Adopt Minimum Driveway Configuration Standards

Summary of Request

There have been several ongoing issues with driveways in the City of Chanhassen. The first is that builders who are informed that they are over their zoning district’s hardcover limits are increasingly choosing to reconfigure driveways in order to bring their proposed plans into compliance with City Ordinance. These reconfigured driveways sometimes taper so quickly down to the city’s 10-foot minimum width that there is not enough space provided to park cars in front of the garage or the movements needed to enter and exit the garage are impractical.

The second concern is that the driveway ordinance’s minimum 10-foot side yard setback is more restrictive than the Residential Low and Medium (RLM) Density District’s 5-foot side yard setback. This creates a situation where many lots with RLM zoning have garages located five feet from the side lot line, which necessitates an exemption from the city’s 10-foot side yard driveway setback.

The final issue is that the driveway ordinance has been amended seven times since it was adopted in 2001. Many of these amendments added new subsections but did not place them under headings linking them to existing provisions. This has led to the current driveway ordinance being difficult for residents and builders to navigate.

Staff is recommending expanding the minimum design standards to ensure that driveways provide sufficient off-street parking and allow for functional movements, that the driveway setback be made commensurate to the property’s underlying zoning for the first 20 feet, and that the section be reorganized to improve readability.

Issue Paper

The following section of the Chanhassen City Code is subject to changes:

  • Chapter 20 - Zoning

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Date Meeting Type Action
November 19, 2019 Planning Commission Public Hearing Approved
December 9, 2019 City Council TBD