PENNDOT Publishes Draft Regulations Amending Highway Occupancy Permitting

October 2012Articles In the Zone

On August 25, 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation published proposed regulatory amendments to 67 Pa. Code, Chapter 441 – the rules that govern Access and Occupancy of Highways by Driveways and Local Roads. The proposed regulations include changes to two areas. First, they attempt to clarify who can apply for a Highway Occupancy Permit and who can submit the permit applications to the Department. Second, the amendments would update out-of-date sections of the regulation.

The significant proposed changes that will amend who can apply for an Highway Occupancy Permits would expand the definition of “owner” to allow additional people with an interest in the property to apply. Additionally, eligible applicants were broadened by adding the term “agent” which would enable project consultants to apply for a permit on behalf of the property owner.

Out-of-date language in Chapter 441 is also amended by the proposed rulemaking to reflect the existence of PENNDOT’s new electronic permitting system for Highway Occupancy Permits. Additionally, the fee schedule associated with permits would be removed from within the regulatory language and replaced with a provision that allows the Department to publish fee schedules in the Pennsylvania bulletin as needed.

Furthermore, the proposed regulations would update sight distance requirements and driveway design criteria by replacing the regulatory standards with references to standards described in the Department’s Highway Design Manual and Highway Occupancy Permit Design Manual , respectively.

The proposed rulemaking is currently subject to the regulatory review process managed by Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). If successful, adoption would likely not occur until 2014.