Development Areas Initiative Steering Committee II

June 1, 2004-- ROOM 320

Albemarle County Office Building

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.



MEMBERS PRESENT:  Bill Edgerton, Marilyn Gale, Katie Hobbs, Tom Loach, Will Rieley, Ivo Romenesko, Steve Runkle, and Jeff Werner.


STAFF:  Margaret Doherty, Mark Graham, Wayne Cilimberg, and Elaine Echols


1.                  Call to Order – The Chair called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m.


2.                  Approval of Minutes from May 25, 2004 Meeting – On a motion by Bill Edgerton, seconded by Ivo Romenesko, the minutes were approved unanimously.


3.                  Subdivision Text Amendment Discussion – Interconnections – The Chair, Steve Runkle, told DISC II that he was unable to make the Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Wednesday.  Marilynn Gale was selected as the spokesperson for DISC to the Board.  She was asked to work with staff to develop a statement which provided more information on ways to expand opportunities for waivers, in keeping with the comments from the last DISC II meeting.  (The statement which was presented to the Board of Supervisors on June 2, 2004 is attached.)


4.                  Subdivision Text Amendment Discussion – Private Streets – Mark Graham opened the discussion by telling DISC II that private streets had not been identified as an issue from the development community.  He said that different  staff members, including the County Attorney’s office, have raised the concerns for the Board on the impacts of approving private streets that do not meet VDOT standards.  Elaine Echols said that DISC I had been cautious in their recommendations regarding private streets.  She said that DISC had recommended promoting changes with VDOT as the first priority and as a last resort, developing a set of private TND street standards for use in the Development Areas.  Margaret Doherty reviewed the proposed language in the ordinance with DISC II who then began their discussion.


Bill Edgerton said that from a developer’s perspective, the only advantage of having private streets is for a group of homeowners to have control of the street rather than VDOT having control.  Steve Runkle said that, from his perspective, developers are put in a double bind.  They are being asked to provide Neighborhood Model type developments, which are not easily supported using VDOT streets. 


Tom Loach said that he believes public streets should be the standard.  Will Rieley said that we will have to take a leap of faith that if we develop a set of standards that are backed by sound engineering practice, VDOT will eventually follow and adopt those standards.  Mr. Rieley complimented the staff, specifically Jack Kelsey of Engineering, on developing a set of TND street standards for the County to work with and advocate with VDOT.  Ivo Romenesko added that financial institutions look pretty carefully at the risks when financing private streets.


DISC II discussed the issue further and some members concluded the following statements: Implementation of the Neighborhood Model is the priority and the proposed standards in the subdivision ordinance relative to private streets are the best vehicle the County has for now for that implementation.  The County should continue work on a parallel system where we promote changes in the subdivision street regulations with VDOT.  The changes would be based on a set of standards we’ve developed that support the Neighborhood Model and reflect sound engineering practice.  Until VDOT accepts the proposal, the County should approve private streets in the Development Areas in accordance with the standards developed by the County Engineering Department.  However, more assurances are needed for the County that homeowners associations won’t default on their responsibility for maintenance of their private streets.


There was not universal agreement on the statements, so the group decided to discuss the issue further at the next meeting as well as move to the next topic.


5.                  Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

            Go to June 8 minutes