COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Subdivisions Resolution of intent to amend Subdivision Ordinance regarding prerequisites to submitting a final plat

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Adopt a resolution of intent to amend Albemarle County Code 14-221 to eliminate the requirement that a subdivider satisfy all conditions of approval of the preliminary plat and obtain all tentative approvals for the final plat prior to submitting a final plat; information on the effect of new Virginia Code 15.2-2209.1

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Graham, and Fritz

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

June 3, 2009

 

ACTION:                INFORMATION: 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:   X           INFORMATION: 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

BACKGROUND:

As required by Virginia Code 15.2-2260, Albemarle County Code 14-228 provides that an approved preliminary subdivision plat is valid for a period of 5 years, provided that the subdivider submits a final plat within one year of the date of approval and thereafter diligently pursues approval of the final plat.  Albemarle County Code 14-221(B) requires that a subdivider satisfy all conditions of approval of the preliminary plat and obtain all tentative approvals for the final plat prior to submitting the final plat.  After 3 years, the Subdivision Agent may revoke the approved preliminary plat after providing notice to the subdivider if it is determined the subdivider has not diligently pursued approval of the final plat.  If a final plat is not approved within the 5-year period that the preliminary plat is valid, the preliminary plat expires and the subdivider must comply with the regulations in effect at the time a new preliminary plat is submitted.

 

As required by Virginia Code 15.2-2259, Albemarle County Code 14-229 provides that an approved final subdivision plat is generally valid for a period of one year, with longer periods for phased subdivisions and by agreement between the County and the subdivider under specific circumstances.      

 

The State requirements regarding the period of validity of preliminary and final subdivision plats apply to preliminary and final site plans as well.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal Four:   Effectively Manage Growth and Development.  

 

DISCUSSION:

Effective July 1, 2009, Virginia Code 15.2-2209.1 (See House Bill 2077, Attachment B) will extend the period of validity of approved subdivision plats and site plans until July 1, 2014 if the subdivision plat or site plan was valid on January 1, 2009.  The following scenarios illustrate the effect of Virginia Code 15.2-2209.1:

          Any preliminary or final plat approved between January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2009 will remain valid until July 1, 2014 because such a plat would have been valid on January 1, 2009.  The extension applies even if the subdivider does not submit a final plat within one year after approval of the preliminary plat. 

          Any preliminary or final plat approved before January 1, 2008 for which the County granted an extension to a date after January 1, 2009 will remain valid until July 1, 2014.

          A preliminary plat approved as early as January 1, 2004, for which a final plat was timely submitted within one year so as to preserve the preliminary plats validity for 5 years (to January 1, 2009), will remain valid until July 1, 2014.

          Any preliminary or final plat approved on and after January 2, 2009 will be subject to the applicable validity requirements of Virginia Code 15.2-2259 (Albemarle County Code 14-229) and 15.2-2260 (Albemarle County Code 14.2-221).  For example, a preliminary plat approved on January 2, 2009 will expire on January 2, 2010 unless the subdivider files a final plat on or before January 2, 2010.  By comparison, a preliminary plat approved two days earlier on December 31, 2008 would be valid until July 1, 2014 without the subdivider having to take any further action.

          Any preliminary plat approved before January 1, 2008 for which a final plat was not timely submitted expired before January 1, 2009 and is unaffected by Virginia Code 15.2-2209.1.

 

Virginia Code 15.2-2209.1 is self-executing and does not require an amendment to the Subdivision Ordinance.  However, Section 15.2-2209.1 authorizes localities to extend the period of validity beyond July 1, 2014.  Staff does not recommend at this time that this period be further extended. 

 

However, while staff was reviewing the effects of Virginia Code 15.2-2209.1, it also re-evaluated the Countys requirements for timely submitting a final plat in order to preserve the validity of an approved preliminary plat.  As noted in the Background, Albemarle County Code 14-221(B) requires that a subdivider satisfy all conditions of approval of the preliminary plat and obtain all tentative approvals for the final plat prior to submitting the final plat.  This has been a longstanding requirement of the Subdivision Ordinance and has been justified as a reasonable regulation pertaining to the administration of the Subdivision Ordinance.  In light of several amendments to the State subdivision statutes over the past several years, the absence of a similar requirement in the Zoning Ordinance for site plans, the absence of a similar requirement in the subdivision regulations of other surveyed localities, and difficulties experienced by subdividers to satisfy all conditions or obtain all approvals within the one-year period, Staff recommends that this requirement be eliminated.  Instead, a final plat would be accepted if it contained the required information in Albemarle County Code 14-303, as already required by Albemarle County Code 14-221(C).  Of course, all conditions of approval of the preliminary plat and all tentative approvals for the final plat would have to be satisfied before the final plat could be approved.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

No impact on the Budget is expected.   

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board adopt the attached resolution of intent (Attachment A) to amend Albemarle County Code 14-221 and other related sections.  Staff does not recommend that the Board amend the Subdivision Ordinance to incorporate or extend the period of validity provided in Virginia Code 15.2-2209.1.

 

ATTACHMENTS

A Resolution of Intent

B House Bill 2077

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