Connection categories.

All connections, public or private shall be determined by the department to be in one of the following categories:
(1) "Category I - Minimum connection" provides connection to the state highway system for up to ten single family residences, a duplex, or a small multifamily complex of up to ten dwelling units, which use a common connection. The category shall also apply to permanent connections to agricultural and forest lands, including field entrances; connections for the operation, maintenance, and repair of utilities; and connections serving other low volume traffic generators expected to have an average weekday vehicle trip ends (AWDVTE) of one hundred or less.
(2) "Category II - Minor connection" provides connection to the state highway system for medium volume traffic generators expected to have an AWDVTE of one thousand five hundred or less, but not included in Category I.
(3) "Category III - Major connection" provides connection to the state highway system for high volume traffic generators expected to have an AWDVTE exceeding one thousand five hundred.
(4) "Category IV - Temporary connection" provides a temporary, time limited, connection to the state highway system for a specific property for a specific use with a specific traffic volume. Such uses include, but are not limited to, logging, forest land clearing, temporary agricultural uses, temporary construction, and temporary emergency access. The department reserves the right to remove any temporary connection at its sole discretion and at the expense of the property owner after the expiration of the permit. Further, a temporary connection permit does not bind the department, in any way, to the future issuance of a permanent connection permit at the temporary connection location.
(5) "Nonconforming connection" designation may be issued for Category I through IV permits after an analysis and determination by the department that a conforming connection cannot be made and a finding that the denial of a connection would leave the property without a reasonable means of access to the public road system. In such instances, the permit shall be noted as nonconforming and contain specific restrictions and provisions, including limits on the maximum vehicular use of the connection, the future availability of alternate means of reasonable access for which a conforming connection permit could be obtained, the removal of the nonconforming connection at the time the conforming access is available, and other conditions as necessary to carry out the provisions of chapter 47.50 RCW.
(6) "Variance connection" means a special nonconforming or additional connection permit, issued for a location not normally permitted by current department standards, after an engineering study demonstrates that the connection will not adversely affect the safety, maintenance or operation of the highway in accordance with its assigned classification. This permit will remain valid until modified or revoked by the permitting authority.
(7) "Median opening" includes openings requested for both new connections and for existing connections. New median openings proposed as part of a new driveway connection shall be reviewed as part of the permit application review process. Request for the construction of new median openings to serve existing permitted connections shall require a reevaluation of the location, quantity, design of existing connection, and traffic at the existing connections. The property owner must file a new connection permit application, for the proper connection category, showing the new proposed median opening location and design and its relationship to the existing or modified driveway connections. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the department from closing an existing median opening where operational or safety reasons require the action. The department shall notify affected property owners, permit holders and tenants, in writing, thirty days in advance of the closure of a median opening unless immediate closure is needed for safety or operational reasons.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 47.50 RCW. WSR 99-06-034 (Order 187), § 468-51-040, filed 2/25/99, effective 3/28/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 47.01.101 and chapter 47.50 RCW. WSR 92-14-044, § 468-51-040, filed 6/24/92, effective 7/25/92.]
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