I've got a long grass side-yard which doubles as a driveway for both my residence and the ally behind my house. After a few heavy rainstorms here in Southeastern North Carolina (read: business as usual), the end of the driveway has lost all of its grass due to standing water and vehicle traffic.
Fast forward a year and the driveway has turned into a sand pit, with no hope of improving on its own. Currently I shovel the sand back into the pit from the street about every other month. As far as improving it, I do not have any easy place to run a pipe to drain it. I've considered adding gravel to the end of the driveway, but I'm not sure how to make that look "classy". I've seen various gravel/grass retaining systems, but I'm not sure how effective it would be if I can't solve the excess. drainage.
I can't see how I could incorporate a drain either, as everything slopes to the end of the drive. Here are some illustrations of the slopes I have to deal with. The X's mark low points.
Another consideration is extending the mulch bed to the rear of the house, with bushes and flowers, to provide some natural absorption capacity for runoff coming from the house-side. I've also considered adding some kind of "lip" to the end of the driveway in order to encourage the sand to stay in the pit, but I don't think that would do anything in the long run.
Given this layout, what sort of drainage options are available? Keep in mind I likely would not be allowed to pave anything (Historic District).