Merriam looks to make driveway repair permit process easier for homeowners

Merriam driveways

The city of Merriam will soon consider an ordinance that would eliminate one of two permits currently required for residents to do driveway repairs. The proposal does not apply to new driveways or driveway expansions.

Merriam residents wanting to repair their driveways may face fewer hurdles going forward.

Next month, the Merriam City Council will consider a move aimed at streamlining the permitting process for driveway repairs.

Currently, residents trying to repair or replace existing driveways are required to pay for both a right-of-way permit and a building permit.

The proposed amendment would exempt residents from getting a right-of-way permit, meaning one less permit to pay for.

The current process

Aside from requiring residents pay for two permits, both the right-of-way and building permits require inspections from different city departments, Community Development Director Bryan Dyer said.

“Public works comes out for right-of-way inspection, a building official comes out for the driveway inspection,” Dyer said. “Pretty soon, they start conversing and they realize they’re all out there doing the same thing — inspecting the same thing.”

Councilmember Chris Evans Hands said she was surprised the planning commission didn’t need to review the prospective ordinance amendment prior to it heading to the city council.

Dyer said since the ordinance is in the right-of-way chapter and not the zoning chapter of the city code, the amendment did not require planning commission review.

Does not pertain to new driveways or expansions

New driveways and expansions will not be covered by the proposed change.

Those projects will still need to get both a building permit and a right-of-way permit.

Dyer said the proposal came about because a public works employee challenged him to find a way to streamline the driveway permit process for repairing and replacing driveways.

“This is the perfect example of staff in the field figuring out a better way, a more efficient way, to do something,” Dyer told the city council.

The city council will formally consider the ordinance amendment in July.