Skip to code content (skip section selection)
Control over the number and location of access points, as specified in this section, along the city's major roadways is necessary to reduce congestion, improve safety, maintain acceptable flow and minimize confusion. Therefore, the standards of this section shall apply to all non-residential development having frontage on and direct access to any arterial or collector street within the City of Lorain.
(a) Driveway Location in General.
(1) All driveways serving commercial, office, institutional or industrial uses, hereafter referred to as "commercial driveways," shall comply with the requirements of this section.
(2) Driveways shall be located to minimize interference with the free movement of traffic, to provide adequate sight distance, and to provide the most favorable driveway grade.
(3) Driveways, including the radii, but not including right turn lanes, passing lanes and tapers, shall be located entirely within the right-of-way frontage of the property being served, unless otherwise approved by the city or the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), as applicable, and upon written certification from the adjacent property owner agreeing to such encroachment.
(b) Driveway Spacing Standards.
Table 1149.06, Minimum Commercial Driveway Spacing From Another Driveway
Posted Speed Limit
Spacing (in feet)
(1) Minimum spacing between two commercial driveways or a commercial driveway and a street intersection, either adjacent or on the opposite side of the street, shall be determined based upon posted speed limits along the parcel frontage. The minimum spacing indicated in Table 1149.06 is measured from centerline to centerline for driveways and nearest pavement edge to nearest pavement edge from driveways to street intersections.
(2) To reduce left-turn conflicts, new commercial driveways shall be aligned with those across the street, where possible. If alignment is not possible, driveways shall be offset from those on the opposite side of the street the same distance as required in Table 1149.06. These standards may be reduced by the Planning Commission where there is insufficient frontage and shared access with an adjacent site is not feasible. Longer offsets may be required depending on the expected inbound left-turn volumes of the driveways.
(c) Modification of Requirements.
(1) Given the variation in existing physical conditions along the city's streets, modifications to the spacing and other requirements above may be permitted as part of the site plan review. The Planning Commission shall consider the criteria in subsection (c)(2) when determining if there is a need for modification, in the following circumstances, and the degree to which any modification is necessary.
A. The modification will allow an existing driveway to remain that does not meet the standards of this section but that has, or is expected to have very low traffic volumes (less than fifty (50) in- and out-bound trips per day) and is not expected to significantly impact safe traffic operations.
B. The use is expected to generate a relatively high number of trips and an additional driveway will improve overall traffic operations.
C. Practical difficulties exist on the site (sight distance limitations, existing development, topography, unique site configuration or shape) that make compliance unreasonable, or existing off-site driveways make it impractical to fully comply with the standards.
D. Because of restricted turning movements or presence of a median that restricts turning movements, the driveway does not contribute to congestion or an unsafe situation.
(2) The Planning Commission may waive or modify certain requirements of this section upon consideration of the following:
A. The proposed modification is consistent with the general intent of the standards of this section, the recommendations of the Lorain Comprehensive Plan, and, if applicable, published ODOT guidelines.
B. Driveway geometrics have been improved to the extent practical to reduce impacts on traffic flow.
C. Shared access has been provided, or the applicant has demonstrated it is not practical.
D. Such modification is the minimum necessary to provide reasonable access, will not impair public safety or prevent the logical development or redevelopment of adjacent sites and is not simply for convenience of the development.
(d) Commercial Driveways Permitted.
(1) The number of commercial driveways serving a property shall be the minimum number necessary to provide reasonable user access and access for emergency vehicles, while preserving traffic operations and safety along the public street.
(2) Access shall be provided for each separately owned parcel. Access may be via an individual driveway, shared driveway or service drive.
(3) More than one (1) driveway may be permitted for a property only as follows:
A. One (1) additional driveway may be allowed for properties with a continuous frontage greater than 300 feet, if the planning commission determines there are no other reasonable access alternatives;
B. The Planning Commission determines, based on a traffic impact analysis, that additional access is justified without compromising traffic operations along the public street; and
(e) Commercial Driveway Design.
(1) All commercial driveways shall be designed according to the standards of the City of Lorain or ODOT, as applicable.
(2) For high traffic generators, or for commercial driveways along streets experiencing or expected to experience congestion, the Planning Commission may require individual right- and left-turn egress lanes.
(3) Where a boulevard entrance is proposed by the applicant or required by the planning commission, a fully curbed island shall separate the ingress and egress lanes. The radii forming the edges on this island shall be designed to accommodate the largest vehicle that will use the driveway. The minimum area of the island shall be 180 square feet. The Planning Commission may require landscaping, tolerant of street conditions, on the section outside the public right-of-way.
(4) The Planning Commission may require an applicant to provide a traffic impact analysis to be performed by a qualified transportation engineer where the scale of a proposed development, the anticipated peak hour traffic volumes, or the location of proposed access points in proximity to other driveways or street intersections may have a negative impact on the capacity of adjacent streets or contribute to unsafe conditions.
(Ord. 4-21. Passed 1-4-21.)