The Peoria County Board unanimously approved a new Peoria County Highway Access Regulation Ordinance, which affects property owners looking to add a new driveway or access point to a county-owned road. Previously, the Peoria County Highway Department provided driveway entrance construction using county equipment and employees. This usually includes creating a culvert structure over a drainage ditch to access the road.
The original ordinance was set in 1998 and called for a fee of $650 to cover installation costs. That fee had not been adjusted since, and it no longer covered material, time, or labor costs. While each project is different, it is estimated that it now costs the County approximately $3000 to put in an access point. The County receives about 20 access requests per year.
The new ordinance goes into effect August 1, 2023 and is modeled on best practices in neighboring counties. It involves permitting similar to other construction, in that the Highway Department will permit and inspect the work done by the property owner or developer.
“The most significant change from the existing ordinance is that the construction of new entrances will be the responsibility of the property owner, with the County Highway Department responsible for permitting and inspecting that the work has been done to Highway Department standards,” said Amy McLaren, Peoria County Engineer. “After the completion of the work, County Highway will then include the culvert into the roadway’s maintenance program.”
The new permitting fee is $500 for minimum use access, such as a field entrance or single-family home driveway. For a major access permit intended for 150 or more uses per day, such as a subdivision or commercial development, the fee rises to $1000.
“I see this as a positive ordinance change,” said Board Member Matt Windish. “We have to be responsible with taxpayer money, and by putting the burden of construction on the developer we save funds as well as staff time. Time that can be better spent on road maintenance throughout the County.”
The new ordinance can be read in full at https://www.peoriacounty.gov/416/Permits