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Residential Driveway Access Guidelines

Anyone accessing the County road from a residential property is required to obtain a Residential Access Permit (PDF). The "Access Permit" is used for any modification or new installation of a residential entrance flowing onto a County road with or without the need to remove and replace concrete curb and gutter.

Baltimore County must approve the location, design geometrics, any drainage requirements, and paving cross section of a residential entrance on to a County road. The entrance designs discussed in the guide are based on Baltimore County Department of Public Works Supplemental Specifications for Construction of Roads, Bridges, Incidental Structures, Storm Drains, Sanitary Sewers, Water Mains and "Errata and Addenda and Supplemental Specifications" and "Special Provisions."

Permit procedure:

  • Homeowner submits application and utility letter, in duplicate, for an "Access Permit to the Bureau of Highways".  Request must include:
    • Homeowner's name
    • address
    • daytime phone number
    • drawing or rough sketch of the proposed driveway's location including all dimensions in relationship to the County roadway as shown in the example attached to this package.
    • a self-addressed stamped envelope along with a check for $25 made payable to 'Baltimore County, Maryland' to cover Administrative and Inspection fees.
  • Upon receiving the application, a Bureau representative will investigate the proposed driveway location to determine its acceptability based on sight distance, overall safety, drainage and other factors.
  • After this determination the Bureau will issue a permit to the homeowner for construction of the proposed entrance at the approved location.
  • 48 hours prior to beginning construction, the Permittee must notify the Bureau of Highways of the intent to begin the proposed work. This notification is necessary to allow our office time to schedule an inspection.
  • After all work is completed the Bureau must be informed that all construction has been completed within the County's right-of-way for final acceptance.

Standards and Specifications For Residential Access

  • The permittee shall relocate or have relocated all utilities, which are in conflict with the paving or in front of the curbs to be constructed under the permit. The permittee shall obtain, from the appropriate party or agency, all other permits or approvals necessary to conform to the requirements of the permit.
  • Circular entrances (ingress and egress point connected by a common driveway) require a minimum frontage of 100 feet, but will be only authorized at the discretion of the County.
  • Any existing sidewalks, curb, and gutter disturbed by construction shall be replaced in kind to the alignment and grade specified by authorized County personnel.
  • Positive drainage shall be maintained. Any pipes to be used shall be specified by authorized County personnel including size, type and any signage needed to reduce hazards to the traveling public.
  • If the roadway is on an embankment and the roadway is not provided with an existing traffic barrier along the roadway embankment, the driveway or embankment side slope shall be as flat as possible to reduce any hazard to the traveling public.
  • No portion of a driveway shall be constructed within 20 feet of any intersection radius.
  • No driveway shall be located where only partial ingress or egress of vehicles onto private property is possible. The intent is to prohibit the use of the sidewalk for parking vehicles for loading or unloading, thereby obstructing use of the sidewalk by pedestrians.
  • All entrances shall be confined to the properties' frontage. Only under direction of the County shall any deviation be allowed.
  • Abandoned driveways and depressed curbs shall be removed and replaced with full-height curb and sidewalk on standard slope. Existing curb depression, which do not conform to the minimum standards of the latest Standard Plans shall be reconstructed to the latest requirements when constructing a new driveway slab.
  • Any new entrance onto a County road must meet minimum safe stopping sight distance based on the speed of the roadway being accessed. Issues surrounding the availability of adequate sight distance must be resolved with the County before an access permit is granted.

Open Section Roadway Installation (roadways without curb and gutter)

  • It may be necessary to install a minimum 12 inch diameter pipe under the driveway to facilitate roadside drainage. The Engineer will determine if this is necessary.
  • Areas shall consist of three inches of County approved asphalt (two inches of base, one inch of surface) on six inches of crusher run stone.
  • All construction and width requirements for asphalt type drives shall be taken from County plates R-34 and R-15, R-15A.

Closed Section Roadway Installation (roadways with curb and gutter)

  • All driveway aprons and adjoining sidewalk must be concrete seven inches thick minimum of County approved concrete mix.
  • Concrete curb and gutter must be removed to the nearest joint.
  • County approved expansion joint material must be placed behind all curbing to separate the driveway from the curb.
  • All construction and width requirements for concrete type drives shall be taken from County plates R-34, R-15, R-15A.

All applications and questions concerning residential entrances or the permit process may be addressed to:

Bureau of Highways
111 West Chesapeake Ave., Room G-26
Towson, Maryland 21204
Email: highways@baltimorecountymd.gov

Illustrations of typical designs required by Baltimore County for a residential entrance will be sent to you along with your approved permit.

Revised September 2, 2014

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