The standard residential driveway access for the town shall be a “ramp” type driveway section. Ramp-type driveways shall be constructed in accordance with town standards and specifications as outlined in the town’s Engineering Design Manual.
(2) Width. The width of a residential driveway shall be no less than ten feet and no more than 24 feet. When two residential driveways coincide along a property line, the maximum width of both driveways combined shall not exceed 24 feet.
(3) Number. The number of driveway access points servicing a residential lot should be limited to one. In no instance shall there be more than two residential driveway access points servicing the lot.
(a) Residential driveways shall be spaced at least 20 feet from any other driveway on the same lot.
(b) Driveways shall be no closer than three and one-half feet to any lot line, except where two residential driveways coincide along the same lot line.
(c) The minimum corner clearance from the curb line or edge of pavement of intersecting streets shall be at least 20 feet from the point of tangency of the radius curvature, or 20 feet from the intersection of right-of-way lines, whichever is greater.
(d) The radius of the driveway shall not encroach on the minimum corner clearance.
(H) Non-residential driveway standards.
(1) Design. Non-residential driveway access to and from streets shall be constructed in accordance with the standards and specifications provided in the manual, Policy on Street and Driveway Access to North Carolina Highways, as adopted and amended by NCDOT.
(a) For any development, the number of driveway access points may be restricted where it is necessary for purposes of decreasing traffic congestion or hazards. These restrictions may include required common access points.
(b) Approval of driveway access between a lot and the right-of-way at an interval less than those specified by the Policy on Street and Driveway Access to North Carolina Highways manual, as adopted and amended by NCDOT, may be granted only by review and recommendation of the Town Engineer and NCDOT.
(3) Outparcels. Outparcels shall take access from within the development, where possible.
(I) Cross access connections.
(1) Internal driveway connections to adjacent existing or future development shall be provided for residential and commercial development, and clearly identified. All driveway connections shall be constructed and stubbed to the property line except in instances where natural features (slope, topography, streams) or similar circumstances preclude the stub to the property line, and future development of adjacent property shall complete a connection to any existing stub.
(2) Access easements may be required to ensure outparcels or adjacent developments have adequate access if ownership patterns change.
(J) Shared access. A shared access easement may be required between adjacent lots fronting on a thoroughfare in order to minimize the total number of access points along those streets and to facilitate traffic flow between lots.
(K) Closure or relocation of existing access points.
(1) The Planning Board or Town Council, in conjunction with NCDOT, shall have the authority to require the closure or relocation of existing access points where multiple access points to the site are available.
(2) The Planning Board or Town Council may approve the closure of driveway access in those cases where adjoining parcels are subsequently developed with a residential use.
(L) Visibility at intersections.
(1) On a corner lot, nothing shall be erected, placed, planted, or allowed to grow in such a manner as to materially impede vision between a height of 30 inches and ten feet in a triangular area formed by a diagonal line between two points on the right-of-way lines, 20 feet from where they intersect.
(2) Adequate sight distance should be provided at all driveway access points and shall be in accordance with the standards provided in the manual, Policy on Street and Driveway Access to North Carolina Highways, as adopted and amended by the NCDOT.
(M) Thoroughfare Overlay District. In addition to the standards set forth in this section, driveways to be constructed within a Thoroughfare Overlay District are subject to the additional standards set forth in § 155.204(A).
(1) All sidewalks associated with a residential subdivision shall be required as outlined in Article 6 of this chapter.
(2) All residential and non-residential development projects not associated with a residential subdivision shall be required to install sidewalks and curb-and-gutter along all property lines with road frontage. If there is no existing sidewalk within 300 feet of the proposed development project, a fee-in-lieu of sidewalk may be accepted.
(3) If fee-in-lieu of sidewalk is made, an Engineer’s estimate for fee-in-lieu shall be provided to the town’s Engineering Department for review. Fee-in-lieu shall be paid for sidewalks prior to issuance of building permits.
(4) Sidewalks shall be installed prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the development.
(Ord. 2005-11-02, passed 11-21-05; Am. Ord. 2013-09-03, passed 9-3-13; Am. Ord. 2020-06-01, passed 6-1-20; Am. Ord. 2021-02-02, passed 2-15-21)