Drive Approach and/or Sidewalk on City Property & Driveway on Private Property
A property owner (or their agent) must obtain a permit when constructing, repairing, or replacing a drive approach and/or public sidewalk located within the city property called the public right-of-way. The grassy portion of the public right-of-way is commonly referred to as the parkway and is generally that area measured from one foot (1’) behind the public sidewalk to the edge of the street pavement. In areas without a public sidewalk, the parkway can be approximately measured twenty-one feet from the edge of the street pavement. Listed below are the informational requirements that you must submit in order to obtain a permit. The Drive Approach, Public Sidewalk permit can usually be issued “over the counter” as long as you submit the required information. Should you have any questions please contact the City Building Department and we would be pleased to assist you.
Associated Handouts & Applications
- Curb, Drive Approach, and Public Walk Application for Permit
- Contractors Requirements
- Plat of Survey
- Specifications for Drive Approach, Public Walk and Curbs (Figure 22)
- City Zoning Ordinance Criteria
- City Code Criteria
- List of Arterial/Collector Streets
- Shared Sidewalk Replacement Program.
- Curb/Driveway Permit Application - When filling out an application permits; include all required information that is pertinent to the proposed scope of work such as site address, description of work, contractors to be used on the job and their respective costs per trade, the total cost of work to be performed, complete applicant contact information, etc. Please refer to the document titled Curb/Driveway and Public Walk Permit.
- Contractor Requirements - All Contractors doing work on City right-of-way are required to be registered with the City of Wheaton and includes an application, insurance, and bond be provided. Please see the guideline titled Contractor Requirements.
- Plat of Survey - Provide a plat of survey if you are proposing to widen the drive approach or driveway. Mark up the plat to show the existing drive approach, driveway, and sidewalk as well as proposed changes.
- Specifications for Drive Approach, Public Walk, and Curbs (Figure 22) - Diagram is shown below.
- Utility Easement (Approval to Build Within) submittal requirements - where applicable.
Significant Codes - Engineering
Sec. 58-71. Driveway approaches - Construction generally.
Approach Width and Flare
No driveway approach shall be constructed with a width greater than 24 feet for one-car and two-car garages in residential districts, 28 feet for three-car garages in residential districts, or 30 feet in commercial or industrial districts, measured at the property line or at the beginning of the required flare, whichever is further from the street. For approaches in residential districts, there shall be a minimum flare on each side at the curb cut of three feet on minor streets and six feet on collector and arterial streets as designated by the city traffic engineer. The flare shall commence at a point seven feet from the back of the curb. Commercial and industrial approaches shall have a flare having a minimum radius of 15 feet commencing 15 feet from the back of the curb. Unidirectional approaches at each end of required parallel access easements shall be encouraged and subject to the approval of the traffic engineer consistent with good engineering practices.
Curb Approach Material
No driveway approach shall extend past the back of the curb or at the edge of the street into the pavement so as to change the street grade at the gutter line. Depressed curb shall be permitted in areas with roll-type curb where a driveway approach is to be reconstructed. Curb and gutter of the barrier type shall be horizontally saw cut or the entire curb and gutter removed and replaced such that the back of the curb at the driveway depression is a minimum of 1½ inches above the gutter line at all places. The depression shall be the full width of the approach at its street edge and shall meet the existing curb at a vertical angle not less than 135 degrees.
Residential driveway approaches shall be constructed of Portland cement concrete (state department of transportation class SI) not less than five inches thick or of 1½ inches minimum thickness of bituminous concrete on a compacted granular base not less than eight inches thick. Commercial and industrial driveway approaches shall be constructed of Portland cement concrete (state department of transportation class SI) not less than six inches thick. The limits of all pavement and concrete construction shall be against saw-cut joints. The grade of the driveway approach shall be such that it crosses the location of an existing or proposed sidewalk in accordance with the grades set forth in this Code for sidewalks. For the purpose of determining grades for driveway approaches, it shall be presumed that sidewalks are proposed on all streets within the area of planning jurisdiction of the city. Portland cement concrete approaches shall be separated from adjacent sidewalks and curbing at the back of the curb by approved expansion joint material, finished with a light broom finish, and coated with an approved curing compound immediately after finishing.
Approach Removal & Replacement
Reconstruction of existing approaches shall be in conformance with the specifications set out in this section. Reconstruction shall be defined as the removal and replacement of more than 50 percent of the existing surface. Any curb and gutter falling within the required curb depression area which does not meet these specifications or is in a substantial state of disrepair shall be removed and replaced as described in this section, as determined by an authorized city inspector. Removal of such existing curb and gutter shall be by the department of public works within a reasonable period of time after the issuance of a permit for the work and request by the applicant for such removal. The cost of the replacement of the curb and gutter section shall be borne by the applicant.
Drive approaches consisting of decorative materials or finishes may be constructed for residential lots only. Decorative drive approaches shall consist of clay or concrete brick pavers, dyed and stamped Portland cement concrete or bituminous concrete, or other such materials or finishes as may be approved by the director of engineering. Decorative drive approaches shall be subject to the following conditions:
- Permit. No person shall install a decorative drive approach without having secured a permit from the city.
- Maintenance by the property owner. The owner of the property which is served by the decorative drive approach shall be solely responsible for all maintenance and repair of the decorative drive approach within the city right-of-way. Specifically, the owner shall maintain the decorative drive approach within the right-of-way so that the materials remain securely in place and generally level. The city shall not be liable for the costs of any maintenance or repairs to the decorative drive approach regardless of the reason(s) requiring the maintenance or repair
- No maintenance or repair obligation by the city. The city shall have no obligation or responsibility to maintain or repair the decorative drive approach within the city right-of-way. Provided, however, in the event the owner fails to maintain and repair the decorative drive approach within the city right-of-way, the city may, but need not, perform the necessary maintenance and repair to the decorative drive approach, at the expense of the owner. The city shall not perform any discretionary maintenance or repair to the decorative drive approach within the city right-of-way without first providing 14 days' written notice to the owner.
- Restoration obligations. In the event it becomes necessary for the city or its contractors to perform any maintenance or repairs within the city right-of-way, the owner agrees that by taking out a permit, the city or its contractors may remove or dig up the decorative drive approach within the right-of-way without notice to the owner. In this event, neither the city nor its contractors shall have any obligation to replace, repair, or otherwise reconstruct the decorative drive approach; the responsibility and the cost thereof shall be the obligation of the owner. The director of public works or the director of engineering may, however, authorize a partial cost reimbursement which would reflect the city’s cost to repair the disturbed portion of the decorative drive approach with asphalt.
- Release, hold harmless, and indemnification. The owner, the applicant taking out a permit on behalf of the owner, and the owner’s heirs, successors and assigns hereby releases and forever discharges the city, its officers, employees, assigns, successors, and/or agents from any and all claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses (including reasonable attorneys fees and expert witness costs), loss of services, actions, and causes of action on account of death or injury to any person or damage to any property resulting from any condition of the decorative drive approach being located within the city right-of-way. The owner, the applicant taking out such permit further agrees on behalf of the owner, and the owners’ heirs, successors, and assigns to defend and indemnify the city, its officers, employees, assigns, successors, and/or agents for any and all claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses (including reasonable attorneys fees and expert witness costs), loss of services, actions, and causes of action on account of death or injury to any person or damage to any property resulting from any condition of the decorative drive approach. This release and indemnification shall be applicable to all successor owners or lessees of any property which is serviced by a decorative drive approach.
For reconstruction on existing single-family home sites, call 630-260-2116 between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Please allow for a minimum of 4 hours' notice when scheduling inspections.
The following inspections are required for all driveway approach and public sidewalk projects. Additional inspections may be required and will be noted on your plan review or by your inspector.
- Preconstruction inspection (For Contractors that have never performed work in the city of Wheaton right-of-way).
- Framing and base inspection
- Final inspection
Arterial/Collector Streets List
Driveway on Private Property
Driveways on private property do not require a permit from the City of Wheaton. However, there are regulations on the allowed width, maximum front yard coverage, minimum side yard, additional parking in rear yard, as well as turnarounds in front yards. The City requires that you become familiar with the attached regulations prior to replacing or repairing an existing drive.
If you are proposing to construct a driveway where none exists, you will need to submit a plat of survey with the proposed drive drawn in for Planning & Engineering Department approval.
When constructing a new house, garage, or addition that includes modifications to an existing driveway or proposed new driveway where there were none before, the Engineering Department Staff will review the proposed plan when the new building is reviewed.
A property owner (or their agent) does not need to obtain a permit when constructing, repairing, or replacing a driveway located on a single-family residential property that does not encroach onto the public right-of-way unless the work is done in conjunction with other site improvements which may require a building permit. However, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the driveway is constructed in accordance with the City Zoning Ordinance requirements for Off-Street Parking and Loading.
Significant Codes - Zoning
Driveway and Private Property
Off-street parking spaces, aisles, and access drives shall comply with the following standards:
- Enclosed Parking - Enclosed buildings and carports containing off-street parking spaces shall comply with the yard requirements for such structures contained in Article III of the Wheaton Zoning Ordinance.
- Maximum Yard Coverage for Parking - Single Family. All off-street parking spaces accessory to single-family uses utilized for motor vehicle parking constructed after December 7, 1998, shall be located on a driveway no wider than 20 feet for a property containing up to a two-car garage, and no wider than 26 feet in width for a property containing a three or more car garage.
- All such off-street parking spaces shall be constructed of Portland cement concrete (State Department of Transportation Class SI) not less than 5 inches thick or of 1½ inches minimum thickness of bituminous concrete on a compacted granular base not less than 8 inches thick, or concrete or clay brick pavers installed in accordance with manufacturers specifications.
- Additional off-street parking constructed after December 7, 1998, shall be allowed in any front yard or side yard abutting a street provided any such additional parking is contiguous to the driveway; is paved in accordance with the aforementioned construction standards; and the total area of the additional off-street parking and driveway does not occupy more than 33.3% of the required front yard or side yard abutting a street.
- Additional off-street parking constructed after December 7, 1998, shall be allowed in a rear yard provided any such additional parking is contiguous to the driveway; is paved in accordance with the aforementioned construction standards; and maintains a minimum 10-foot side and rear yard setback.
- Vehicle turnarounds constructed after December 7, 1998, shall be allowed provided such turnarounds are contiguous to the driveway; are paved in accordance with the aforementioned construction standards; are sized to accommodate a maximum of one single vehicle; and are adjacent to an arterial street as established by the Wheaton City Code.
- All motor vehicle parking, except as modified by Article 24.7.2 of the City of Wheaton Zoning Ordinance, shall be on a driveway or an approved additional parking area.
City of Wheaton Building & Code Enforcement Department
303 W. Wesley Street
Wheaton, IL 60187-0727
Business hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.