Re: Occupation of public right of way by driveways and mailboxes and drainage
We have bad a long and difficult winter but managed to keep the roads open. This past year, like other years, there have been instances where township plows have done damage to driveways, mailboxes, fences and other improvements along the sides of roads. When 5 happens the township refers the claim to the township insurance carrier, and in every the insurance carrier turns down requests for reimbursement for damage, because the facilities are located in the township right of way, without formal permission.
The township right of way varies from 33 to 50 feet, depending on the width of e pavement; this leaves between 8 and 10 feet of right of way on either side of the paved roadway. Most property owners treat this as part of their front yard, and the township has no objection to that as long as property owners understand, that the worse the winter is, the more likely some or all of that area will be utilized in removing snow and ice from roads. Property owners make improvements within any part of the township right of way at their own risk.
In an effort to avoid as many of these problems as possible, and more importantly, to avoid danger to township employees, the township is requesting that there be no improvements located in the township right of way within two (2) feet of the edge of the pavement. F lure to comply with this rule can result in the township taking legal action to remove improvements within the 2 feet area. This should avoid most winter damage caused by snow plowing. This is not intended to consent to improvements located anywhere else in the right of way.
A second issue involves drainage of water from a resident's property onto towns or ditches along any roads in the township. Recent changes in state and federal law have required the township to adopt a standard mandatory water control ordinance. One port on of that ordinance requires municipalities to permit any drainage which is artificially concentrated in any way when leaving private property and entering the public drainage system. Residents can obtain a permit for drainage pipes, emptying off their property, but the terms of such these permits requires property owners to use best management practices to control the amount of water flowing. Water control can take many forms, however for a normal residence simple French drain system is the cheapest and simplest to install. You can obtain a form for this or other permits by calling the township at (814) 487-5054.
Adams Township Supervisors