Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Raymond E. Graham, Chairman, Cedar Run District Supervisor

March 9, 2006

Staff Lead:


Elizabeth A. Cook, Chief of Planning

Community Development


A Work Session to Discuss the Subdivision/Site Plan Process for Business Development

Topic Description:

The County Administrator instructed the Department of Community Development to propose options to facilitate subdivision of commercial and industrially zoned properties.  As proposed, an abbreviated process would be developed to reduce the number of reviews and limit the review to staff and the referral agencies.  Following is an outline of options for the Board of Supervisors’ consideration.


Options to Facilitate Subdivision of Commercial or Industrially Zoned Property:


1.      Unlimited Administrative Divisions


    1. Benefits:


                                                               i.      Permits the creation of lots with minimal review.

                                                             ii.      Lots created quickly – approximately 30 days.


    1. Limitations:


                                                               i.      No bonding permitted; therefore, no infrastructure may be constructed without site plan approval.

                                                             ii.      Do not see overall picture of development, so might miss opportunities to develop network of roads to provide improved access, regional stormwater management, and associated topics. 

                                                            iii.      No review performed by Zoning, Engineering, Comprehensive Planning, John Marshall, WSA, and limited review by VDOT.

                                                           iv.      Transportation impacts not reviewed for overall property, only on a site plan by site plan basis.


2.         Preliminary Plat / Sketch Plan Process


As envisioned, the Sketch Plan would be an administratively approved option to waive the Preliminary Plat requirement for commercial and industrial properties.  An applicant would then proceed to either the Construction Plan or Major Site Plan stage.  During the Sketch Plan process, the applicant would work with staff to define needed elements of the Construction Plan or Site Plan.  This would involve meeting with the review group (for example VDOT, County staff, and WSA) and the applicant to refine requirements.  A Sketch Plan does not contain detailed engineering plans, but does include design concepts.  When the Sketch Plan components are agreed upon and the plan approved, the applicant proceeds to either: 1) site plan, if a specific building is being proposed for construction, or 2) construction plan to design the infrastructure needed to develop finished or marketable lots, for example, with streets and utilities.  Please note that a major site plan will be required prior to construction of any buildings and more specific site development may be required at that time.  Once the site plan or construction plan is approved, the applicant may file the final plat.


    1. Benefits:


                                                               i.      Preliminary Plat process is not required. 

                                                             ii.      Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors do not review application.

                                                            iii.      A minimum of 145 days are deleted from the subdivision process.  [Preliminary Plat Filing: 40 days prior to Planning Commission meeting; Action/Planning Commission: 90 days; to Board of Supervisors Consent Agenda: ±15 days]

                                                           iv.      Applicant may install or bond for construction infrastructure, so finished lots may be created.

                                                             v.      County sees overall project and works with applicant on road network, stormwater management plan.

                                                           vi.      Traffic impacts may be addressed for overall project. 

                                                          vii.      Applicant no longer has to submit a “fake” site plan to allow the construction of site infrastructure, which will save time and engineering expense. 


    1. Limitations:


                                                               i.      Requires review by referral agencies, so a Sketch Plan may take longer than an Administrative Division.

                                                             ii.      Some engineering/design information is required; therefore, the applicant will likely need to have an engineering/surveying company prepare the Sketch Plan compared to Administrative divisions, which are typically prepared by surveyors.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Conduct a work session and consider directing staff to initiate a Subdivision Ordinance Text Amendment.

Financial Impact Analysis:

There was no financial impact analysis required for this request.

Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

Commercial Development Community

Department of Community Development

Referral Agencies