Summary of Proposed Changes

April 11, 2005



Section #


Proposed Change

Page #






Identifies the different goals for the Rural Areas and Development Areas which result in different standards.






Establishes the applicability of the ordinance to all subdivisions, vacation of plats and easements required by the county and not to court ordered partitions of land or the exercise of eminent domain.




103 D

Acts Prohibited

Adds that easements and easement plats required by the Subdivision Ordinance must comply with the Subdivision Ordinance and state law.





Relation to Private Contracts

Removes statement saying that the private contracts, easements, agreements, and restrictions are subordinate to the County’s subdivision regulations because the statement is unnecessary.




105 F

Rules of construction

·         Clarifies that the term “street” encompasses both public and private streets.

·         Adds that the term, “waivers” includes the terms waivers, modifications, substitutions, and variations.






·         Modifies the term “agent” to be consistent with staff reorganization

·         Adds the term “amenity”

·         Adds the term “attached housing development”

·         Adds the term “boundary line adjustment

·         Adds the term  “building”

·         Adds the term  “common area” as an area not for sale and for the common use of the lot owners within the subdivision

·         Adds the term “control point” as a geographic location that can be used with our Geographic Information System mapping

·         Modifies the term “county engineer” to be consistent with staff reorganization

·         Removes the term “cul de sac” (Neighborhood Model)

·         Removes the term “development”, because it’s ambiguous.

·         Adds the term “development areas”

·         Clarifies definition of “drainage control”

·         Adds the term “easement plat”, to allow a more streamlined process for easements

·         Changes term from “family division” to “family subdivision”

·         Adds the term “frontage”, to correspond with the Zoning Ordinance

·         Clarifies that the term “improvement” applies to both publicly and privately owned facilities

·         Removes the term “jog street” because it’s unnecessary

·         Adds the term, “K value”

·         Clarifies the term “lot” by adding ‘lawfully created’ and adds synonyms

·         Clarifies the term “double frontage lot”

·         Adds the term “non-building lot”

·         Adds the term “open space”

·         Adds the term “planting strip” as an area to plant street

·         Adds definition for “program authority”

·         Removes the term “private road”, replaced with “Street, private”,

·         Modifies the term “remnant” to exclude cemeteries

·         Adds the term “resubdivision”

·         Modifies the term “runoff”

·         Adds the term “rural areas”


Added words “are proposed to” to definition of “attached housing”.










Reworded definition of “drainage control”.








Removed phrase, “which will provide minimum sight distance" for “k” value.




Added definition for “Program Authority”.







·         Reorganizes the way “rural division” is defined and changes term to “rural subdivision”

·         Adds the term “sidewalk”

·         Replaces all the “street. . .” definitions with two terms “Street, private” and “street, public”

·         Removes reference to “principal means of access” from definition of public street

·         Modifies the titles of members of the Site Review Committee

·         Defines “street right-of-way”

·         Modifies definition of stormwater management

·         Adds new term for “subdivision” as an umbrella term for all the divisions approved by the County

·         Adds the term “submit” for timing purposes

·         Adds the term “survey”, as a required submittal document

·         Adds the term “turnaround” to replace cul-de-sac with all types of reverse movement designs

·         Adds the term “X, Y position” for our new GIS


Added words, “not immediately absorbed or infiltrated into the ground and which is” to definition of “runoff”.


Reworded definition of “rural subdivision”.



Modified definition of “stormwater management”.



Designation of Agent

Clarifies that the duties of the agent of the Board of Supervisors may be delegated to other staff for proper administration of the subdivision ordinance.






Modifies fees to relate to new types of plats and removes fee for indefinite deferral.





General Applicability

Incorporates new terms into this section and identifies applicability to easement plats.






Rewords the general provisions for all types of subdivisions and distinguishes between Rural Areas and Development Areas.


Corrected cross-reference numbers.



Rural Subdivisions

Reorders section and adds “location of existing buildings” to plat requirement.


Corrected cross-reference numbers.



Family Subdivisions

Reorders section and adds “location of existing buildings” to plat requirement.


Corrected cross-reference numbers.



Boundary adj.

Reorders section and adds new standards for boundary line adjustments as a form of subdivision, including, “location of existing buildings”.


Corrected cross-reference numbers.



Easement Plats

Adds new standards for easement plats as a form of subdivision.





Family Subdivision

Clarifies family subdivision conditions for approval.





Boundary adj. procedures


Adds new procedure for boundary line adjustments.






Vacation of Plats

Adds new procedure for vacation of plat.


Clarified who reviews plat vacations; removed inaccurate cross-reference.



Resubdivision with Vacation of Plat

Adds new procedure for resubdivisions without vacating a plat.





Easement plat


Adds new procedure for easement plats.






213 B

Procedure for other Subdivisions - General

Deletes general statement which authorizes agent to disapprove a plat found to constitute a danger to public health, safety or welfare, or that departs from sound engineering practice because the requirements of the Subdivision Ordinance and the provisions of the design standards manual address matters of public health, safety and welfare an sound engineering practices.


Corrected cross-reference numbers.



Period to act on Preliminary and Final Plat

Rewords requirements from state code for time period for review and action.






·         Establishes pre-application conference requirements, replaces soil information with flood plain.

·         Removes phasing plan requirement.





Submittal of Preliminary Plat

·         Rewords section and adds option to deliver information to applicant via fax or email, with permission from applicant.

·         Modifies notice requirements


Added provision to correspond by fax or email and modified notice requirement.



Determining Agent or Commission Review

·         Clarifies when the commission reviews a preliminary plat

·         Removes requirement for commission to review the preliminary plat in its entirety if reviewing a waiver






Review and Action by Agent – Prel. Plat

Adds requirement that letter to disapprove plat identify plat deficiencies.





Review and Action by PC – Prel. Plat

Combines statements which relate to one another for clarity.


Combined statements  in C. and E. as a single section.



Determining who acts on Final Plat

Identifies that final plat must be in substantial accord with approved preliminary plat if waiver has been approved.


Corrected cross-references.



Review and Action by Agent – Final Plat

Clarifies review standards for final plats.






Agent Waivers

·         Establishes the process for waivers considered by the agent.

·         Moves the criteria and required findings for waivers to the sections imposing the requirement.



Removed proposed agent waiver of section 14-313 (overlot grading) and 14-409D construction of interconnection) prior to preliminary plat approval. Moved waiver criteria



Commission Waivers

·         Clarifies the process for waivers considered by the commission.

·         Moves the criteria and required findings for waivers to the sections imposing the requirement.

·         Adds ability to obtain a commission waiver with a rezoning application or prior to preliminary plat approval.


Removed criteria for commission waiver prior to preliminary plat approval because it duplicated another section.



Appeals and Resubmittals

·         Clarifies options for action by an applicant in the event of disapproval of a preliminary or final plat and articulates resubmittal requirements.


Added written section on resubmittal timelines.



Valid Preliminary Plat

·         Modifies the period of validity of a preliminary plat to be in keeping with the state code.

·         Adds ability of agent to revoke preliminary plat after 3 years for non-action on a preliminary plat.








Period of Valid-ity for Final Plat

·         Clarifies status of plat if not recorded by Clerk of Circuit Court

·         Clarifies that the term “final plat” includes all subdivision plats (family subdivisions, rural subdivisions, etc.)





Preliminary Validity Extension

Elaborates that a request for an extension needs to address that all conditions of the plat have been satisfied; that significant construction progress has occurred; there has not been a change in the comp. plan, zoning ordinance, or other code; that the project has not incurred construction violations and if so, has remedied them in a timely manner.





Changes to Plat

Moves information on allowable to changes to a preliminary or final plat from Section 238.






Private Streets in Rural Areas


·         Revises criteria to authorize private streets by making certain requirements specific to the rural areas.

·         Rewords section which allows the commission to authorize private streets to alleviate a significant degradation to the environment, if the lots will be used for non-residential or non-agricultural purposes, or to better serve the general welfare.

·         Rewords section which allows the agent to authorize private streets for family divisions and two-lot subdivisions.






Private Streets in Development Areas

·         Rewords criteria to authorize private streets by making certain requirements specific to the development areas.

·         Authorizes the commission to authorize private streets to enable the principles of the neighborhood model to be more fully implemented or to better serve the general welfare.

·         Allows the agent to authorize private streets within subdivisions containing attached dwelling units or non-residential uses.


Clarified conditions for agent approval of private streets in the development areas.



Procedure for Authorizing Private Streets

Adds ability for the commission to approve private streets with rezonings or prior to submittal of a preliminary plat and sets standards for conceptual plan when submitting prior to submittal of preliminary plat.



Clarified that authorization for private street approval prior to preliminary plat approval applies only to the development areas.  Also further clarifies conditions for approval of private sreets.



Effect of approval of Private Street

Modifies cross-references to other sections in the subdivision ordinance.


Corrected cross-reference numbers.



Form of Plats

Defines the standards for the plat form, adopting generally accepted practices.




Contents of Preliminary Plat

·         Creates two content lists, one for items which must be on the preliminary plat in order for it to be accepted, and a second list for items which must be on the preliminary plat in order for it to be approved.

·         Adds requirement that the subdivision’s title can not duplicate or be a homonym of an existing, unrelated subdivision in the city or county.

·         Deletes requirement for addresses for owners of record or easement holders,  from requisite information and specifies that all easement holders must be included.

·         Specifies that the date of last revision must appear on the plat.

·         Details that a vicinity map is required with a set scale, phase descriptions and showing relationships with context area.

·         Details that the plat must show all existing structures and their location as well as the location, dimension, and a label of all shared driveways and public streets in addition to other roadways.

·         Adds requirement that for land to be dedicated or reserved, all owners and acreages must be specified in addition to the location.

·         Adds requirement that along with the location, area and dimensions of a proposed building site, a statement of compliance with the zoning ordinance is required.

·         Enumerates that the parcel development rights and the residue development rights should be detailed in the plat.

·         Adds requirement for the citation from the clerk’s office of the instrument of creating property proposed for subdivision.

·         Changes requirement for indication of drainage district to indication of location within the County or City water supply watershed and adds an ag-forestal district designation as a requirement.

·         Decreases the requirement to show off-site existing topography to fifty feet.

·         Detailed location of proposed water and sewer lines, drainage and stormwater management facilities, and related improvements.

·         Adds allowance for graphic or other indication of location of yards as required by zoning ordinance and this chapter.



Modified statement on plat relating to further division of lots and clarified requirements for topographical information.


Contents of Final Plat

·         Spells out  the correct terms to use for section, blocks and lots.

·         Adds requirement  to note intended ownership for all common areas.

·         Alters term from “temporary cul-de-sac” to ‘temporary turnaround.”

·         Requires inclusion of deed book and page number descriptions for all public utilities, drainage and sight distance easements outside of street right-of-way.

·         Adds statement that signature panels shall include space for agent or designee as well as for owner.

·         Adds requirement for an explicit note which attests to the water source or lack of service.

·         Adds requirement to provide  location of all stream buffers and FEMA floodplain limits. Specifies for residue parcels outside the development area, subsequent divisions of the residue parcel shall use the point of access from the street shown in the plat.

·         Adds requirement for “control points” for the county use with our GIS


Clarified requirements for “parent parcel access”.


Critical Slopes Waiver

Requires a written request for critical slopes waiver.




Stormwater Management Requirements

Rewords requirement  that with each preliminary plat, subdivider submits to the department of community development preliminary removal rate computations, project drainage area maps, and, if sought, a written request and justification for a waiver of water detention requirements.


Reworded require-ment and clarified that all supporting docs to be submitted with the final plat.


Private Streets Information


Adds explicit statement that if one or more private streets are sought, with each preliminary plat the subdivider submits the information required to support authorization under code.


Made requirement apply to final plat if no preliminary plat is sought.



Adds cross-sections as required submittal, if necessary.




Soil evaluations

Adds requirement for groundwater assessment.




Suitability for septic

Further clarifies the process and requirements for Health Dept. approval.


Clarified involvement of health dept. for well approval.


Road plans

Clarifies that  road plans and other supporting documents are required with the final plat documents, prior to final plat approval.


Clarified that all sup-porting documents need to be submitted with final plat to county and other appropriate agencies.


Location of Existing Building

Adds requirement for survey of existing buildings and distance to property line if less than 50’.


Clarified that distance requirement also applies to proposed streets.


Overlot Grading Plans – New Section

·         Requires that an overlot grading plan be submitted with the final plat for single-family detached subdivisions in development areas for lots of less than 20,000 square feet or less.

·         Establishes plan requirements.

·         Establishes grading and surface drainage standards, including the requirement that surface drainage may flow across up to 3 lots before being collected in or storm sewer or directed to a drainage way outside of the lots, prohibits more than ½ acre of land draining across a residential lot, and requires that drainage from streets be carried across lots in a storm sewer beyond the rear of the building site.

·         Articulates a requirement for “findings” when waivers are granted.



Removed ability to apply for overlot grading waiver in advance of a preliminary plat. 

Added requirement for “findings”.


Revised Master Phasing Plan

Removes requirements for submitting revised master phasing plans.


Removed requirement for master phasing plan revisions.


VDOT Permit

Adds requirement for evidence ofVDOT entrance permit approval, prior to final plat submittal.




Maintenance Agreements

Moved from section 14-314,  rewords and modifies requirements for maintenance agreements for private streets, shared driveways, and alleys.





Minimum lot Requirements.

Deletes on-site improvements section, content is replaced throughout other sections.



Deleted reference to only one section of the zoning ordinance to be clear that all zoning requirements apply.


Double Frontage Lots

Makes an agent waiver instead of both a PC waiver and agent waiver and reference screening standards in 14-419.





Lot Shape

Removes waiver option because existing criteria for lot shape allows for agent determinations.




Lot Frontage

Removes waiver option and removes “lot front” determination from language.  (Lot front determinations are made through the zoning ordinance.  Waiver is not viewed as necessary because “legal access” is considered the same as “public or private street frontage”.)




Lot Access

Clarifies  that only one access to a building site is allowed and that it must be established at the time of subdivision, or the commission may grant a waiver.  Also makes distinctions between rural area access and streets in development areas and modifies waiver criteria.



Corrected cross-reference.  Clarified principal means of access for residue on rural areas plat.


Side Lot Lines

Modifies the waiver criteria to include the need for orderly development of the area and to delete references to health, safety, welfare, and sound engineering practice.





Disallows remnants, requires elimination of pre-existing remnants, and removes waiver option.




Block Width

Adds new specification that block width should allow for at least two tiers unless prohibited by topographical limitations and provides agent waiver.




Coordination and Extension  of Streets

·         Clarifies that streets need to be coordinated to continue into planned, existing or platted streets in adjoining areas by dedication of right of way in consideration of access to adjoining parcels and overall orderly development of the county; allows the commission to waive the requirement, considering specific criteria and findings.

·         Clearly establishes requirement that public streets be extended and constructed to the abutting property lines to provide interconnections to adjoining lands.

·         Allows the agent to waiver the extension requirement, considering specific criteria and findings.  



Moved information to be submitted for waiver in advance of preliminary plat approval to this section.  Also added that an escrow fund can be used as a guarantee.


Standards for All Streets and Alleys

·         Removes prohibition of jog streets and intention to discourage through traffic in residential subdivision.

·         Details that the layout should conform to topography, minimize disturbance of critical slopes and natural drainage areas, and provide pedestrian and vehicular interconnections with existing or future adjoining lands.

·         Alters specifications for cul-de-sacs to turnarounds and coordinates with section 14-409.

·         Explicitly states that no  reserved or spite strips are allowed, while not prohibiting areas for scenic planting if adequate access exists otherwise.

·         Extends VDOT standards to a principle means of access or County standards if a private street.

·         Removes requirement for a second means of access if over 50 units are platted provided that, if the principal means of access could be inundated in the event of a 25-year flood, it will be designed to provide unobstructed access during a flood and an alternate means of access will be constructed.

·         Explicitly states that street entrances for subdivisions shall be constructed according to VDOT standards,ncluding regulation that entrances are not within five hundred feet of a crossover unless no other reasonable access exists or the entrance is consistent with public health.

·         Adds requirement for curb, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and planting strips for all streets in development areas.

·         Allows the commission to waive the requirement for curb or curb and gutter considering specific criteria and findings.


Clarified that the principal means of access is to a public or (approved) private street.  Removed reference to flood hazard overlay district.  Moved information to be submitted for waiver in advance of preliminary plat approval to this section.


Public Street


·         Allows agent to approve construction of streets at less than the ultimate standard.




Private Street


·         Articulates that there are  two classes of  private streets: (i) residential private streets and private streets serving non-residential, non-agricultural, attached residential, multi-unit residential and combined residential and non-residential uses.

·         Articulates that within the residential class, the applicable street standards are determined by the number of lots served (2 lots, 3-5 lots and 6 or more lots; the standards for streets serving 3-5 and 6 or more lots are further determined by whether the streets are in the development or the rural areas); horizontal curvature standard added to streets serving 3-5 lots; streets serving 6 or more lots subject to VDOT standards, though the commission may approve VDOT mountainous terrain standards or, in the development areas, the county engineer may approve an alternative design deemed  to be at least equivalent to the applicable standard in the design

·         Within the other class, the streets must meet VDOT standards or an alternative design deemed by the county engineer to be at least equivalent to the applicable standard in the design standards manual.  


Clarified that standards for private streets in the development areas are established by the agent and not the commission.













Water, Sewer And Other

Changes decision-making on requiring connection to public water or sewer in the development areas from agent to commission.  Considers the distance the system needs to be extended to serve the subdivision and the uses to be served when evaluating if services are reasonably available.



Reworded waiver criteria.


Fire Protection

Adds requirement  that approval of final plat requires verification from the service authority and fire safety division that adequate capability exists to serve the subdivision including required fire flows, fire hydrants and distribution systems as constructed by the subdivider according to ISO standards, fire safety division approval and the service authority. In areas outside public water services, alternate provisions may be required.






Consolidates screening requirements for double frontage lots, makes waiver available by agent instead of both agent and commission and adds criteria for waiver.




Location Of Utilities

·         Replaces commission waiver with agent waiver and adds criteria for waiver.

·         Emphasizes that installation of utilities should not preclude the installation of street trees.

·         Expresses that utilities should conform to natural topography and minimize disturbance of critical slopes and natural drainage areas while also allowing for vehicular and pedestrian interconnections within the subdivision and for existing and future development on surrounding lands.





Sidewalks And Planting Strips

·         Adds that sidewalks and planting strips shall be constructed on both sides of each new street within the development areas and may be dedicated to public use or to a homeowners association for ownership and maintenance at the agent's discretion.

·         Establishes standards for sidewalk and planting strip design.

·         Allows the commission to waive the requirement for sidewalks, considering specific criteria and findings.

·         Allows the agent to waive the requirement for planting strips, considering specific criteria and findings.



Moved information to be submitted for waiver in advance of preliminary plat approval to this section. 


Dedication Of Land For Public Use

·         Revises former section 14-404 (which allowed the agent to require the subdivider to dedicate land for certain purposes), to authorize the subdivider to dedicate land for such purposes.

·         Clarifies that the county is not required to compensate the subdivider if the dedication is a gift, required by proffer, special use permit condition, variance, or other approval in addition to existing requirement, or if the need for the dedication is substantially generated by the subdivision.





Reservation Of Land For Public Use

·         Revises for section 14-405 (which allowed the agent to require the subdivider to reserve land for future dedication for certain purposes), to authorize the subdivider to reserve the land for such purposes.

·         Clarifies that the county is not required to compensate the subdivider for the reservation of land if the dedication is a gift, required by proffer, special use permit condition, variance, or other approval in addition to existing requirement, or if the need for the dedication is substantially generated by the subdivision.





Dedication Of Transportation Improvements

Adds street continuations in dedications along with drainage improvements, sidewalk, curb and gutter, bicycle/ pedestrian trail, or stormwater management facility




Reservation Of Land Shown on Map

·         Adds section that establishes the authority of agent to require a subdivider to reserve for future dedication to the county a part of the property suitable for streets, alleys, walkways or public areas if they are shown on an official map or other map adopted under Virginia Code § 15.2-2233.

·         Establishes the procedures by which the land reserved may either be dedicated to the county, or developed by the subdivider.

·         Establishes that the county is not required to compensate the subdivider for the reserved land if the need for the land is substantially generated by the subdivision.






Completion Of On-Site Improvements

Clarifies that private streets for 2-lot subdivisions and family divisions do not require completion prior to approval of the final plat.





Surety In Lieu Of Completion

·         Adds as a type of surety the option to collaterally assign a brokerage account.

·         Clarifies that bonds for private streets for 2-lot subdivisions and family divisions are not required.





Surety Until Streets Are Accepted

Streamlines the amount the subdivider shall provide from previous class levels at a single rate of one thousand six hundred fifty dollars per one-tenth mile of street.





Release Of Surety

·         Specifies the two types of responses of the county engineer within thirty days of a written notice of improvements from a subdivider:  (i) a partial or final release following the acceptance by the VDOT, a county engineer, or an applicable state agency; or (ii) notice that the improvement has not been accepted identifying defects or deficiencies in construction and suggested corrective measures.

·         Adds the county engineer as a party able to provide certification of final completion prior to the release of remaining surety.






Adds the phrase, “any inspection of public improvements shall be based solely upon compliance with requirements and specifications provided by law and the approved design plan.”




Effective Date of Ordinance

Adds effective date of 60 days from approval to provide for plats currently in the review process to continue to be reviewed under the current ordinance.


Added effective date



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