Planning Board Updates Driveway Requirements

The Derry Planning Board has approved an update to the Land Development Control Regulations regarding driveway requirements.

The board held a public hearing on the update at its May 18 meeting. Capt. Scott Jackson of the Derry Fire Department was present to answer questions.

The amendment is to Article V, Design and Construction Standards, Sec. 170-26.A.16 and its purpose is “to have one location containing the requirements for new streets, access and driveways, creating a streamlined process for builders and developers as they prepare subdivision and site plans.”

The amendment was proposed and researched by the Derry Fire Department after fire staff observed that it was difficult to bring apparatus in or turn it around on some of the town’s long driveways. These were especially prevalent in the rural areas of Derry.

The amendment adds a section to the driveway regulations including the following: Shall be constructed with a minimum of 12 inch depth of New Hampshire Department of Transportation Crushed Gravel 304.3 Specification for the entire length. All loam and organic material shall be removed down to an acceptable subsurface. Shall have a minimum clear unobstructed width of 12 feet if the driveway is under 150 feet in length, or if the driveway is over 150 feet in length, a minimum clear unobstructed width of 14 feet for the entire length of the driveway. Shall have an additional clear unobstructed width of two feet on each side. The vertical clearance shall be a minimum of 13 feet, 6 inches. Driveways in excess of 150 feet in length shall provide means for Fire Department apparatus to turn around by either hammerhead or other approved means. No driveway shall be in excess of a 15 percent grade.

There were no speakers in a public hearing, and the board approved the changes, 8-0. The changes are effective immediately.