ORDINANCE NO.  08-18(   )




BE IT ORDAINED By the Board of Supervisors of the County of Albemarle, Virginia, that Chapter 18, Zoning, Article II, Basic Regulations, is hereby amended and reordained as follows:


By Amending:


Sec. 4.6.6        Lot access requirements


Chapter 18.  Zoning


Article 2.  Basic Regulations


Sec. 4.6.6  Lot access requirements


No structure requiring a building permit shall be erected upon any lot which does not have frontage on a public or private road as specified in the subdivision regulations, except for lots lacking such frontage on the date of the adoption of this ordinance.  (Amended 5-21-86)


Vehicular access on a lot shall be provided as follows:


a.         In all zoning districts, a structure requiring a permit under the Uniform Statewide Building Code may be established only on a lot having frontage on a public or private street as authorized by the subdivision ordinance, except that this requirement shall not apply to lots lacking such frontage on the effective date of this chapter.


b.         In the rural areas zoning district, in addition to the requirements in subsection (a) and in order to provide public safety vehicles with safe and reasonable access to a dwelling unit on a lot, each driveway that will serve a dwelling unit: (1) shall not exceed a sixteen (16) percent grade; (2) shall have a travelway that is at least ten (10) feet in width; (3) shall extend to within fifty (50) feet of each dwelling unit on the lot; and (4) shall include a rectangular zone superjacent to the driveway that is clear of all obstructions, including any structures and vegetation, that is at least ten (10) feet in width and fourteen (14) feet in height.  The landowner shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the county engineer that the driveway will meet the requirements of this subsection before a building permit is issued. 


c.         Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (b), the county engineer, with the recommendation of the fire marshal, may authorize a driveway having a grade that exceeds sixteen (16) percent if the landowner demonstrates to the satisfaction of the county engineer and the fire marshal that public safety vehicles would be able to access the dwelling unit even though the grade may exceed sixteen (16) percent.  In considering a waiver request, the county engineer and the fire marshal shall consider: (1) the length of the segment of the driveway that would exceed sixteen (16) percent; (2) whether the segment that would exceed sixteen (16) percent would require the public safety vehicle to travel uphill towards the dwelling unit; (3) whether fire suppression equipment such as sprinklers would be installed within the dwelling unit; and (4) whether the dwelling unit is within fifty (50) feet of a public or private street.  In authorizing such a grade, the county engineer may impose reasonable conditions to assure that the public safety vehicles may access the dwelling unit including, but not limited to, a condition limiting the maximum length any segment of the driveway may exceed sixteen (16) percent.


  1. Any lot which was lawfully a lot of record on the effective date of subsection (b) shall be exempt from the requirements of that subsection for the establishment of the first single-family detached dwelling unit on the lot if the county engineer determines that those requirements would prohibit the practicable development of the lot for that first single-family detached dwelling unit.


This ordinance shall be effective on and after January 23, 2008 provided, however, that any subdivision plat, site plan or application for a building permit submitted on or before January 22, 2008, and approved on or before May 23, 2008, may be approved under the applicable regulations in effect on January 22, 2008.


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