STA 2008 -01 Private Streets and Single Point of Access



Public hearing on an ordinance to amend County Code Chapter 14, Subdivision of Land, to 1) limit the number of entrances existing parcels may have onto public streets and to establish standards and procedures for waivers therefrom and 2) modify the street standards for private streets.



Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Graham, and Fritz; and Ms. McCulley





October 14, 2009


ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   










On November 12, 2008, the Board held a public hearing on this proposed subdivision ordinance text amendment, which would amend County Code § 14-404 to reduce the number of entrances allowed onto public roads, amend County Code § 14-412 to change the road standards for private roads serving 2-lot and 3 to 5-lot subdivisions, and amend the applicable requirements for Rural Subdivisions by making the requirements of Section 14-404 applicable to them.  At the close of the public hearing, the Board directed staff to work with the community to identify concerns and alternatives.  On February 26, 2009, staff conducted a Roundtable discussion.  On June 3, 2009 the Board held a worksession to discuss the options identified at the Roundtable.  The Board directed staff to prepare an ordinance that would apply only to certain streets and to develop administrative waiver criteria.  The Board also directed staff to amend the private street standards so that they were consistent with the driveway standards found in the Zoning Ordinance. 



Goal 1:  Enhance Quality of Life for all Citizens

Goal 4: Effectively Manage Growth & Development 

Adoption of regulations designed to improve emergency access (street standard) and minimizes entrances (single point of access) can promote these goals. 



The proposed ordinance would amend the Subdivision Ordinance to reflect the June 3, 2009 directions from the Board.  Some of the key components of the proposed ordinance are outlined below. 


Single Point of Access

Applying single point of access requirements only to certain roads

The proposed ordinance would require single points of access on Major Rural Streets if the frontage of any proposed lot is less than 500 feet.  Major Rural Streets include those roads with more than 1,400 vehicle trips per day (vtpd) with two exceptions.  Generally, streets of over 1,400 vtpd are considered collector streets intended for mobility.  Streets of less than 1,400 vtpd are considered local streets intended for accessibility.  Greater regulation of entrances on the higher volume roadways serves to protect the traveling public and preserve the primary purpose of those streets which is mobility.  Some streets with less than 1,400 vtpd have been identified as Major Rural Streets.  These include Irish Road (Route 6) and Old Ballard Road.  Irish Road was added because it is a Primary Road with approximately 1,200 vtpd.  Old Ballard Road (Route 677) was added at the request of the Board to reflect the volume of traffic on the road combined with the level of development on the road and the geometrics of the road.  However, the number of entrances on streets with lower traffic volumes will not be restricted by the proposed ordinance and will continue to be able to have more points of access than those subdivisions on major rural streets. 


The proposed ordinance also would relocate from subsection 14-404(B) to subsection 14-404(A) the current access requirements applicable to a subdivision lot that is later subdivided itself.  This requirement is amended to clarify that the access requirements apply to any lot, rather than just the residue, of the original subdivision.


A clear desire was stated by the participants at the Roundtable discussion to include administrative waiver provisions.  The proposed ordinance authorizes administrative waivers for all waivers pertaining to single points of access.  The factors that would be considered to waive the single point of access requirement include: whether installing a single point of access would substantially impact environmental resources such as streams, stream buffers, critical slopes, and floodplain; whether construction of a single point of access would substantially impact features existing on the property prior to October 14, 2009; whether granting the waiver would contribute to maintaining an agricultural or forestal use of the property; and whether granting the waiver would facilitate development of areas identified in the open space plan as containing significant resources. 


Private road standards

The proposed ordinance would:


·                     Make private roads serving 2-lot subdivisions subject to the same design standards as for a driveway as provided in Zoning Ordinance § 4.6.6.

·                     Apply the clearance and maximum grade requirements for a driveway as provided in Zoning Ordinance § 4.6.6 to subdivisions of 3 to 5 lots.

·                     Specify that a road’s grade is measured over a distance of 50 feet.

·                     Establish administrative waiver procedures and criteria for all road standard design requirements.



Administration of the proposed ordinance will require additional staff time to evaluate entrance conditions, 2 lot private road standards, and process waiver requests.  However, the increase is considered minimal and no additional funding or staffing will be needed.  



After conducting a public hearing, staff recommends adoption of the attached ordinance.




A – Proposed Subdivision Ordinance

B – Major Rural Street Map

View PC minutes of August 26 2008 and October 7, 2008

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