ALBEMARLE COUNTY PLANNING

STAFF REPORT SUMMARY

 

Project Name:  SUB 07-59 Meadow Estates – Private Street authorization request

Staff: Summer Frederick

Planning Commission Public Hearing: 

April 10, 2007

Board of Supervisors Hearing:

N/A

Owners:  Two (2) property owners for eight (8) lots:  Vineyard Estates, LLC and GLM Holdings, LLC

Applicant: Vineyard Estates, LLC

Acreage: approximately 5.267 Acres

Rezone from: Not applicable

Special Use Permit for: Not applicable

TMP: Tax Map 103, Parcels 3, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E, 3F, 3G

Location: southeast side of Carters Mountain Road (SR #627) – existing Meadow Estates Subdivision

By-right use: RA, Rural Areas

Magisterial District: Scottsville

Proffers/Conditions

Requested # of Dwelling Units/Lots: N/A

DA                             RA - X

Proposal: Request for authorization to convert a dedicated public right-of-way to a private street, in accordance with Sections 14-232 and 14-234.

Comp. Plan Designation: Rural Areas in Rural Area 4.

Character of Property:  Property is within the dedicated right-of-way for Coopers Lane. Use of Surrounding Properties:  Single-family Residential and Agricultural

Factors Favorable:

 

Factors Unfavorable:

RECOMMENDATION: Staff finds that this request is not consistent with the criteria of Section 14-232(a) and 14-234(c) for granting a modification to allow private streets in the rural areas and recommends denial of the requested waiver. 

 

 

 


 

STAFF CONTACT:                            Summer Frederick, Senior Planner

PLANNING COMMISSION:              April 10, 2007

 

AGENDA TITLE:                                SUB 2007-59:  Meadow Estates – Private Street authorization request

 

PROPERTY OWNER:                       Two (2) property owners for eight (8) lots:     Vineyard Estates, LLC

                                                                                                                                    GLM Holdings, LLC

 

APPLICANT:                                      Vineyard Estates, LLC

 

Applicant's Proposal:

Request for approval to convert a dedicated public right-of-way to a private street.  The property is zoned Rural Areas, RA, described as Tax Map 103, Parcels 3, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 3E, 3F, 3G, and is located in the Scottsville Magisterial District on Carters Mountain Road and Coopers Lane in Meadow Estates Subdivision (Attachment A).  Cooper Lane was approved as a public street during the review of the Meadow Estates Subdivision in 2004.  The road construction plans were reviewed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and road inspections have indicated that the construction of the street is in accordance with the approved plans.  The road has not been accepted in to the State System for public maintenance. The applicant/current owner of the majority of Meadow Estates parcels, Vineyard Estates, LLC currently maintains the roads.  The applicant indicates that further maintenance of the road will be the responsibility of a homeowners’ association – Vineyard Estates Owners Association, Inc. (Attachment B).

 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:

The Comprehensive Plan designates this property as Rural Areas in Rural Area 4.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING HISTORY:

 

REASON FOR PLANNING COMMISSION REVIEW:

This application requires Planning Commission approval of the private street, in accordance with Section 14-234 of the Subdivision Ordinance.  Typically, a request of this type would have been heard during the review of the preliminary plan for the subdivision, as outlined in the Subdivision Ordinance.  However, because the street has not been accepted in to the State system, the vacation of the dedicated right-of-way and the recordation of an easement establishing a private right-of-way can be approved simultaneously through approval of this request by the Planning Commission along with an administrative review of the associated plat.

 

ANALYSIS OF SECTION 14-232:

Compliance with Subdivision Ordinance section 14-232A.1;

14-232A.1(i) property in the Rural Areas or Village Residential zoning district:  

The property is zoned Rural Areas.

 

14-232A.1(ii) private road would alleviate a clearly demonstrable danger of significant degradation to the environment: 

The road has been designed and built to a public road standard.  There is no significant difference in environmental impact based on the road’s ownership. 

 

14-232A.1(iii) no alternative public street alignment is available:

The existing street serves the subdivision.  The public street alignment would be identical to the private street alignment.

 

14-232A.1(iv) no more lots are proposed on the private road than could be created on the public road:

The lots have already been recorded, and no additional lots will be possible with the additional acreage formerly in right-of-way.  In addition, no additional lots are proposed with this application.  Three of the existing lots do have additional Development Rights assigned.  Lot 2 retains three (3) development rights, their total acreage shall not exceed 23.394 acres, Lot 4 retains one (1) development right, total acreage not to exceed 2.56 acres, Lot 8 retains one (1) development right, total acreage not to exceed 5.04 acres.

 

14-232A.1.(a) the total volume of grading for construction of a public street would be thirty (30) percent or more than that of a private road in the same alignment:

The private street alignment would be identical to the public street alignment.  There is no difference between public and private standards or earthwork in this case.

 

14-232A.1.(b) Environmental impacts including, but no limited to, erosion and sedimentation, stormwater runoff, surface water pollution, loss of tree cover...:

In this case, environmental impacts, other than volume of earthwork, will be no different between a public road and private road along the same alignment.  Any stream buffer and critical slope disturbances would be the same. 

 

SECTION 14-234:

Per Section 14-234(c), the Commission may authorize one or more private roads to be constructed in a subdivision if it finds that one or more of the circumstances described in section 14-232 exists and that:

 

1.      The private road will be adequate to carry the traffic volume which may be reasonably expected to be generated by the subdivision;

As a private road, the road will be adequate to carry the expected traffic volume.

 

2.      The comprehensive plan does not provide for a public street in the approximate location of the proposed private road;

The Comprehensive Plan does not provide for a public street in the location of this road.

 

3.      The fee of the private road will be owned by the owner of each lot abutting the right-of-way thereof or by an association composed of the owners of all lots in the subdivision, subject in either case to any easement for the benefit of all lots served by the road;

Section 14-317 of the Subdivision Ordinance requires that a maintenance agreement be submitted for review by Planning Staff and the County Attorney in all situations where improvements are required to be maintained.  The applicant currently maintains the roads.  If this request is approved, a road maintenance agreement will be required for approval by the County prior to final plat recordation establishing the private right-of-way easement. 

 

4.      Except where required by the commission to serve a specific public purpose, the private road will not serve through traffic nor intersect the state highway system in more than one location; and

The private road will not serve through traffic, nor intersect the state highway system in more than one location.

 

5.      If applicable, the private road has been approved in accordance with section 30.3, flood hazard overlay district, of the zoning ordinance and other applicable law.

This is not applicable.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

The street was designed and constructed to VDOT standards, which are the same standards required as those if a private street had been proposed for the initial subdivision.  By converting this street to a private maintenance situation, there is a perceived risk that at some future point the Homeowners’ Association may be unable to maintain the streets at an acceptable standard.  However, by requiring review and approval of maintenance agreement documents providing for the continued maintenance of the street at a specified standard in the future, the risk may be minimized. 

 

The alignment and impact of the construction for this street are no different in either a public or private maintenance situation.  The current allowable number of lots accessing the street will not change as a result of this approval.  Conversion of this street from a public right-of-way to a private access easement will impose additional restrictions on any further subdivision of existing lots.  Additional restrictions will be due to required Planning Commission review and approval of any proposed subdivision creating lots where primary access is from an existing private street. This same requirement does not currently exist for new lots to access existing public streets. 

 

Overall, there is very limited difference in public versus private ownership of this right-of-way.  Thus, none of the findings in Section 14-232 demonstrate a need for a private street instead of a public street.  Without such a finding, staff finds that this request is not consistent with the criteria of Section 14-232(a) and 14-234(c) for granting a modification to allow private streets in the rural areas. 

 

Attachments: 

A -        Tax Map/Location Map

B -       Applicant’s Request and Justification

C -       Proposed subdivision plat with access easement (reduced)

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