mainedot planning process and programs: access management
>Access Management (Driveways and Entrances)
Access Management Information for Real Estate Agents
Frequently Asked Questions
- I already have a driveway, so can I move forward with building any structure including a home, garage or business?
If the property is on a state roadway, an existing driveway or curb cut is grandfathered as of May 25, 2002 for the use that was in existence at that time.
If you are changing the use that existed in 2002, for example from forestry or farming to residential, you need to apply to MaineDOT for a new permit.
Also, if you are physically altering the entrance, you’ll need to apply for a new permit
- Can I begin construction as soon as the Code Enforcement Officer issues a building permit?
Not necessarily. Since current law under Title 30-A Section 4103 3.D is relatively new, there have been instances of Code Enforcement Officers issuing building permits without asking to see the MaineDOT permit first.
MaineDOT is proactively training municipal officials and others that the new law requires the MaineDOT Driveway Permit be issued before the town issues any permits for land abutting state roadways.
In instances when the owner has moved forward with construction without a driveway permit, it has caused considerable problems for the owner and the municipality.
- Do these rules apply to individual lots only or do they apply to subdivisions as well?
Planning Boards are required by law to receive documentation from MaineDOT indicating that the all driveways or entrances from subdivisions onto state roads conform to the rules(Title 30-A Section 4404 ).
- Do MaineDOT permit rules apply to all driveways and entrances on all State highways?
Not necessarily. There are 43 communities, called “Urban Compact Areas” which have populations of more than 7,500. These communities are exempt from MaineDOT Permit Rules. To find out if a property is within Urban Compact Area limits, call the municipal office, go to www.mainedot.gov and look under permits, or call to request the MaineDOT booklet “Your Guide to Permits for Driveways and Entrances”
- If State rules and local rules appear to be in conflict, which rules apply?
When local rules differ from state rules, the stricter of the two applies. For example, state rules recommend sharing driveways and if local rules require shared driveways, the local rules will be enforced.
If local rules require two entrances to a development and MaineDOT rules indicate only one per subdivision, the stricter state rule applies unless a waiver from MaineDOT is obtained. In Urban Compact Areas, the local rules govern.
- Does MaineDOT get involved with local roads or entrances onto local roads?
In most cases, MaineDOT isn’t involved in local roads or entrances onto local roads. This is normally a municipal responsibility and they should be contacted for information and/or requirements.
However if a large project or development will generate significant (100 car trips per hour) traffic, a Traffic Movement Permit may be required. In these cases, consultant traffic engineers must be hired by the developer to analyze on-site and off-site traffic impacts including local, state and private roads.
The analysis may conclude that infrastructure improvements (including local and Urban Compact Area roads) will be required in order to accommodate the increased traffic. MaineDOT issues this Traffic Movement Permit to the developer after requesting input from the town, the public and others affected by the increased traffic.
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