COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Abandonment of 50’ wide right-of-way extending off Brookwood Road
Public hearing to consider request to abandon a 50’ wide right-of-way extending off Brookwood Road
Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Graham, Benish, Wade
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
November 5, 2008
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
Michael and Charlotte Zinnser Booth have requested that the Board adopt a resolution to abandon a 50-foot wide right-way extending off Brookwood Road in the Brookwood Subdivision in Crozet. The Zinnser Booths are the owners of a 45.60 acre-parcel adjacent to the Brookwood Subdivision that abuts this right-of-way. The Zinnser-Booth parcel is split by Lickinghole Creek. To avoid having a road cross Lickinghole Creek, the Zinnser Booths proposed a subdivision of the parcel with Lot A having access from the extension off of Brookwood Road, and Lot B having access from Route 240. This proposal required a waiver of Albemarle County Code § 14-404, which requires that a subdivision take access from a single existing road. The Planning Commission approved the waiver with conditions that limited Lot A to not more than 2 dwelling units and required that the Brookwood extension right-of-way either be abandoned as a public right-of-way or that the County allow the public right-of-way to be used as a private road. (See Attachment A for additional background) On September 3, 2008, the Board directed staff to schedule a public hearing on the proposed abandonment of the 50-foot wide right-of-way.
Goal Three: Develop Polices and Infrastructure to address the County’s Growing Needs
The 50-foot right-of-way was never improved and it is not in the secondary system of state highways (“secondary system”). It physically can only serve the Zinnser Booth parcel or the two parcels within the Brookwood Subdivision that abut it. The right-of-way has no historical value. Because the waiver approved by the Planning Commission limited the Zinnser Booth’s proposed Lot A to not more than two dwelling units, the right-of-way, if constructed as a street to serve those dwelling units, could not be accepted into the secondary system under current state regulations which require that a secondary road serve at least three dwelling units.
The right-of-way is located between two residential properties known as 5553 and 5559 Brookwood Road (Attachment C). Staff has received comments from Danny Newton, who with his wife owns the property at 5559 Brookwood Road. Mr. Newton has raised concerns about the impacts resulting from the construction of a road in the right-of-way. (Attachment B) He has requested that if a road is constructed, that it be located in the center of the right-of-way, that it be paved, and that vegetative buffers be established or preserved.
Staff has evaluated this proposed abandonment for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and other County policies, and has concluded that it would not conflict with County policies. The Comprehensive Plan, including the Crozet Master Plan, does not identify or recommend any public road or other public improvement in this area for which the right-of-way would be necessary. No road crossings of Lickinghole Creek in this area are identified in either the Comprehensive Plan, the Crozet Master Plan or any other transportation plan. Finally, allowing the Zinnser Booths, proposed Lot A to be accessed from Brookwood Road, and proposed Lot B, located on the other side of Lickinghole Creek, to be accessed from Crozet Avenue, would reduce the length of needed roadway and eliminates the need for the roadway to cross critical slopes, floodplain, and stream buffers. For the foregoing reasons, it is staff’s opinion that the right-of-way no longer serves a public need and it recommends that the right-of-way be abandoned.
Because the right-of-way was dedicated to public use by a subdivision plat, the County owns it in fee simple. The abandonment of the right-of-way does not transfer ownership from the County. Rather, once the right-of-way is abandoned, the County is authorized to sell or convey the abandoned right-of-way for consideration or in exchange for other lands. Mr. Newton’s concerns, as well as permanent restrictions prohibiting future street crossings of Lickinghole Creek, can be addressed in conjunction with the sale or exchange of the abandoned right-of-way.
There will be no budget impact.
After conducting a public hearing, staff recommends that the Board adopt the attached Resolution (Attachment D) to abandon the 50-foot right-of-way.
A – September 3, 2008 staff report with attachments
B – Emails from the adjacent property owners
C – Location Map
D – Resolution with Attached Plat showing right-of-way to be abandoned