COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Plank Road Designation as a Virginia Byway

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Public hearing to solicit public input on designating Plank Road between Rt. 29 and Rt. 692 as a Virginia Byway

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs: Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, Cilimberg, Benish, Wade

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

October 5, 2005

 

ACTION:     X                            INFORMATION: 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                                 INFORMATION: 

 

ATTACHMENTS:     Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The County received a request from the Batesville Ruritan Club in March 2005 to assist the Club in designating Plank Road (Route 692) between Route 250 and Route 29 (Attachment A) as a Virginia Byway (Attachment B). The County researched the process and officially requested VDOT to begin the process of designating Plank Road as a Virginia Byway in May 2005 (Attachment C).

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Protect and/or preserve the County’s rural character.

Protect and/or preserve the County’s natural resources.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

The purpose of a Virginia Byway program is to recognize road corridors containing aesthetic or cultural value near areas of historical, natural or recreational significance. By designating certain roads as Virginia Byways and widely distributing “A Map of Scenic Roads in Virginia,” the program encourages travel to interesting destinations and away from high traffic corridors. A Virginia Byway designation does not impose any new land use regulation or affect any existing regulations, and does not limit the ability to undertake road improvements.

 

The VDOT process of designating a road as a Virginia Byway (Attachment D) may be requested by a number or sources (individual, organization, neighborhood, government), but the local governing body must adopt a resolution supporting the request. The request for Plank Road originated from the Batesville Ruritan Club. Upon receipt of a request and historical documentation of the road, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) collect information on local zoning laws, traffic volumes and accident reports before evaluating the road according to the criteria.  If the road meets the criteria, the DCR Director recommends qualifying roads for consideration by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).  

 

To be considered, a segment of road must substantially meet the following criteria:

 

¨       The route provides important scenic values and experiences.

¨       There is a diversity of experiences, as in transition from one landscape scene to another.

¨       The route links together or provides access to scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, natural and archeological elements.

¨       The route bypasses major roads or provides opportunities to leave high-speed routes for variety and leisure in motoring. Landscape control or management along the route is feasible.

¨       The route allows for additional features that will enhance the motorist’s experience and improve safety.

¨       Local government(s) has/have initiated zoning or other land-use controls, so as to reasonably protect the aesthetic and cultural value of the highway.

 

VDOT evaluated the County‘s request based on the above criteria and recommended that Plank Road between Route 250 and Route 29 be designated as a Virginia Byway pending a recommendation of approval by the Board of Supervisors after a public hearing (Attachment E).

 

In addition to notifying the public in the newspaper concerning the public hearing, a notification letter and map was mailed to each property owner adjacent to Plank Road between Route 250 and Route 29 (Attachment F).  After the public hearing and the Board of Supervisors adoption of a resolution (Attachment G), the Commonwealth Transportation Board can officially designate Plank Road at their next scheduled meeting. Subsequently, signs are posted, and changes are made to the appropriate maps. A major focus of the County‘s request was to have Plank Road designated as a Virginia Byway in time for a major printing and distribution of “A Map of Scenic Roads in Virginia”  map for the Jamestown 2007 celebration. VDOT and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have informed the County that the designation will be in time if the resolution is adopted at the October 5, 2005 meeting.

 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

There will be no impact on the County’s budget.  VDOT will incur the cost of installing the signs.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends the Board of Supervisors adopt the attached resolution supporting the designation of Plank Road for Scenic Byway designation. 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A- Plank Road Virginia Byway Proposed Corridor

Attachment B- Batesville Ruritan Club Resolution of Support

Attachment C- Albemarle County letter to VDOT Requesting Plank Road to be designated as a Virginia Byway

Attachment D- VDOT Process for designating a road a Virginia Byway

Attachment E- VDOT letter notifying the County Plank Road had been approved as a Virginia Byway

Attachment F- Notice to Plank Road residents informing of the Public Hearing

Attachment G- Plank Road Virginia Byway Resolution
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