To: Members, Board of Supervisors
From: Amelia McCulley, Zoning Administrator
Date: December 13, 2007
Subject: Rural Area Subdivisions
At a recent meeting, the Board asked staff to provide information about current Ordinance provisions that allow property to be subdivided without road standards and/or with minimal frontage requirements. These subdivisions are typically approved administratively. As a result of this information, the Board may wish to have a future work session to discuss these provisions and related policy issues.
The current Ordinances (Zoning and Subdivision) allow the following to occur:
This type of development creates more individual entrances onto the public roads, therefore additional conflict points and opportunities for accidents. In addition, it results in more two-lot shared driveways which have no road construction requirements. Some of these driveways may not provide adequate access for emergency vehicles, thereby detrimentally impacting the provision of police, fire and rescue services to those residents.
Subdivisions utilizing Section 4.6.1(b)(2) can result in an undesirable pattern of development with a house (on the lot at the end of the easement) almost immediately behind another house (on the front lot). Unless it is planned otherwise, the house in the rear lot may face directly into the back of the house on the front lot.
Two Subdivision Ordinance Amendments that could eliminate the Rural Division tactic to avoid road standards and address staff concerns regarding eliminating the Section 4.6.1(b)(2) road frontage reduction are:
1. Require all lots created from an existing parcel to share the same entrance and therefore the same road. This will minimize the number of entrances on existing public roads, thereby reducing conflict points. This will better meet planning and transportation goals. It will also preclude the multi-step subdivision resulting in lots on separate shared driveways without a road standard requirement described in #1.
2. Establish / increase a road standard for a (shared driveway) private street serving two lots. The existing minimum road standard for 3-5 lots could be expanded to include 2-5 lots. This change could arguably improve emergency access by establishing a road construction standard. If this increased standard is not approved, repealing the Section 4.6.1(b)(2) frontage provision may not reduce the number of subdivisions creating two lots on a driveway without an applicable road standard.
Either or both of these potential Subdivision Ordinance amendments can be further discussed with the Board. Alternatively, the Board could pass a resolution of intent to amend the Subdivision Ordinance and staff can proceed with these amendments. There are impacts on the process, applicants and staff that would need to be considered as with any Ordinance amendment.
A – Rural Area Subdivision Illustrations
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