Skip retaining wall for steep driveway or assume liability?

Old 08-02-18, 07:23 PM
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Skip retaining wall for steep driveway or assume liability?

We had an ongoing driveway and retaining wall project that we elected to terminate before completion. Hired contractors who failed to obtain necessary site plans, engineering, and retaining wall permits (after grading and partially building walls in the right of way). We've had no driveway for about 2 months now.

The proposed driveway and retaining walls were essentially
planned and laid out in the same location as the original driveway, except we moved the apron, which now doesn't meet code (has to be perpendicular to the street). The original driveway had a pitch of about 29 which could only be corrected by elongati g the driveway and changing the entry (where one would enter at an angle of about 30 from the street (at a dead end street without a turnaround).

The curve of the driveway had to be built up with backfill and gravel to achieve a level horizontal, and the original contractor "suggested" a wall. The wall breaks all kinds of codes (except for height), meaning it's in the right of way. I'm wondering if I can get away with NOT having a wall there and just backfilling the area with a sufficient amount of dirt and throwing some juniper on it to hinder erosion (to meet county code, which does not allow a wall.

Thus far, no one from the county is interested in coming out to see the actual problem. They just repeatedly state county policy. Is the liability worth the risk if every other driveway option ends up at a 30 pitch? The best current scenario has the slope at about 14-15.
Old 08-02-18, 08:18 PM
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Pictures may help us help you. How to insert images.
Old 08-03-18, 03:51 AM
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You could ask for an easement. This would then go the town engineering and then a hearing in at the next town board. You must have all you facts in hand and a good reason why you need the easement. If you feel a safety factor is involved then use that a leverage.

Yes, please provide pictures.
Old 08-03-18, 12:42 PM
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Im picturing this, anything similar?
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Old 08-03-18, 12:54 PM
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That is unreal. I couldn't live in a place like that. I could just imagine snow and ice on the driveway.
Old 08-05-18, 06:43 AM
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Well, they did fix it a bit...

Whose Stupid Idea Was This?! ? Ugly House Photos

We once had a real estate deal involving a subdivision that was almost as dumb-

A hilltop 25 acre lot with one existing house and a 700 foot driveway, was being split into 3 lots, with 2 new hormes, it's on a hill, short steep driveway which then flattens out, but the code allwed everyone to share the existing double-wide driveway as long as there was a recorded access easement and double lane "pass-bys" every 100 feet or so.

But, the township engineer issisted that one lot was 5' short of the minimum required road frontage. So we ended up running a 5' "flag pole" for that lot, which provided 5' of road frontage at a vertical cliff face.

"Pencil pushed", engineer was happy, and we closed the deal.
Old 08-05-18, 11:58 AM
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At first I thought that photo had been doctored as I couldn't fathom anybody approving this, let alone installing it and thinking, "Looks Good". But, found another story about it how they fixed it moving the sidewalk closer to the street, then found the actual street and, gulp, looks like that's what they did. You can see the other side of the street has the sidewalk further back.!8i6656
Old 08-05-18, 03:12 PM
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That's nothin.

Pennsylvania, native territory of Pa. Dept. of Transportation "Penn-DOT", a name which makes many drivers shudder when they hear "not in my job description".

When I was a kid, I learned that Penn-DOT crews putting down new paint on the road meant the road was about to be repaved....

That's because, the PAINTING crews worked 12 months a year, but the PAVING crews only worked when it was warm, so by mid-April, the Painting department would be ahead of the Paving department.

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