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I have a drainage problem on my property. Will the City fix this?
Will the City remove debris from the creek?
The sidewalk in front of my home is cracked/ crumbling/ uneven, who is responsible for repairing this?
Do I need a permit to work within the City’s Right-of-Way?
My neighborhood wants streetlights. What are our options?
My property is on a creek/ lake/ pond and the bank is eroding. Who is responsible for fixing this?
What is a Consent to Encroach Agreement, and when do I need one?
What is the proper way to discharge my sump pump and/or other private drains?
What is the proper way to discharge my swimming pool?
What is a regulated drain or a regulated subdivision?
Our neighborhood needs another stop sign. What is the process?
My neighborhood wants to have speed humps installed. What is the process?
What is an easement?
I want to make improvements to my driveway. What are the City’s standards, and does this require City approval?
Does the City maintain detention/ retention ponds within subdivisions?
My basement flooded. Is the City responsible?
Q: I have a drainage problem on my property. Will the City fix this?
A:
It is the property owners’ responsibility to maintain the drainage easements that exist on their property; however our inspectors will make a site visit to your property to try to help determine the nature of the drainage issue. The Engineering Department can also assist by sending letters to adjacent property owners to relocate private drains or remove objects out of the drainage easements, for example, if these are contributing to drainage issues. If it is determined that the drainage issue is being caused by a City storm or sanitary sewer failure, or water line (with the exception of the laterals servicing your property), the City will make necessary repairs.
Q: Will the City remove debris from the creek?
A:
Q: The sidewalk in front of my home is cracked/ crumbling/ uneven, who is responsible for repairing this?
A:
Sidewalk maintenance is the property owner’s responsibility. The City (Street Department) maintains perimeter sidewalks surrounding subdivisions and sidewalks along City streets. If you need to make repairs to your sidewalk, the City requires that you replace full panels of sidewalk, and as with any work in the City’s right-of-way, you (or the contractor performing the work) need to first obtain a right-of-way permit [PDF] from our office. The only exceptions to this would be if your subdivision is newly developed and the sidewalks are still covered under the performance bond, or if the damage to the sidewalk is being caused by a faulty City storm sewer pipe or sanitary sewer pipe (the laterals that serve your property are excluded).
Q: Do I need a permit to work within the City’s Right-of-Way?
A:
Yes, you will need to obtain a Right-of-Way Permit [PDF] and post a bond prior to beginning work within the City’s right-of-way. Please contact Fred Glaser, Right-of-Way Manager, in the Engineering Department at (317) 571-2677 with any questions.
Q: My neighborhood wants streetlights. What are our options?
A:

The City does not pay for residential street lighting. Homeowners Associations (HOAs) that wish to install street lighting have the following options:

  1. The HOA can work with Duke Energy (call their new service request line at 1-800-521-2232 to rent street lights. If the streetlights are rented from Duke Energy, the City would require a copy of the agreement between Duke Energy and the HOA for our records. Duke Energy would need to obtain a right-of-way permit [PDF] prior to beginning installation.
  2. The HOA can work with any lighting contractor to purchase streetlights (power would still be provided by Duke Energy). If the HOA purchases the streetlights, the HOA would need to apply for a Consent to Encroach Agreement, and the contractor would need to obtain a right-of-way permit [PDF] prior to beginning installation.
  3. Barrett Law
Q: My property is on a creek/ lake/ pond and the bank is eroding. Who is responsible for fixing this?
A:
The property owner is responsible for maintaining the erosion that occurs on their property. The City requires that the property owner submit a plan to the Department of Engineering prior to making improvements to the bank, and in some cases, the City may also require a Consent to Encroach Agreement, and a permit may be required from the Department of Natural Resources as well.
Q: What is a Consent to Encroach Agreement, and when do I need one?
A:
A Consent to Encroach Agreement acknowledges the placement of a private improvement within a public easement, or within City right-of-way. The agreement gets recorded with the property. The Consent to Encroach Agreement must be obtained prior to placing any improvements (fence, landscaping, private drain, signs, retaining walls, etc.) within an easement or City right-of-way. The Engineering Department will review the Consent to Encroach Application, and the Agreement will first be reviewed by the Law Department. Then the Agreement is signed by the property owner(s) and notarized, and then the final approval is by the Board of Public Works and Safety.
Q: What is the proper way to discharge my sump pump and/or other private drains?
A:

According to City Code, Sump Pumps and other private drains may be connected to the City’s Storm Sewer system provided the connection is made by a bonded contractor, and at a structure such as an inlet or beehive, etc. The City requires the property owner to submit a plan to the Engineering Department for review prior to making the connection, and one of our inspectors must be present at the time the connection is made. The City does not make recommendations regarding contractors.

Q: What is the proper way to discharge my swimming pool?
A:
Swimming pools should not be discharged directly to the City’s stormwater conveyance system. Please contact the Engineering Department at (317) 571-2441 regarding swimming pool associated discharge.
Q: What is a regulated drain or a regulated subdivision?
A:
A regulated drain or subdivision is under the jurisdiction of and maintained by the Hamilton County Surveyor’s office. If you pay a drainage assessment, you live near a regulated drain. Please refer to the regulated drain map or the list of regulated drains if you have any questions. The City will still make site inspections for certain drainage concerns, but if the issue deals with a storm sewer pipe, or if you are seeking permission to place a private improvement within a regulated drain easement, you must contact the Hamilton County Surveyor’s Office at (317) 776-8495.
Q: Our neighborhood needs another stop sign. What is the process?
A:
Stop signs are placed by ordinance. In accordance with the Indiana Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the City does not install stop signs as a method of speed control. If excessive speed is the issue, please contact the Carmel Police Department at (317) 571-2500. The Engineering Department can conduct a traffic study to determine the average daily traffic volume and average speed of vehicles at the intersection in question. Other factor that determine if a stop sign is warranted include sight distance (if the intersection is on a curve, or if the view is obstructed), and accident history.
Q: My neighborhood wants to have speed humps installed. What is the process?
A:
Speed humps are installed by the Street Department

and placed by ordinance. Factors to consider include average daily traffic volume, average speed, the proximity of pedestrian-served facilities (schools, parks, churches, etc.) and accident history. The neighborhood must first submit a Speed Hump Petition to the Department of Engineering indicating 75% support from the affected area. Then, at the request of the City Councilor for the affected district, the Department of Engineering will conduct a traffic study to determine if speed humps are warranted. The Speed Hump Ordinance 8-38 outlines the point system used to determine if speed humps are warranted. If the majority of affected residents support it, and the study determines that the speed humps are warranted, then the City Council may decide to adopt an ordinance to have them installed.

Q: What is an easement?
A:
An easement is a part of your property; however, other parties also have rights to use them. Typical easements include Drainage, Utility, Sewer, Landscape, and Tree Preservation, or a combination of these. The easement may already include power lines, cable, phone, etc., or structures (storm sewer or sanitary sewer pipe), or it may simply be designated for overland storm water drainage and conveyance purposes. Easements are initially established while the land is developed and platted. The City requires a Consent to Encroach Agreement prior to placing any private improvements within a public easement.
Q: I want to make improvements to my driveway. What are the City’s standards, and does this require City approval?
A:

The City of Carmel’s standard residential driveway width is a minimum of 12 ft. and a maximum of 20 ft. at the limit of the right-of-way (at the street). The Engineering Department will not support driveway configurations that do not conform to these standards. Each property is provided one access point (curb cut) to City streets. The City reserves the right to establish the type of access provided (full access, right-in/ right-out) that is in the best interest of public safety. Additional curb cut requests require Board of Public Works and Safety approval. The approval process is as follows:

  • A plot plan indicating any existing or proposed easements and right-of-way, as well as the proposed location and configuration (dimensions, widths, radii) of the driveway improvements must be submitted to the Engineering Department for review. A letter outlining the proposed planned improvements and addressed to the Board of Public Works and Safety, c/o the Engineering Department requesting approval must also be submitted, along with a letter from the Homeowners’ Association stating that the proposed improvements are not in violation of any neighborhood covenants.
  • The Board of Public Works and Safety meetings and submission deadlines are available from the City’s website or by contacting the Clerk-Treasurer’s office at (317) 571-2414.

A right-of-way permit must be obtained prior to performing any work within the City’s right-of-way. The contact is Fred Glaser in the Engineering Department, (317) 571-2441.

If any portion of the proposed driveway will be located within a platted or dedicated easement, a Consent to Encroach Agreement must be executed. The agreement is reviewed by the City Engineer and the City Attorney and ultimately executed by the Board of Public Works and Safety.

Board of Public Works and Safety approval is not required for driveway improvements outside of any easements or right-of-way.

Please contact the City of Carmel Department of Engineering at (317) 571-2441 with any additional questions.

Q: Does the City maintain detention/ retention ponds within subdivisions?
A:
No. Maintenance of detention/ retention ponds is the responsibility of the Homeowners’ Association.
Q: My basement flooded. Is the City responsible?
A:

When basements flood, it is usually from ground water. Most of the soils in our area are very poorly draining soils with seasonal high water table levels. Due to these issues, it is common for basements in our area to flood when the soil becomes saturated during periods of high rain.

In rare occurrences, a flooded basement may be the result of surface flooding. All of the storm sewer systems throughout the city are designed to carry the 10 year storm event. Detention ponds are designed and constructed to detain overflows above the 10-year storm, up to the 100 year flood level. However, these ponds become overwhelmed when (a) we have beyond the 100 year storm; and (b) circumstances occur such as back-to-back storm events, higher intensity storms than the 100 year event (this is a “flash flood” type of occurrence), or blockages of any storm sewer pipes, inlets, and/or pond outlets. Generally, in addition to requiring engineers to design for the 10 year storm and requiring all home pads be constructed high enough to be protected from the 100 year flood event, we require engineers show us what happens during the 100 year storm event. We expect much of the water to run over the streets, etc. in order to get to the detention ponds. Ditches will run over into yards, but surface water should not be getting into homes – that is, unless they have built walk-out basement levels or windows exposing themselves to these lower elevations. When basements flood, it is usually from groundwater, and that is something we just can’t help.