Fremont Community Joint Zoning Ordinance

Table of Contents

Chapter 7: Other Districts

Article 5: Access Management Corridor Overlay District (O-AMC)

Type of District: Overlay

Section 7-5.01: Purpose

For the purposes of this Ordinance, the Access Management Corridor Overlay District applies to parcels having frontage on M-82 and M-120 within the Fremont Community with the exception of the parcels in the Downtown Commercial and the Urban Commercial Districts. (The Urban Commercial District has access management regulations within the District regulations.) Parcels fronting on these streets shall provide a one hundred and twenty-five (125) foot front yard setback from the center line of the corridor.

Continued development along the corridors will increase traffic volumes and introduce additional conflict points which can erode traffic operations and increase potential for crashes. Therefore, these regulations are intended to address these issues.

Section 7-5.02: Intent

  1. The intent of this Access Management Corridor Overlay Zoning District is to:
    1. Preserve the capacity of roadways by limiting and controlling the number, location and design of access points and requiring alternate means of access through shared driveways, service drives and access off cross-roads in certain locations.
    2. Encourage efficient flow of traffic by minimizing the disruption and conflicts between through traffic and turning movements.
    3. Improve safety and reduce the potential for crashes.
    4. Avoid the proliferation of unnecessary curb cuts and driveways, and eliminate or reconfigure existing access points that do not conform to the standards herein, when the opportunities arise.
    5. Require coordinated access among adjacent lands where possible.
    6. Require demonstration that resultant parcels are accessible through compliance with the access standards of this Chapter prior to approval of any land divisions to ensure safe accessibility.
    7. Identify additional submittal information and review procedures required for parcels that front along the corridors.
    8. Avoid the need for unnecessary and costly street reconstruction which disrupts business operations and traffic flow.
    9. Ensure efficient access by emergency vehicles.
    10. Improve safety for pedestrians and other non-motorized travelers by reducing the number and width of access points.
    11. Establish uniform standards to ensure fair and equal application of access management standards.
    12. Help ensure a collaborative process between MDOT, the Newaygo County Road Commission, and the Fremont Community on access decisions.

Section 7-5.03: Appicability

  1. The regulations in this District apply in addition to, and simultaneously with, the other applicable regulations of the zoning ordinance.
  2. The standards of this District shall apply to all special land uses and non-residential development permitted in the underlying District.
  3. The regulations apply to developments and proposals for multiple-family and single-family residential subdivisions and site condominiums consisting of more than one single-family dwelling unit.
  4. No land division or subdivision or site condominium project shall be approved within the District unless it is in compliance with the access and spacing standards of this District. The parent parcel is obligated to designate one drive entrance for the entire property and to provide registered cross-access agreements to resultant splits as a condition of the lot split approval. The proposed drive location shall be provided to the County Road Commission for comment.
  5. For building or parking lot expansions, or changes in use, the Joint Planning Commission shall consider the existing and projected traffic conditions, sight distance limitations, site topography or natural features, impacts on internal site circulation and any recommendations from the Newaygo County Road Commission or the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Required improvements may include removal or rearrangement or redesign of site access points. Where conflict occurs between the standards of this Ordinance, MDOT and the Newaygo County Road Commission, the more restrictive regulations shall apply.
  6. In recognition that specific instances may warrant exception from the access standards that typically apply, this Chapter provides for exceptions by the Joint Planning Commission with input from the road agencies when certain conditions exist.

Section 7-5.04: Additional Submittal Information

  1. In addition to the submittal information required in Chapter 10, the following shall be provided with any application for site plan review. The information listed in items 1-4 below shall also be required with any request for a land division pertinent to this Article.
    1. Existing access points within 500 feet of the frontage, on both sides of any adjoining roads, shall be shown on the site plan or on a separate plan sheet.
    2. The applicant shall submit evidence indicating that the sight distance requirements of the Fremont Community, MDOT or the Newaygo County Road Commission, as applicable, are met. This may require the submittal of road profiles.
    3. Dimensions between proposed and existing drives, intersections and median crossovers shall be shown.
    4. Where shared access is proposed or required, a shared access and maintenance agreement shall be submitted to the FCJPC for approval as part of the final site plan approval. The agreement shall be approved and recorded with the Newaygo County Register of Deeds prior to the issuance of any building permit.
    5. The applicant shall provide correspondence that the proposal has been submitted to MDOT or the Newaygo County Road Commission for their information. Any correspondence from the MDOT and the County shall be reviewed during the site plan review process.
    6. A driveway permit shall not be requested from the road agency until a land division or site plan is approved by the FCJPC under Section 7-5.03(D). The approval of a land division or site plan does not negate the responsibility of an applicant to subsequently secure access permits from the appropriate road agency.

Section 7-5.05: Access Management Standards

Access points (not including driveways that serve a single-family home, duplex or public utility structure) shall meet the following standards:

  1. In making a determination as to the location of driveway access, the Joint Planning Commission shall consider:

    1. The characteristics of the proposed use;
    2. The existing traffic flow conditions and the future traffic demand anticipated on the development and the adjacent street system;
    3. The location of the property;
    4. The size of the property;
    5. The orientation of structures on the site;
    6. The number and location of driveways on existing adjacent and opposite properties;
    7. The location and carrying capacity of intersections;
    8. The proper geometric design of driveways;
    9. The spacing between opposite and adjacent driveways;
    10. The international circulation between driveways; and
    11. The speed of the adjacent roadway.
  2. Number of Driveways:

    1. Each lot shall be permitted one access point. This access point may consist of an individual driveway, a shared access with an adjacent use, or access via a service drive or frontage road. As noted above, land divisions shall not be permitted that may prevent compliance with the access location standards of this District.
    2. An additional driveway located along a side street or a shared access with an adjacent site may be permitted by the Joint Planning Commission upon finding the following conditions exist:
      1. The site has a frontage of over 660 feet and the spacing standards between access points listed below are met, and;
      2. The additional access will not prevent adjacent lands from complying with the access spacing standards when such lands develop or redevelop in the future, or;
      3. A traffic impact study, prepared in accordance with accepted practices as described in this Chapter, indicates the need for a second driveway.

  1. Spacing of Driveways:

    Access points shall be spaced from intersections, measured from pavement edge to pavement edge:

    1. Signalized locations: 600 feet
    2. Unsignalized locations: 300 feet

  1. Spacing of Adjacent Driveways:

    Access points shall provide the following spacing from other access points along the same side of the public street (measured from centerline to centerline), based on the posted speed limit along the public street segment. The Joint Planning Commission may allow adjacent driveway spacing less than spacing requirements below if traffic mitigation measures are provided like deceleration or left turn ingress lanes (see illustration)

    Posted Speed Required Spacing
    *25 mph 130 ft.
    30 mph 185 ft.
    35 mph 245 ft.
    40 mph 300 ft.
    45 mph 350 ft.
    50 mph 455 ft.
    55 mph 455 ft. +

    * unless greater spacing is required to meet other standards herein.

  1. Alignment of Opposite Driveways:

    Access points shall be aligned with driveways on the opposite side of the street or offset a minimum of 250 feet, measured centerline to centerline.

    The Joint Planning Commission may reduce the driveway offset to not less than 150 feet where each of the opposing access points generates less than 50 trips (inbound and outbound) during the peak hour of the public street or where sight distance limitations exist; or where existing development or other reasons do not allow the maximum alignment.

  2. Separation Distances from Railroad Crossings

    In addition to all other applicable standards, driveways and any other access points must be at least 100 feet from a railway crossing (measured to the edge of the railway right-of-way).

  3. Shared Access (shared driveways, frontage roads and rear service drives)

    1. A joint private access easement may be required between adjacent lots in order to minimize the total number of access points along these streets and to facilitate traffic flow between lots.

    2. A private cross-access easement may be required in order to minimize the number of access points and facilitate access between and across individual lots.

    3. In cases where a shared access is recommended, but is not yet available, temporary direct access may be permitted, provided the plan is designed to accommodate the future shared drive, and a written agreement is submitted that the temporary access will be removed by the applicant, when the alternative shared access becomes available. This may require posting of a performance guarantee.

    4. The Fremont Community Joint Planning Commission may require development of frontage roads or rear service drives where such facilities can provide access to signalized locations, where service drives may minimize the number of driveways, and as a means to ensure that traffic is able to more efficiently and safely ingress and egress.

    5. Frontage roads or service drives shall be constructed in accordance with the following standards:

      1. Maintain the following distance requirements (whichever is greater):

        • Minimum of thirty (30) feet from the nearest edge of the service drive to the edge of the right-of-way. or
        • Minimum of eighty (80) feet from the nearest edge of the service drive to the centerline.
      2. Larger access street setbacks may be required if the trip generation characteristics of the site warrant greater separation between the public street and internal access street.

    6. No driveway shall interfere with City, Township or County facilities such as street light or traffic signal poles, signs, fire hydrants, cross walks, utility poles, drainage structures, or other necessary street structures. Driveways may also be adjusted by the Fremont Community Joint Planning Commission to protect significant natural features (e.g., landmark trees, etc.).

  4. Geometric Design of Driveway Access

    1. All driveway geometric designs and corner clearances shall meet the requirements of the FCJPC/County/MDOT specifications for street construction.
    2. A right-turn deceleration lane with storage length plus taper may be required. Design of right-turn lane deceleration lanes shall be in accordance with the Newaygo County Road Commission.
    3. Additional right-of-way may be required where a left turn lane should be provided to accommodate the traffic volumes of a given development.
    4. Access points on arterial and collector streets may be required to be signalized in order to provide safe and efficient traffic flow. A development may be responsible for all or part of any right-of-way dedication, design, hardware, or construction costs of a traffic signal if it is determined that the signal is necessitated by the traffic generated from the development. The procedures for signal installation and the percent of financial participation required of the development in the installation of the signal shall be in accordance with this Ordinance.

Section 7-5.06: Modification of Access Standards

  1. Given the variation in existing physical conditions along the corridors, modifications to the spacing and other standards above may be permitted by the Joint Planning Commission as part of the site plan review process upon a finding that all of the following conditions apply:
    1. Practical difficulties exist on the site that make compliance unreasonable (sight distance limitations, topography, wetlands, drains, woodlands that will be preserved, existing development, unique site configuration or shape), or existing off-site access points make it impractical to fully comply with the standards.
    2. The proposed modification is consistent with state and local guidelines and staff supports the proposed access design.
    3. The proposed modification is consistent with the general intent of the standards of this overlay District.
    4. If deemed necessary by the Joint Planning Commission, a traffic study by a qualified traffic engineer has been provided that certifies the modification will improve traffic operations and safety.
    5. The applicant shall demonstrate with dimensioned drawings that such modification shall not create non-compliant access to adjacent lands that may develop or redevelop in the future.
    6. Indirect or shared access is not reasonable at this time but provision for potential future connections has been provided.
    7. Such modification shall be demonstrated to be the minimum necessary.