Sun Ridge Road Improvement Project




Phase II Road Improvements




Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Shadman, Kelsey






March 7, 2007


ACTION:     X                    INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:                         INFORMATION:   











The Board last discussed this potential road improvement project at the January 3, 2007 Board of Supervisors meeting (Attachment D).  At that time, the Board considered two primary alternatives (Attachments B&C) for providing public road access to three undeveloped lots in this subdivision.  At the Board’s direction, staff further explored the feasibility of providing access to Lot 7 and Lot 14 from the current Sun Ridge Road cul-de-sac and Lot 8 through private driveways with or without vacating the existing public right-of-way (Attachment A).



Goal 1.  Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Residents.

Goal 3.  Develop Policies and Infrastructure Improvements to Address the County’s Growing Needs.




In addition to addressing the potential road improvement itself, one of the primary questions from the Board’s most recent discussion of this matter was addressing drainage from any future public or private road improvement.  The stormwater runoff from Sun Ridge Road is currently conveyed through the existing undeveloped public right-of-way and released across the downstream private properties.  The flooding and erosion problems being caused by this runoff will be exacerbated when homes and site improvements are constructed on these vacant lots.  Therefore, staff’s opinion is that this issue will need to be addressed with or without the construction of a road extension.  The cost of the drainage improvements is estimated at $34,470.00 if done as a separate project and can be funded from the County’s Stormwater Fund.


Beyond drainage improvements, staff also evaluated creating private driveways through the existing public right-of-way as an additional alternative (Attachment A) to the two alternatives previously reviewed (Attachments B&C).  This option would necessitate County issuance of a “license” to allow a private driveway within the public right-of-way.  Such a “license” would specify the terms for private use of the public right-of-way and release the County of any responsibility and liability for the driveway.  This option keeps all of the lots conforming to the Code and allows for a future vehicular, bicycle and/or pedestrian connection.  While the construction of a road extension may be considered the most ideal solution, this approach is reasonable and may provide a basis to address similar issues in the future without the expense of constructing new public roads in unimproved right-of-way serving only a few citizens.     


Since this option assumes Lots 7 and 14 would have direct access to the existing cul-de-sac, staff evaluated the existing topography and potential development of the lots to assure this assumption was feasible.  Conceptual grading and access sketches were prepared for the three lots (Attachment A).  The evaluation revealed that Lot 7 may directly access the cul-de-sac.  However, Lot 14 slopes downward from the cul-de-sac at a slope of approximately 20 percent.  For this lot to be developed and directly access the cul-de-sac, the driveway grade would exceed 20 percent and exceed the County’s standard for “safe & convenient access”.   A driveway (100 ft. in length) within the public right-of-way would be necessary to reach a point where safe and convenient access to the building site may be provided.  To avoid the creation of a private street (serving two lots), a separate and parallel driveway within the public right-of-way, as shown, would be necessary to access Lot 8.



Based on the determinations made for the Phase I project, this road project is not eligible for State funding.  Under the first two options below that were discussed at the Board’s previous meeting, if the public street is extended, it would need to be constructed privately or funded by the County as a one-time capital improvement project.  Under the third option below, the driveways would be constructed privately, but the County would provide access through the public right-of-way and address the drainage cost.  In each case, these cost estimates assume the cooperation of the property owners to  dedicate any necessary public drainage easements.


Option 1 - Full Road Extension with Drainage Improvements (Attachment B):  $149,700 (equal to $169,000, minus the current $20,000 balance)


Option 2 – Partial Road Extension with Drainage Improvements (Attachment C):  $109,700 (equal to $129,700, minus the current $20,000 balance)


Option 3 – Private Driveways with Public Drainage Improvements (Attachment A):  $34,470 drainage improvement funded through Stormwater Fund; Privately funded driveways permitted through public right-of-way



Staff requests that the Board of Supervisors provide direction regarding its preferred option for the Phase-II portion of this project.



Attachment A:  Conceptual Lot Grading & Access

Attachment B   KH&A 2005 Plan

Attachment C   Alternate-1 Plan

Attachment D:  Jan. 3, 2007 Executive Summary

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