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TOPIC: Paving Requirements

Paving Requirements 28 Mar 2002 11:04 #27728

  • Barry Floyd
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We are about to make application once again with the Board of Zoning Appeals for our second attempt to put a drive-in in a small county about 30 miles east of Nashville, Tennessee.

In my meeting with the planning director and the building inspector several weeks ago, they mentioned the possibility of a "paving requirement" to cover the entire parking area of the theatre with asphalt. The cost to undertake such a task would be highly cost prohibitive, since it would cost more to pave the entire place as it would to build the theatre. The planning director and building inspector said if I could present them with some facts as to why the entire parking area of the theatre should not be paved, then they would consider the exception. They said the reason for the exception could not be based upon cost alone, but more of a "drive-in specific" related issue.
I know many drive-in's do in-fact have their entire lot paved, but most of the theatre's in Tennessee however feature grass-covered ramps. The grass-covered ramps create more of a park-like setting, are more cost-efficient to maintain, lesson the alteration of the existing land, and lesson the amount of water run-off to adjacent properties.

Can you guys give me any more reasons that are "drive-in specific" that I can use in my meeting the with Board of Zoning Appeals?

Here is the wording from the county code book regarding the paving requirements:

Section 3.50 Off Street Parking Requirements-3.50.03 E .Paving- All areas devoted to off-street parking and access drives, as required under this section, shall be of a sealed surface construction of plant mix asphalt or concrete construction. A 6” x 12” curbing shall be installed on all off-street parking areas. This requirement shall not apply to farming, single family, two family uses or places of worship not located on arterial thoroughfares, as designated by the Wilson County Major Thoroughfare Plan.

So far, I've come up with the following:

The existing “Entrance Lane” and the existing “Exit Lane” will be re-paved, and the existing travel lanes between the parking ramps will be either paved or surfaced with a Double Bituminous Surface Treatment (DBST) to reduce the possibilities of dusting. The existing parking ramps will remain unpaved to reduce the amount of storm water run-off shed to adjacent properties, reduce the amount of radiant heat to ensure the patron’s comfort level, and to permit the proper operation and use of the AM radio transmitting radiating cables.

Any more suggestions???
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
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Re: Paving Requirements 28 Mar 2002 16:42 #27729

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Barry:

Here is the best argument that I have found so far. It is in the 1949-50 Exhibitor Theatre Catalog in the section on the design of drive-in theatres.

"Before undertaking the surfacing of a drive-in theatre, it is of paramount importance to remember that the raw earth of the original plot has settled for long centuries. Millions of rain storms, floods, snows, and frosts have packed and kneaded it into it's original contours. Therefore, it is to be expected that, regardless of how well the ground is rolled and tamped, some settlement and soft spots will develope in the new grade for some months after the bulldozers, graders, and diggers have finished their work of grading the area into curved ramps and crisscrossing it with drainage and conduit ditches.

WAIT FOR SOIL SETTLEMENT
In view of this fact, the wise drive-in operator does well to wait a full season, or at least two or three months, before dressing OR blacktopping either his ramp areas or driveways. In short, serviceable, dependable surfaces cannot be hurried, for hastily paved OR gravel surfaces that look and feel perfectly solid may react very badly under the narrow wheels and weight of continued automobile traffic. With the exception of marshy areas, the sub-soil itself is the key, and it will not support any top surfacing, not even cement, until it has settled and adjusted itself to it's new planes."

There is much more said here in this article including the type of "gravels" to use in different parts of the country. Some of the topics covered include: GRAVELS and FILLS, BLACKTOP and OIL TREATMENT, APPLICATION of SURFACINGS.

I would be happy to make a copy of this article and mail it to you if you were to e-mail me with your address.
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Re: Paving Requirements 02 Apr 2002 10:58 #27730

  • mesbursmith
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Dear Barry,

The best arguments we can think of are basically the ones you have already stated. Here in Canada, many municipalities have changes the standards for paving because of the dramatic increase of surface runoff from hard surfaces which overloads the capacity of the storm sewer systems. The ecologically best solution is to allow accumulated water from a major storm to repercolate into the soil and maintain the existing water table. There are many surfacing materials which allow water to be re-absorbed into the soil and also reduce dust and dirt. In addition to some types of gravel, you could consider bark or wood chips, lava stone, interlocking pavers or turf stone. I agree with your idea to offer to pave only the driveways and leave the grass berms for the cars. I also feel that the maintenance of a more park-like setting would be of benefit to the community, especially if you can find some room for planted areas.

Good luck!
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Re: Paving Requirements 03 Apr 2002 09:35 #27731

  • D. Bird
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I recall reading about a product a few years back that is used to dramatically cool high traffic parking areas by allowing parking areas to be made of grass specifically. I think they may be using it at the Orange Bowl in Miami, but can't remember. It was a rigid poly (plastic) grid which "sliced" into the ground allowing cars to drive and park over grass without wearing it down. They paved the driveways, but parked on pristine grass. Sorry, can't recall what the name was, I imagine it's not pleasant to sit or fall down on, but I've never seen it, so maybe you wouldn't notice it was there.
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Re: Paving Requirements 05 Apr 2002 12:42 #27732

  • poppajoe
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In this discussion so far we have mentioned wood chips,lava stone, interlocking pavers, turf stone, gravel, & blacktop. Are any of these dressings better then the others. I've been to Drive-Ins in the East during the summer and noticed that those using gravel seem to create a lot of dust. On the other hand paving seems to under constant repair.
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Re: Paving Requirements 08 Apr 2002 10:43 #27733

  • Barry Floyd
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First off, I want to thank RoxyVaudeville for the photocopies of the articles I received in the mail over the weekend. Great work !!!

Of all of the drive-ins I've been too, it seems that the ones with a "tar & chip" surface treatment have stood up to the wear & tear better than some of the others. The only drawback to a tar & chip (DBST) surface is that it now draws serious concerns from the enviromental people. They are not too keen on spraying the tar & oil mixture on the ground.

The Swan Drive-In in Blueridge, Georgia... their entire "viewing area" is covered with a tar & chip surface. Instead of small gravel chips like you see in many places, they actually used larger stones... held in place by the "mastic qualities" of the tar.

I've noticed that hot mixed asphalt does not hold up too well to the contant starting and stopping at the boxoffice window. It would make more sense to use a poured in place concrete pad at the boxoffice, and either tar and chip or hot mix asphalt on the driving lanes.

Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Nashville, Tennessee
(Drive-In Theatre - Start-Up)
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
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