(ORD. # 17-01)
Chapter 94–Driveways, Culverts and Ditches
94.010. Culverts and Driveways. All driveways or entryways from public streets or alleys in the City into private property shall contain a culvert unless the street commissioner determines that a culvert is not needed. All culverts shall be of sufficient diameter so as not to restrict drainage under the driveway or entryway. No culvert shall be placed along any public street or alley within the City without prior approval of the Street Commissioner. The Street Commissioner shall approve the request for culvert placement so long as the culvert proposed to be placed meets the necessary diameter requirements and other specifications to ensure sufficient drainage, and the location and manner of placement will not result in damage to the City’s property or other property. The Street Commissioner shall determine the minimum diameter of each culvert, the type of culvert used, and the depth and method of placement for each culvert placed along any public street or alley within the City. All culverts placed after the passage of this ordinance shall be a minimum of 10″ in diameter. Any dispute between any property owner and Street Commissioner as to any of the requirements or specifications above, shall be decided by the City Council upon request.
94.020. City to Install Culverts Upon Request of Property Owner. Any property owner wishing to install or replace a culvert under any driveway or entryway may request the City to place the culvert and to perform the necessary excavation for the installation. The City will perform such placement and excavation, and dispose of the original culvert, without charge in most circumstances, but the property owner must furnish the culvert. The City reserves the right to refuse a request for the free placement of, and the excavation for a new culvert, as well as a request for the free disposal of any culvert, under the following circumstances:
- When the new culvert to be placed does not comply with the requirements set forth by the Street Commissioner;
- When the location of the requested placement presents a safety hazard;
- When the location or manner of requested placement will likely result in the damage to City property, or another person’s property;
- When the requested placement will obstruct or interfere with proper drainage;
- When the requested placement of a new culvert, or the excavation for a new culvert, or the disposal of the old culvert is out of the ordinary, causing the City to spend inordinate amounts of time or expense in providing the service;
- When the requested placement of a new culvert, or the excavation for a new culvert, or the disposal of the old culvert would endanger City employees or equipment, or would expose the City to liability;
- When there are numerous requested placements on a given tract of property; or
- When the City employees (due to the number or requests for placement, or seasonal work demands) do not have sufficient manpower or equipment to provide the above service. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit a property owner, contractor, or other person from placing any culvert along public street or alley, but the culvert, location, function, and method of installation of any culvert does not meet the approval of the Street Commissioner, the culvert must be removed and the problem corrected. Any dispute between the Street Commissioner and the property owner as to any of the above items will be decided by the City Council upon request.
94.030. Removal of defective culverts and cutting of existing driveways. The establishment and maintenance of proper drainage within the City is of primary importance to the City. Proper drainage within the City prevents damage to streets and alleys, and prevents damage to private property. Any culvert in the City’s easement, on the City’s property, or along any public street or alley in the City which has been placed in contravention of this Chapter, or which restricts drainage may be removed by the City without the adjoining property owner’s consent. Any driveway or entryway which connects with a public street or alley which does not have a culvert, and which restricts drainage, may be cut by the City to allow for drainage without the adjoining property owner’s consent. A culvert improperly restricts drainage in the following circumstances;
- The culvert is too small a diameter for the ditch;
- The culvert is obstructed;
- The culvert is deformed or compressed;
- The culvert is located at an improper height (too high or too low);
- The culvert is not level; or
- For any other reason, the culvert causes a restriction in the flow of water, causing water to back up onto other person’s property or causes water to back onto or run over any public street or alley.
94.040. Procedure. If the City wishes to remove a culvert without the adjoining property owner’s consent, or if the City wishes to cut an existing driveway or entryway which does not contain a culvert, the City must mail a certified letter, return receipt requested, to all owners of the property (adjoining the culvert to be removed or the driveway to be cut), as listed in the official records of the Johnson County Recorder of Deeds at least 15 days prior to the removal of the culvert or 15 days prior to the cutting of the driveway or entryway. The letter shall be sent to the last known address of the owner. If the address of any owner cannot be located, a certified letter, return receipt requested, shall be sent to the property owner in car of the person(s) listed as the contact for the property as listed in the official records contained in the Johnson County Assessor’s Office. Notification is complete upon proof of mailing. Further, the City shall place a sign on the property in close proximity to the culvert to be removed, or the driveway or entryway to be cut, at least 15 days prior to the culvert’s removal or the cutting of the driveway or entryway, providing notice of the City’s intentions. After notice as provided above, the City may remove any culvert which improperly restricts drainage, and may cut any driveway or entryway which restricts drainage. The City will not be obligated to provide any method for ingress or egress from the property, not will the City be obligated to remove the old culvert.
94.050. Unlawful to fill or obstruct ditch or drainage. It shall be unlawful for any person to fill or obstruct any ditch or drainage area bordering any public street or alley within the City.
94.060. City may clean and maintain ditches and drainages. The City may clean, excavate, deepen, widen, maintain, defoliate, or remove trees and brush from any ditch or drainage area bordering any public street or alley within the City or on any City easement established for the use and maintenance of streets or alleys, or on any City property.