In response to the Board’s request to recommend specific text changes, DISC II recommends the following specific language be incorporated into the subdivision ordinance for interconnections, private streets, overlot grading, and urban street improvements.  These changes are in bold below.  Please be advised that the bold text in Section 14-412 was provided by the Planning staff (and not the County Attorney’s office) in response to DISC II recommendations. 

 

Interconnections

 

Sec. 14-409 Coordination and extension of streets.

 

Public streets within the development areas designated in the comprehensive plan shall be coordinated and extended as follows:

 

A.        All public streets within a subdivision shall be coordinated as to location, width, grades and drainage with other public streets, as follows: (i) by coordinating with existing or planned streets within the general area of the subdivision, including but not limited to existing or future adjacent subdivisions, or subdivisions contiguous to such adjacent subdivisions; and (ii) by continuing the public streets to planned, existing, or platted streets into adjoining areas by dedication or reservation of right of way adequate to accommodate continuation of the streets.

 

B.         All public streets within a subdivision shall be extended and constructed to the abutting property lines to provide vehicular and pedestrian interconnections to future development on adjoining lands.  The arrangement of all streets shall provide adequate access to adjoining parcels where necessary to provide for the orderly development of the county.     

 

            C.        The requirements of subsection (A) may be modified or waived by the commission as provided in section 14-225.1.  In reviewing a waiver request, the commission shall consider the following: (i) the engineering implications for coordination and connection; (ii) whether the need for coordination and connection outweighs the impacts on environmental resources such as streams, stream buffers, steep slopes, and floodplain; (iii) whether the street should be extended into the rural areas designated in the comprehensive plan; (iv) whether there is an alternative street connection from another location in the subdivision that is preferable because of design, traffic flow, or the promotion of the goals of the comprehensive plan, the neighborhood model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan; and (v) whether not requiring coordination and connection would enable the overall design of the subdivision to better achieve the principles of the neighborhood model

 

            D.        The requirements of subsection (B) may be waived by the agent as provided in section 14-224.1.  In reviewing a waiver request, the agent shall consider: (i) whether extending the street to the abutting property line would require offsite easements, disturb stream buffers, or other alternative connections to the abutting parcel from a different location would provide a better connection; and (ii) whether the street should be extended into the rural areas designated in the comprehensive plan.  If the waiver is granted: (i) the public street shall be constructed past the point at which the primary structures on the abutting lots would rely on the finished grade for landscaping and other improvements, but in no case less than thirty (30) feet beyond the curb line or ditch line on the abutting lot; (ii) the subdivider shall dedicate the required right of way to the abutting property line, along with all easements required to allow the street connection to be constructed in the future; the required easements shall prohibit any improvements being established therein; and (iii) the agent may require that the subdivider install and maintain a sign at the end of the constructed portion of the street stating that the street is a future through street; the agent may require that the subdivider maintain the sign until the county grants final approval of extending the street to the abutting property.    

 

Sec. 14-411 Standards for public streets only.

 

In addition to the minimum design requirements set forth set forth in section 14-410, all public streets within a subdivision shall be designed and constructed according to Virginia Department of Transportation standards. 

 

            For all public streets to be coordinated and extended as provided in section 14-409, the agent may allow a public street to be constructed at less than the ultimate pavement width, provided the street meets public street standards for the lots to be served by the streets.  In determining whether to require the ultimate pavement width, the agent shall be guided by the size of the subdivision, the street length and the types of lots to be served relative to the cost of providing the ultimate width.

 

 

Overlot Grading

 

Sec. 14-313 Overlot grading plan.

 

            If the subdivision will create lots (i) within a development area designated in the comprehensive plan; (ii) any one of which is twenty thousand (20,000) square feet or less in area or is one hundred (100) feet wide; and (iii) for establishing single family detached or attached dwelling units, the subdivider shall submit, prior to or with the final plat, an overlot grading plan showing existing and proposed topographic features to be considered in the development of the proposed subdivision, and satisfying the following:

 

            A.        The plan shall show all proposed streets, building sites, surface drainage, driveways, trails, and other features the agent determines are needed to verify that the plan satisfies the requirements of this section.

 

B.         The plan shall be drawn to a scale not greater than one (1) inch equals fifty (50) feet.

 

C.        All proposed grading shall be shown with contour intervals not greater than two (2) feet.  All concentrated surface drainage over lots shall be clearly shown with the proposed grading.  All proposed grading shall be shown to assure that surface drainage can provide adequate relief from flooding of dwellings in the event a storm sewer fails.

 

D.        Graded slopes on lots proposed to be planted with turf grasses (lawns) shall not exceed a gradient of three (3) feet of horizontal distance for each one (1) foot of vertical rise or fall (3:1).  Steeper slopes shall be vegetated with low maintenance vegetation as determined to be appropriate by the program authority in its approval of an erosion and sediment control plan for the land disturbing activity.  These steeper slopes shall not exceed a gradient of two (2) feet of horizontal distance for each one (1) foot of vertical rise or fall (2:1), unless the county engineer finds that the grading recommendations for steeper slopes have adequately addressed the impacts.

 

            E.         Surface drainage may flow across up to three (3) lots before being collected in a storm sewer or directed to a drainage way outside of the lots. 

 

            F.         No surface drainage across a residential lot shall have more than one-half (1/2) acre of land draining to it.

 

            G.        All drainage from streets shall be carried across lots in a storm sewer to a point beyond the rear of the building site.

 

            H.        The plan shall demonstrate that driveways to lots will not be steeper than twenty (20) percent and shall include grading transitions at the street that the agent determines will allow passenger vehicles to avoid scraping the vehicle body on the driveway or the street.  Additionally, the driveway grading shall provide an area in front of the proposed garage, or an area proposed for vehicle parking where no garage is proposed, that is not less than eighteen (18) feet in length that will be graded no steeper than eight (8) percent..   

 

I.          The plan shall demonstrate that an area at least ten (10) feet in width, measured outward from the face of the structure, has grades no steeper than ten (10) percent adjacent to possible entrances to dwellings.  This graded area shall extend from entrances to driveways or walkways connecting the dwelling to the street.

 

            J.          Any requirement of this section may be waived by the agent as provided in section 14-224.1.  In reviewing a waiver request, the agent shall determine whether an alternative proposed by the subdivider satisfies the purpose of the requirement to be waived to at least an equivalent degree.

 

Concerns in the development community have been raised over implementation of overlot grading.  Mark Graham has prepared language to be included in the Design Standards Manual for how the overlot grading requirements are to be met in the field. 

 

 

Private Streets

 

Sec. 14-234  Procedure for authorization to construct private road street and related matters.

 

            Requests under sections 14-232(A) or 14-232(B) shall be submitted, processed and acted upon as follows:

           

A.        A subdivider shall submit a request in writing to the agent at the time of the submittal of the preliminary plat, or a later date specified by the agent at the preliminary application conference; provided that an owner may submit a request in writing to the agent at the time of submittal of an application to rezone land to a planned development district, or a later date specified by the agent, even though a preliminary plat has not been submitted.

 

                        1.         The request shall state the reasons and justifications for the request, and shall particularly address one or more applicable bases for granting the request as identified in sections 14-232 or 14-233, and each of the five findings identified in paragraph (C) required to be made by the commission.  The request shall also include a map of the subdivision having contour intervals of not greater than twenty (20) feet showing the horizontal alignment together with field-run profiles and typical cross-sections of the roads streets.  The county engineer may waive requirements of the field-run profile in the case of an existing road street or where deemed appropriate due to topography, or if the topographic map is based on aerial or field collected data

with a contour interval accuracy of five vertical feet or better.  A request pursuant to section 14-232(A)(1) shall include earthwork computations demonstrating significant degradation. 

 

                        2.         The agent shall forward the map to the county engineer for review and comment.  When the agent has received comments on the map from the county engineer, the agent shall then consider the request.  The agent shall then proceed as follows:

 

                                    (a)        If the request for a private road street is made pursuant to under section 14-232(A), or is any request made under section 14-232 which includes a request pursuant to section 14-233, he may recommend approval, approval with conditions, or denial.  A recommendation of approval or conditional approval shall be accompanied by a statement by the agent as to the public purpose served by the recommendation, particularly in regard to the purpose and intent of this chapter, the zoning ordinance, and the comprehensive plan; or

 

                                    (b)        If the request for a private road street is made pursuant to under section 14-232(B), he may approve, approve with conditions, or deny the request.

 

                        3.         The commission shall not consider a request until it has received and considered the recommendation of the agent. 

 

            B.          In considering a request for authorization to construct one or more private roads streets or to grant a waiver, the agent and commission shall consider that private roads streets are intended to be the exception to the construction and dedication of public streets and, and in the rural areas designated in comprehensive plan, are intended to promote sensitivity toward the natural characteristics of the land and to encourage the subdivision of land in a manner that is consistent and harmonious with surrounding development.  In the development areas designated in the comprehensive plan, they are intended to enable the principles of the neighborhood model to be more fully implemented.

 

Sec. 14-412 Standards for private streets only.

 

In addition to the minimum design requirements set forth in section 14-410, the following minimum design requirements shall apply to private streets authorized by this chapter:

 

A.        Residential private streets.  Each private street authorized by sections 14-232(A)(1), 14-232(B)(1), or 14-232(B)(2) shall satisfy the following:

 

1.                  Streets serving two lots.  Easement or right-of-way widths shall be thirty (30) feet minimum.  The required materials and minimum depth of base shall satisfy the minimum requirements described in the design standards manual.  The surveyor shall include the following wording on the final plat: “The existing and/or proposed right-of-way is of adequate width and horizontal and vertical alignment to accommodate a travelway passable by ordinary passenger vehicles in all but temporary extreme weather conditions, together with area adequate for maintenance of the travelway, as required by section 14-412 of the Albemarle County Code.”

 

2.         Streets serving three to five lots.  Vertical centerline curvature shall meet a minimum design K value of five (5) for crest curves and fifteen (15) for sag curves.  Sight distances shall not be less than one hundred (100) feet.  Turnarounds shall be provided at the end of streets per American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials guidelines.  Street easements or right-of-way widths shall be thirty (30) feet minimum.

 

                                    (a)        Streets in areas designated as rural areas.  In rural areas designated in the comprehensive plan, street easements or right-of-way widths shall be thirty (30) feet minimum, travelway widths shall be fourteen (14) feet minimum, with three (3) feet minimum shoulders widths, and a minimum of four (4) feet from the edge of the shoulder to the ditch centerline.  If any portion of the street exceeds seven (7) percent in grade, the entire street shall be surfaced as required by Virginia Department of Transportation standards.  Streets of lesser grade may use a gravel surface.

 

(b)      Streets in areas designated as development areas.  In development areas designated in the comprehensive plan, street easements or right-of-way widths shall be thirty (30) feet minimum and an urban section street design shall be provided, with a minimum width of twenty (20) feet measured from the curb faces or such alternative design , including street easement or right-of-way width as provided in the design standards manual.  Additional widths shall be added for gutters to control drainage at the discretion of the county engineer.  Travelways shall be surfaced as required by Virginia Department of Transportation standards.

 

(c)        Other; reduction.  Other aspects of design not specified above are to be according to the design standards manual or an alternative design approved by the county engineer.  Any standard in this paragraph (2) may be reduced to the standard for streets serving two (2) lots, where a driveway departs from the road and two lots remain to be served, and a turnaround is provided.

 

(d)        Minimum allowable radius.  The radius for horizontal curvature shall be forty (40) feet or greater, unless otherwise authorized by this chapter.

 

3.                  Streets serving six lots or more. 

 

(a)        Streets in areas designated as rural areas.  In rural areas designated on the comprehensive plan, Virginia Department of Transportation standards shall apply except that the commission may approve Virginia Department of Transportation standards for mountainous terrain , where for a specific, identifiable reason, the general welfare, as opposed to the proprietary interest of the subdivider, would be better served by the application of those standards.  The commission may impose any condition pertaining to the road it deems reasonable and necessary in conjunction with any approval pursuant to this section. (Taken from 14-233 D & E)

 

(b)        Streets in areas designated as development areas.  In development areas designated on the comprehensive plan, the Virginia Department of Transportation standards shall apply except that the commission may allow Virginia Department of Transportation standards for mountainous terrain or such alternative standards in the design standards manual or otherwise approved by the county engineer.  .  The commission may impose any condition pertaining to the road it deems reasonable and necessary in conjunction with any approval pursuant to this section. (Taken from 14-233 D and E)

 

4.         Streets serving family subdivisions.  Easement or right-of-way widths shall be ten (10) feet minimum.  The surveyor shall include the following wording on the final plat: “The existing and/or proposed right-of-way is of adequate width and horizontal and vertical alignment to accommodate a travelway passable by ordinary passenger vehicles in all but temporary extreme weather conditions, together with area adequate for maintenance of the travelway, as required by section 14-412 of the Albemarle County Code.”

 

            B.         Private streets serving the general welfare; non-residential, attached residential, multi-unit residential, and combined residential and non-residential private streets.  A private street authorized by sections 14-232(A)(2), 14-232(B)(3) or 14-232(B)(4) shall conform to Virginia Department of Transportation standards, or such alternative standards in the design

manual or otherwise approved by the commission upon the recommendation of the county engineer.  The agent may require minimum travelway widths to provide for on-street parking upon a determination that the provisions for off-street parking may be inadequate to reasonably preclude unauthorized on-street parking.

 

C.        Clearing land for improvements.  A private street constructed to Virginia Department of Transportation standards shall not be subject to that department’s requirements or practices for clearing land to achieve required sight distance.

 

            D.        Landscaping and other improvements permitted.  Subsequent to construction of a private street, a subdivider may install ornamental plantings and any other improvements provided that they do not conflict with sight distance, drainage facilities or other required improvements.

 

            E. Waiver.  The requirements of subsection 14-412 (A)(2)(a)  relating to street easements or right-of-way widths of thirty (30) may be waived by the commission as provided in section 14-225.1.  In reviewing a waiver request for a lesser right-of-way, the commission shall consider whether (i) the subdivision will be served by an existing easement of fixed width, which cannot be widened by the subdivider after documented good faith effort by him to acquire additional right-of-way width; and (ii) the existing easement is of adequate width to accommodate the travelway as required by section 14-412 (A)(2)(a) together with area adequate for maintenance of the same.   Where a waiver request for 14-412 (A)(2)(a) pertains to minimum right-of-way width requirements over any existing bridge or other structure the commission shall consider whether  (i) the long-term environmental impacts of resulting from not widening the bridge or structure, as determined by the county engineer, outweigh complying with the minimum right-of-way width requirements; or (ii) whether the bridge or structure is a historical structure.  The commission may impose any condition pertaining to the road it deems reasonable and necessary in conjunction with any approval pursuant to this section. (Taken from 14-233 B and C)

 

 

Curb/curb and gutter

 

Sec. 14-410 Standards for all streets and alleys.

           

The following minimum design standards shall apply to all streets and alleys within a subdivision:

 

            A.        Layout.  Each street shall be configured, to the extent practicable, to conform to the natural topography, to minimize the disturbance of critical slopes and natural drainage areas,

and to provide vehicular and pedestrian interconnections within the subdivision and existing or future development on adjoining lands.

 

            B.         Angle of intersection.  An angle of intersection of not less than eighty (80) degrees is acceptable; however, a perpendicular intersection, where practical, is preferred.  The county engineer may grant an exception to this requirement for a private street in accord with American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials guidelines.

 

C.        Temporary turnarounds.  Streets more than three hundred (300) feet in length from an intersection, or proposed to serve more than four (4) dwelling units that terminate

temporarily shall be provided with a temporary turnaround meeting American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials guidelines.  The temporary turnaround

shall be extended to the abutting property line unless a waiver is granted as provided in section 14-409(D).  The temporary turnaround shall exist until the street extensions are accepted into the secondary system of state highways.

 

            D.        Alleys.  Alleys with a right-of-way or easement width of not less than twenty (20) feet may be provided in the rear or side of all commercial, industrial, and residential lots.  The design specifications shall be determined by the county engineer, subject to the following: (1) the alley design shall allow emergency services vehicles such as police cars and ambulances to use the alley; and (2) an alley need not be designed to accommodate the largest emergency services vehicles, except that if firetrucks do not have adequate access to one or more lots from a street, the county engineer shall require that the alley be designed to accommodate firetrucks.  The agent may authorize an alley to be established with a right-of-way or easement width of less than twenty (20) feet if the director determines that, based upon the recommendation of the county engineer, the proposed design incorporates features that assure public safety and welfare.  The county engineer shall consider the provision of adequate access to required onsite parking and/or garages, unimpeded vehicular circulation along the alley, an adequate clear zone along the alley, and other safety issues deemed appropriate for the conditions.  Alley rights-of-way may either be established as privately held fee simple interests or as privately held easements.

 

            E.         Reserved or spite strips.  Reserved or spite strips restricting access to an existing or future street or alley shall not be permitted; provided that nothing herein shall prohibit areas

for scenic planting and landscaping where adequate access to the adjoining lands is otherwise available.

 

            F.         Principal means of access.  The principal means of access to a subdivision shall conform, in the case of a public street, to Virginia Department of Transportation standards, or, in the case of a private street, to the standards of the county as set forth in section 14-412, throughout the street’s length, including any distance between the boundary of the subdivision and any existing public street.  If discharge water of a one hundred (100) year storm could

reasonably be anticipated to inundate, block, destroy or otherwise obstruct a principal means of access to a residential subdivision, the following shall also apply:

 

                        1.         The principal means of access shall be designed and constructed so as to provide unobstructed access at the time of flooding, subject to the requirements of section 30.3, flood hazard overlay district, of the zoning ordinance; and/or

 

                        2.         An alternative means of access which is not subject to inundation, blockage, destruction or obstruction, and which is accessible from each lot within the subdivision shall be constructed.

 

            G.        Drainage.  Adequate drainage control shall be provided for streets by installing culverts under streets; side, lead, or outlet ditches; catch basins; curb inlets; or any other devices, including piping, as determined to be necessary by the county engineer.  All of these improvements shall meet the standards of the county or, in the event no county standards exist, Virginia Department of Transportation standards.

 

H.        Curb, curb and  gutter, sidewalks and planting strips.  In every development area designated in the comprehensive plan, streets shall be constructed with curb or curb and gutter, sidewalks and planting strips.  Sidewalks and planting strips shall designed and constructed in compliance with section 14-422.  The requirement for curb or curb and gutter may be waived by the commission as provided in section 14-225.1.  In reviewing a waiver request to allow a rural standard road instead, the commission shall consider: (i) number of lots in the subdivision and the types of lots to be served; (ii) the length of the street; (iii) whether the proposed street(s) or street extension connects into an existing system of streets constructed to a rural cross-section; (iv) whether the street terminates in the neighborhood or at the edge of the development area or is otherwise expected to provide interconnections to abutting areas; (v) whether a rural cross-section in the development areas furthers the goals of the comprehensive plan, with particular emphasis on the neighborhood model and the applicable neighborhood master plan; (vi) whether or not allowing use of a rural cross-section would enable the overall design of the subdivision to better achieve the principles of the neighborhood model; and (vii) whether the proposed density of the subdivision is consistent with the density recommended in the land use plan section of the comprehensive plan.

 

 

Sidewalks and Planting Strips

 

Sec. 14-422 Sidewalks and planting strips.

           

Sidewalks and planting strips shall be provided as follows:

 

A.        Requirement.  Sidewalks and planting strips for street trees and other vegetation shall be established on both sides of each new street within a subdivision creating lots for single family detached and single family attached dwellings within any development area designated in the comprehensive plan. 

 

B.        Sidewalk design.  Each sidewalk proposed to be accepted for maintenance by the Virginia Department of Transportation shall be designed and constructed according to Virginia Department of Transportation standards or to the standards in the design standards manual, whichever is greater.  All other sidewalks shall be constructed using concrete and designed so that no concentrated water flow runs over them and as otherwise provided in the design standards manual.  The agent may modify the requirement that such sidewalks be constructed using concrete and allow a 10-foot multi-use asphalt path in unique circumstances such as a path leading to a school or major employment center.  The asphalt path generally shall run parallel to the street.  

 

C.        Sidewalk ownership.  Each sidewalk shall be dedicated to public use or conveyed to a homeowners association for ownership and maintenance.  The agent may require that the sidewalk be dedicated to public use if the agent determines there is a need for the sidewalks to be publicly owned and maintained. 

 

 

D.        Planting strip design.  Each planting strip shall be a minimum of six (6) feet in width except that the minimum width may be less in areas of transition between rural cross-section and urban cross-section streets.

 

            E.         Waivers from sidewalk requirements.  The requirements for sidewalks may be waived by the commission as provided in section 14-225.1.  In reviewing a request to waive the requirement for sidewalks, the commission shall consider: (i) whether a waiver to allow a rural street standard has been granted; (ii) whether a surface other than concrete is more appropriate for the subdivision because of the character of the proposed subdivision and the surrounding neighborhood; (iii) whether sidewalks on one-side of the street are appropriate due to environmental constraints such as streams, stream buffers, critical slopes, floodplain, or wetlands or lots are provided on only one side of the street; (iv) whether the sidewalk reasonably can connect into an existing or future pedestrian system; (v) whether the length of the street is so short and the density of the development is so low that it is unlikely that the sidewalk would be used; (vi) whether an alternate pedestrian system including an alternative pavement could provide more appropriate access throughout the development and to adjoining properties; (vii) whether the waiver promotes the goals of the comprehensive plan, the neighborhood model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan; and (viii) whether waiving the requirement for sidewalks would enable the overall design of the subdivision to better achieve the principles of the neighborhood model.

 

            F.         Waivers from planting strip requirements.  The requirements for planting strips may be waived by the commission as provided in section 14-225.1.  In reviewing a request to waive the requirement for planting strips, the commission shall consider: (i) whether a waiver to allow a rural street standard has been granted; (ii) whether a sidewalk waiver has been granted; (iii) whether reducing the size of or eliminating the planting strip promotes the goals of the comprehensive plan, the neighborhood model, and the applicable neighborhood master plan; and (iv) whether waiving the planting strip requirement would enable the overall design of the subdivision to better achieve the principles of the neighborhood model.

 

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