03 - Driveway Construction, Modification or Replacement

Revised on 02-26-2020

If an A-Permit is being applied for driveway construction, modification or replacement, the following is the BOE vetting process that will take place once a completed application is received.  Instructions on how to complete the on-line A-Permit application can be found in this manual under Construction "A" Permits,  Technical Procedures, 01 - Permit Processing Procedures for Construction A-Permits.

  1. Determine reason for new or modified driveway approach.  This determination will dictate how the permit will be issued as well as the cost of the permit.
  2. Review NavigateLA  to confirm:
    1. Any MapNotes that prevent the A-Permit from being issued.  Contact the appropriate District Office, if necessary.
      1. Are there any Planning Actions (DIR, CPC, ZA, APC, etc.).  If so, review the conditions for LADOT Traffic Circulation requirements
    2. Examine available plans and aerial photographs
    3. Verify the location is not on a State Highway (denoted with a thick green line).
      1. If the proposed encroachment is on a State Highway, the Applicant should be directed to Caltrans at 100 S. Main Street, Suite 100, Los Angeles, 213-897-3631
    4. Any previous A or B-Permits that were issued  to verify new work doesn't violate the requirements of the previously issued permit
  3. Determine if there is an existing street light where the proposed driveway will be constructed?  If so, the Applicant will be required to obtain an Excavation E Permit (see  4 – Street Light Relocations - Application Processing Procedures)
  4. Standard Driveway Approach or Driveway Approach Deviation (Deviations only apply to the provision under 62.105.1 a-d, - Location of Driveway Approaches62.105.2 - Width of Driveway Approach Apron, 62.105.3 - Length of Curb Space, and 62.105.4 - Slope of Driveway Approaches)
    1. Standard Driveway:  If the driveway approach meets the provisions of LAMC 62.105.1 - 62.105.4 and it has been determined the Applicant will utilize the City's Standard Plan (City Standard Plans S-440-4) the following information will be submitted to BOE:
      1. If the location of the driveway is on a Avenue or Boulevard (per the 2035 Mobility Plan ), an LADOT "Accepted"  sketch shall be provided  (Applicant is required to obtain this acceptance from  LADOT  prior to BOE issuing the A-Permit).   Acceptance will typically include information about driveway approach width, location and restrictions.
    2. Non-Standard Driveway (Deviation):  Determine if the driveway deviates from City standards, if so the y follow should be reviewed:
      1. Extra-Wide Driveway ApproachPer LAMC 62.105.2, The minimum width of an apron shall be 10 feet in the A, RE, RS, R1, R2 and RW Zones, and 12 feet in the RD, R3, R4, R5, C, M, P and PB Zones, measured along the existing or proposed curb line or, if neither exists, then measured as directed by the City Engineer.  The maximum width of an apron shall be 18 feet, measured along the curb line, when serving a lot in the “A” or “R” Zones said 30 feet when serving a lot in the “C,” “M,” or “PB” Zones, as said zones are provided for by Article 2, Chapter I of the LAMC.Screen shot of online Exception from Driveway Form

        If the driveway exceeds the standard limits the Applicant must request a deviation from City standards.  Per LAMC 62.105.5, the Applicant must obtain a request to deviate from LAMC 62.105.2, in writing to the Board of Public Works.  However, per the chapter definition of “Board” in LAMC 61.00, the word “Board” shall mean the Board of Public Works of this City or any of its members or inspectors.  Therefore, BOE can grant the deviation once the following have been received:  
        1. Sketch or plan of the proposed extra wide driveway approach (typically part of the plans submitted to LADBS)
          1. If the proposed Driveway Approach is located on an Avenue or Boulevard (per the 2035 Mobility Plan), an LADOT "Accepted" sketch shall be provided  (Applicant is required to obtain this acceptance from LADOT  prior to BOE issuing the A-Permit).   Acceptance will typically include information about driveway approach width, location and restrictions.
        2. Exact reason and nature for the deviation in writing (Applicant should complete the "Exceptions from Driveway Requirements Form"
        3. The following conditions of LAMC 62.105.5(b)(1-4) are met:
          1. That the deviation requested arises from unusual or extraordinary physical conditions, or is necessary to permit the proper and lawful development and use of the applicant’s property;
          2. That the granting of the deviation requested will not be contrary to the public safety, convenience and general welfare;
          3. That the granting of the deviation will not adversely affect the rights of adjacent property owners or tenants; and
          4. That the specific application of the above-mentioned provisions would create unnecessary hardship in the development or use of the property.
        4. BOE would deny or approve the request for deviation
        5. Appeals of BOE's determination will require approval by the Board of Public Works. Additional fees and a Board Report will be required to be prepared to appeal to the decision.
      2. Non-Standard Driveway Construction
        1. No Existing Curb or Asphalt Berm:  If there is no existing curb or the street has an asphalt berm, this is a deviation from City Standards and therefore fall under LAMC 62.105.5 (Application for Deviations from the Provisions of Sections 62.105.1 (a), (b), (c), and (d)).  
        2. Driveways on Unimproved or Partially Improved Streets
          1. Curb With Street Paved: Construct depressed portion of the curb ½ inch above the existing pavement.  Where the curb face is 6 inches or less, if the pavement adjacent to the curb is asphalt or rock and oil, construct the depressions flush with the pavement omitting the ½ inch lip.
          2. No curb - Street Not Paved: Determine the established elevation and grade of street abutting the property.  The driveway shall then be constructed to the elevations furnished by BOE.
          3. Street Paved - No Curb: At locations where streets are surfaced but no curb has been installed, concrete is not permitted. If asphalt or rock and oil are used, a recorded waiver signed by the owner is required at the time the permit is applied for.  Driveways of this type are considered temporary improvements.  This type of installation requires the application to also obtain a Revocable (R) Permit.
          4. Curb Only-Street Not Paved: At locations where curb has been constructed but the street is not paved, the driveway depression shall be constructed 7 ½ inches below the top of the curb, unless otherwise specified by the permit.  The front form for the driveway depression shall extend to the bottom of the depressed curb across the full width of the driveway.

            Note:  Where full height or depressed curb for a driveway is constructed next to an existing asphalt surface, the permittee will be responsible for paving the slot resulting from removal of the curb form.
          5. Existing Depressed Curb (without apron): Curb cut with the property line at the back of curb.
             
  5. Determine if any water meter boxes, gas shut-off valve boxes, street light and traffic signal conduit and pull boxes or parking meters in the driveway approach
    1. If so, consult the agency having jurisdiction over any utility box to be affected. The top surface of such boxes shall meet the standard sidewalk slope. Alterations or relocations may be necessary if a box is located within the limits of a proposed driveway or other works. Provide the necessary forms to omit concrete in an area measuring 30 inches by 36 inches around any water meter box in the area being improved.
      1. LADWP:  Notify LADWP to alter the utility box and provide a metal plate cover. If you are calling from the Los Angeles area, call (800) 342-5397 and from outside the Los Angeles area, call (818) 342- 5397.
      2. LADOT:  Notify LADOT 24 hours in advance of starting construction wherever traffic signals or parking meters will be effected by the work. The DOT Traffic Signal Section telephone number is (213) 847-4230 and the DOT Parking Meter Section telephone number is (213) 485-2273. 
      3. BSL:  All street lighting work, including pull box or conduit modifications requires prior approval of the Bureau of Street Lighting (BSL). Fees for street lighting modifications must be paid and work completed by BSL before any concrete may be poured. The BSL’s telephone number is (213) 485-3491.
         
  6. Determine if the driveway has been abandoned.  Driveways or depressed curbs, abandoned and no longer in use, shall be removed and replaced with full-height curb and sidewalk. Class "A" permits for new improvements will not be valid until all abandoned driveways at the job location are closed.

  7. Determine if the driveway approach is in a prohibited location.  Per LAMC 62.105.1, the following are conditions where driveway approach can’t be constructed:
    1. If any portion between the prolonged intersecting property lines at any street or alley intersection, or between the points of curvature of any curb return having a radius of 20 feet or less.
      1. Example - Within a corner curb return
    2. If there is encroachment on or upon any curb return beyond or ahead of an existing traffic regulating device
    3. If any portion of the driveway is within 5' of an existing lighting standard this driveway can't be constructed unless the applicant relocates the street light outside of the 5'.  The location of traffic signals, poles, sign posts or fire hydrants shall be in accordance with the City Engineer’s standard plan of driveways (S-440-4 Case 3).
    4. If the abutting lot does not permit sufficient accommodation for the vehicles using said approach to park without encroaching into or upon the adjacent sidewalks.
      1. Example  - Loading docks or doorways adjoining the public sidewalk, where vehicles parked across the sidewalk would prevent full and free use of the sidewalk by pedestrians.
    5. If, except side slopes, serving a certain lot shall extend in front of the adjoining lot without the consent of the owner of said adjoining lot. For this purpose, the division between two lots shall be a line passing through the common lot corner at right angles to the curb line regardless of the direction of the side lot line.
    6. If a lot in an RD1.5 or less restrictive zone has legal and physical access to both a standard street and a substandard street, then:
      1. no new driveway shall be constructed from that lot to a substandard street; and
      2. no existing driveway to a substandard street shall be enlarged in conjunction with a building permit for an intensification of use of the lot served by the enlarged driveway
  • Ten days prior to the issuance of a Class “A” permit for a driveway onto a standard street from a lot which also has access to a substandard street, the City Engineer shall notify LADOT of the pending permit application.  The City Engineer shall determine whether:
    • The “development” which means the construction of any building or structure, or the addition to or change of use of any land, building or structure.where the construction of a driveway apron would adversely impact drainage, specifically drainage from the public right-of-way into private property driveway that don't lead a carport, garage, sideyard or rearyard. Neighboring driveway aprons must have at least 2' of separation between the top of the "x" slope.

Driveway Approaches that Require LADOT Review/Acceptance


The following scenarios require LADOT review and acceptance prior to issuance of the A-Permit:

  1. All driveways on Avenues or Boulevards (per the 2035 Mobility Plan)
  2. Driveway requirements established by any Planning Action (Discretionary Action) 

Additional Information for On-Line Applications


BOE staff will provide comments and/or request additional information from the Applicant via the on-line application system under the Permit Approval Tab in the “Bureau of Engineering Comments to be Shown and Emailed to Customer” Comment box (no comments/information may be required).  Typical comments/requests for information could include:

  • Discrepancies from the standard plans
  • Location of the driveway approach (i.e. which street if a corner lot)
  • Determine location of parking (i.e. garage, carport, side yard, backyard).
    • Front yard parking is not allowed unless approved by LADBS per LAMC Sec 12.21 C 1. (g)
      • Building and Safety approved plans showing the parking area is otherwise, required.
    • Side yard parking should be at least fourteen (14) feet wide allowing for a five-foot side yard that is kept clear of any obstructions. 
  • Are there any obstructions, like a water meters, in the driveway approach
  • Are street trees in the proposed driveway approach
  • Is this a shared driveway approach per LAMC 62.105.3(c)
    • Minimum width per lot should be observed per LAMC 62.105.2(a) unless there is a common driveway affidavit from LADBS
    • Maximum width per lot should be observed per LAMC 62.105.2(b)
  • Write a descriptive comment of the scope of work to be done in the “REMARKS” line of the A-Permit.   Typical remarks could include:
    • Widening of existing driveway approach from W 10’ to W 18’.  Case No. 2.  Inspector to verify width.  Approved by (Counter Supervisor/Manager Name) on (date) (and the reason for the decision).
    • Construction of new Case II driveway apron per City Standard Plans S-440-4 and repair of damaged sidewalk. Call for pre-inspection. Approved by (Counter Supervisor/Manager Name) on (date) (and the reason for the decision).
  • Significant dimensions to consider and obtain from the applicant include (but is not limited to):
    • Curb height
    • Width of sidewalk
    • Width of parkway
    • Width of proposed driveway opening
    • Width of side yard
    • Depth of front yard
    • Width of gutter

 

Screen shot of a driveway approach data sheet

 

If applicable, receive a notarized and recorded Covenant and Agreement for Community Driveway.  This is a Building & Safety form.Screen shot of a driveway application form