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Specialty Driveways Cause Snag in Policy Development

St. Charles officials continue to draft driveway restoration policy.

Stamped driveways are proving to be a snag for St. Charles officials looking to develop a driveway restoration policy for the city.

Driveway restoration occurs after the city must perform sidewalk repairs that overlap a private driveway. Repairing the driveway though can lead to some challenges, particularly if the existing driveway material is specialized, such as made from pavers or a stamped concrete.

Staff showed a slide of an asphalt driveway that was repaired, with a visible seam at connecting the repaired area to the original portion of the driveway. Several aldermen questioned whether or not the repair could have been done without such a visible scar on the driveway.  

The city is obligated to leave residents with a driveway that works, but current policy does not require an aesthetic solution. Staff questioned whether or not the city should be concerned about aesthetics when driveway repair is more about functionality.

Alderman Dan Stellato, chairman of the committee, said aesthetics should be taken into consideration by the city when it replaces private property.

Alderman Cliff Carrignan rhetorically asked how the city pays for aesthetics since it’s subjective.

Currently replacing a small portion of a driveway costs the city approximately $1,671. If the city were forced to replace full driveways the costs could skyrocket up to approximately $52,000 depending on the driveway length, city reports show.

In addition to the driveway material, the city must also take into consideration fences, irrigation systems and lighting systems.

Staff compared existing municipal driveway policies in other Kane County communities and found each town’s policy called for replacing sections of the driveway closest to the sidewalk, rather than replace an entire driveway.

The committee requested the public works department continue looking at the policy, including aesthetics.

Char Johnson-Dunlop June 27, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Why does it cost the city 52000.00 to replace a driveway?
Alex Keown June 27, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Some of the driveways in town are quite long, that's a worst case scenario.

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