COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

STA 2008-00001  Rural Area Streets and Single Point of Access (SPOA)

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

1) Require all subdivision of property (from the effective date forward) to share the same entrance onto a public street (Single Point of Access); 2) Establish a road standard for a private road serving two (2) lots; and 3) Revise the 3-5 lot private road standard to be consistent with the driveway standard for issuance of a building permit as found in the Zoning Ordinance.

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Fritz, McCulley and Graham

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   No

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

November 12, 2008

 

ACTION:     X          INFORMATION: 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:             INFORMATION: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   YES


BACKGROUND: 

The proposed amendments are to provide orderly subdivision and development of land.  The current Subdivision regulations allow for these purposes to be circumvented in several ways, such as through the creation of multiple entrances with no road standard for separate subdivision plats done in a series.

 

STA 2008-001 Rural Streets involves two separate Subdivision Ordinance amendments as follows:

  1. Single Point of Access (SPOA)  is an amendment to Section 14-404 to reduce the number of entrances onto public roads.  This amendment requires all property subdivided from this point forward, to utilize a single entrance.  This regulation does not apply to family divisions.
  2. 2-lot Private Street Standard establishes a road standard by applying the 3-5 lot private road standard (which then becomes a 2-5 lot private road standard).  This also modifies that standard by applying the maximum grade and vertical clearance driveway requirements.  This regulation does not apply to family divisions.

 

A brief history of this Subdivision Ordinance Amendment follows:

 

DISCUSSION:

Since the last public hearing on October 7th, staff has met with a group of citizens who have raised several areas of concern about these amendments and who asked that we allow for further discussion before adoption of the amendments.  They note that the SPOA amendment will more often require commercial entrances.  The sight distance requirement for a commercial entrance is much greater than for a private entrance (one serving only one or two lots).  We heard from a surveyor anecdotally that a high percentage of entrances are not able to obtain commercial sight distance.  Even though a waiver is an available option to allow additional entrances, this regulation could potentially result in the loss of or restriction to development rights for a property owner unable to establish a commercial entrance.  The citizens noted also that the SPOA requirement can result in longer roads which could a) create additional and perhaps unnecessary stream crossings and/or b) interfere with legitimate bona fide agricultural use of the property.

 

With regards to the road standard, the citizens suggested that the proposed standard requires road plans and is more restrictive than necessary.  They suggest instead that we establish specific standards that a surveyor can certify but that do not require paving, etc.

 

To address these concerns, the Board may chose to consider several options including:

 

         Allowing an exemption or specific waiver for those cases in which commercial sight distance is not available at any point on the property frontage and the use of development rights would otherwise be prohibited;

         Allowing additional entrances for those properties with significant road frontage.  For example, for property with more than X feet (such as 500 or 1000 feet) of continuous road frontage along one road, an additional entrance is allowed at a rate of one additional entrance for every X feet of frontage;

         Establishing administrative waiver criteria which consider factors such as existing agricultural use of the property and/or numbers of resulting stream crossings when a single entrance / road is required.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Implementation of these amendments will involve additional Planning and Engineering staff time.  The SPOA amendment will result in additional waiver requests.  With the establishment of a two lot road standard, two-lot subdivisions will now require the submittal, review, bonding and inspection of a road plan.  The total impact on staffing is difficult to quantify at this point.  Due to the fact that there is currently a frozen Engineering position, the Current Development Engineers would be most impacted. 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

In the event the Board wishes to consider any of these additional provisions, staff will work in roundtable with the public.  We will then bring this back to the Board at a later date.  Another option is for the Board to move forward with part of the amendment, such as the road standard, and have staff study the SPOA options further.

 

Staff and the Planning Commission recommend approval of the attached Subdivision Ordinance amendment (Attachment A).

 

ATTACHMENTS:

ATTACHMENT A:  Draft Subdivision Ordinance Amendment dated 11/4/08

ATTACHMENT B:  Chart of Existing Private Road Standards

ATTACHMENT C:  Chart of Proposed Private Road Standards

ATTACHMENT D:  Staff Report for August 26th Commission Public Hearing

ATTACHMENT E:  September 29th Memo to the Commission on Driveway Requirements
           September 29th Memo to Commission on - SPOA

ATTACHMENT F:  Planning Commission MinutesAugust 26 and October 7, 2008

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