Policy II

Upgrading Roads

  1. 2.1 Right-of-Way Request and Road Qualification Process:
    1. A. Each Ex Officio Commissioner may select existing unpaved County Roads for upgrade and reconstruction to a paved surface at any time in accordance with these rules. The cost of preparing deeds or easements, surveying work, and fence relocation shall be borne by the County. The Following criteria shall be used to set the priorities as to which County Road shall be selected for paving:
      1. The following criteria shall be used to rank the paving order in which Road Projects shall be placed.
        1. 1st Priority
          1. The County Road is utilized as a school bus route;
          2. The County Road has a traffic court of 180 vehicles per day or greater;
          3. The County Road has an 80% or greater of its constituents willing to donate ROW
        2. 2nd Priority
          1. Has a traffic count of 180 vehicles per day or greater;
          2. Has 80% or greater of its constituents willing to donate ROW.
        3. 3rd Priority
          1. Has 80% or greater of its constituents willing to donate ROW.
    2. B. The adjacent property owners of an unpaved County Roads may request that the County pave the road. The Denton County Subdivisions Rules and Regulations shall set the standards for the proposed improvements. The request shall be made in writing to the Ex Officio Road Commissioner, in whose precinct the County Road is located, and shall be approved by Commissioners Court.

      In order for the road to be eligible for paving, the adjacent property owners must do the following:
      1. Donate to the County the funds needed to cover the cost of the materials to upgrade the subject road;
      2. Donate the Right-of-Way (ROW) and easements determined to be required by the Engineering Division prior to the beginning of the project;
      3. Bear the cost of preparing ROW deeds or easements, survey work and fence and utility relocation, when the utility companies are not required by law for such relocation; and
      4. Make payment to the County treasurer a sum of money, as determined by the Engineering Division, required to complete all elements of the project prior to the commencement of the project;
  2. 2.2 Right-of-Way Request and Road Qualification Process:
    1. A. A County Road that is identified as potentially being able to meet the requirements of Section 2.1 A. or B., the Ex Officio Commissioner shall send a letter to the owners of property adjacent to the County Road requesting that they state their willingness to donate for the project. The minimum acceptable ROW width shall be 60 feet unless a greater width is needed to properly construct and maintain the road, or the minimum width is waived in accordance with Section 2.2 B. If ROW is donated, the form of a transfer of the right-of-way shall be agreed upon between the County and the Owner. If the ROW is purchased, the County shall seek title in fee for the ROW. If the ROW is taken through condemnation, title shall be taken as authorized by law.
    2. B. The Ex Officio Commissioner may elect to waive the 60’ minimum ROW width stipulated above, if any of the following conditions are met:
      1. It is determined that additional ROW is not necessary for drainage purposes. In this case, it will not be necessary to convey the 100-year storm in the roadside ditches, but the paving of the roadway may not cause increased drainage problems, nor may significant drainage problems be ignored or left unremedied.
      2. It is determined that there are significant trees lining the roadway that must be removed to accommodate the 60’ minimum ROW requirement. This will particularly apply if the existing trees are primarily in the fence line, and their removal would eliminate the entire tree buffer between the roadway and the adjacent property (as opposed to a heavily wooded area where removal of trees along the ROW would leave a wooded buffer).
      3. It is determined that the existing ROW is acceptable for safe roadside conditions, including adequate clear space from obstructions, reasonable ditch slopes, and acceptable sight distances.
      4. Significant existing utilities will require relocation at the expense of the County in order to accommodate the minimum 60’ ROW width.
      5. The cost of acquisition of the remaining ROW (beyond the required ROW donation) exceeds the estimated cost of paving the roadway.
    3. C. If adjacent property owners of either 80% or more of the total lineal distance of the frontage on a county road or 80% of the residents along the road indicate a willingness to dedicate ROW, the project may proceed with approval of Commissioners Court. The purchase of the remaining 20% of the ROW may be negotiated with the owners with approval of Commissioners Court. If after the negotiation to purchase the ROW an agreement cannot be reached, the remaining ROW may be obtained through condemnation proceedings, if approved by Commissioners Court. If the Commissioner Court does not approve condemnation proceedings, the project must be placed on hold.
    4. D. If less than 80% are willing to dedicate the following three options are available:
      1. The Ex Officio Road Commissioner may direct that additional letters be sent out and the request reasserted in an attempt to gain more positive responses.
      2. The required ROW may be purchased from the adjacent property owners still unwilling to donate with approval of the Commissioners Court and under the direction of the Ex Officio Road Commissioner, provided funds are available.
      3. If the requested ROW cannot be obtained by donation or purchase from the owners, the Commissioners Court must authorize the initiation of any condemnation procedure.
  3. 2.3 Plan Preparation and ROW Acquisition Process:
    1. A. Once a County Road is determined to meet the criteria and is prioritized for paving, the Engineering Division, with the prior approval of the Ex Officio Road Commissioner, will then make arrangements for preparation of legal descriptions of the existing ROW, the ROW to be acquired, topographic surveys and construction staking services.
    2. B. After the surveys are complete the Engineering Division shall have construction plans prepared and will determine if additional easements beyond the 60-foot of ROW will be required for drainage improvements. All Engineering plans shall be prepared in accordance with the requirements and processes set forth in the Denton County Subdivision Rules and Regulations.
    3. C. The Ex Officio Road Commissioner shall cooperate with the Denton County District Attorney’s Office Civil Division in the preparation of all ROW donation and condemnation documents.
    4. D. The construction plans, the ROW donation, and/or condemnation documents shall be forwarded to the Ex Officio Road Commissioner once complete, for review. The documents pertaining to the parcels of land of owners that are willing to donate their ROW will then be sent out for execution. Condemnation proceedings will begin for the remainder of the parcels when such action is approved by the Commissioners Court.
    5. E. Once all ROW has been obtained the Ex Officio Road Commissioner shall be responsible for the following:
      1. 1. The Ex Officio Road Commissioner may direct the Director of Public Works to:
        1. Oversee the day to day construction activities of the maintenance and construction crews from start of project to its finish.
        2. Ensure that the project is constructed in accordance with the plans and construction staking and ensure that the work meets all County policies and guidelines.
        3. Provide inspection services throughout the project and maintain copies of all material testing or density test reports.
        4. Inform the Engineering Division of any deficiencies cited in the test reports.
        5. Report all field changes to the Engineering Division for inclusion in as-built plan sets.
      2. 2. Under the direction of the Ex Officio Road Commissioner, the Engineering Division shall:
        1. Ensure that all erosion control measures are in place prior to the beginning of construction activities.
        2. Arrange all construction staking with the County’s Surveyor or the firm retained by the County for surveying services.
        3. Answer any questions pertaining to the plans and provide technical assistance throughout the project.
        4. Prepare as-built plans upon completion of construction activities.
        5. Ensure materials for Road Construction will conform to the most current TXDOT Standard Specifications.
        6. Receive input and final decision making from the Ex Officio Road Commissioners, provided these decisions are within policy.

Revised By: Commissioners Court Date: May 29, 2007