PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor: 

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Planning Commission

April 10, 2008

Staff Lead:

Department: 

Susan Eddy, Chief of Planning 

Community Development 

Topic:

Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Sections 5-011, 12-502 and 13-202, a Subdivision Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 9-5, and creation of a new Chapter 3: Transportation in the Design Standards Manual, to establish requirements for Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA)

 

Topic Description:

 

On January 1, 2008, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) requirements for Traffic Impact Analysis came into effect in the Culpeper District.  VDOT now requires a Traffic Impact Analysis for Comprehensive Plans and Plan Amendments, Rezonings, Special Exceptions, Special Permits, Subdivision Plats, and Site Plans that will substantially affect transportation on state controlled highways.  The proposed text amendments would codify these VDOT requirements into County Ordinances and would also expand the requirements for Traffic Impact Analysis to include applications that are just below VDOT thresholds where a safety issue is present.

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

 Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached Ordinances (Attachments 1-3).

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.

 

Summary Staff Report:

 

In 2006, the General Assembly approved legislation (Senate Bill 699, Chapter 527 of the 2006 Acts of Assembly) to enhance the coordination of land use and transportation planning.  §15.2-2222.1 was added to the Code of Virginia to expand VDOT’s role in the land planning and development review process.  This legislation does not affect local government authority to adopt plans and make decisions on proposed land use.  Rather, the legislation instructs VDOT to analyze and provide comments on land development applications that will substantially affect transportation on state controlled highways.  VDOT’s findings are advisory in nature.

Chapter 155, 24 VAC 30-155 “Traffic Impact Analysis Regulation” establishes the rules, procedures and deadlines for VDOT’s review.  VDOT will be requiring traffic impact analysis for several types of land development applications.

Rezonings, Special Exceptions, Special Permits, Preliminary Subdivision Plats and Site Plans

Rezoning proposals, Subdivision Plats and Site Plans that will substantially affect traffic on state-controlled highways require submittal of the application and a Traffic Impact Analysis to VDOT.  (Applications for Special Exceptions and Special Permits are land development proposals that are considered Zoning proposals under the VDOT regulations.)  A substantial impact has been defined by VDOT as a change that would allow a generation of 100 vehicles per peak hour or more for residential uses, or 250 vehicles per peak hour or more (or 2,500 vehicles per day) for other land uses.  Examples of typical developments that would meet this threshold are included in Appendix 4.  In addition, 200 residential vehicles per day will trigger a TIA if this more than doubles current traffic volumes.  This second scenario is most likely to be triggered in rural areas.

The proposed changes to County Ordinances codify the VDOT requirements. The amendments also allow the County to require a TIA due to safety issues.  The Code of Virginia (§15.2-2222.1) specifically allows local authorities to set their own TIA requirements.  The VDOT Traffic Impact Analysis Regulation Administrative Guidelines note that VDOT will continue to assist local authorities, at their request, to help evaluate applications not specifically required by the State Code. 

The proposed changes to County Ordinances also require a TIA scoping meeting between the applicant, county staff and VDOT.  This is already common practice and has proven to be very valuable for all participants.  VDOT regulations only mandate these scoping meetings for applications with over 1,000 vehicles per hour.

Comprehensive Plans and Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Comprehensive Plans and Comprehensive Plan Amendments that have a substantial impact on state highways or a substantial change to transportation infrastructure require submittal of the application and comprehensive plan package of general transportation information to VDOT.  A substantial impact has been defined by VDOT as a change that would allow a generation of 5,000 additional vehicle trips per day.  A substantial change could, for example, include designation of a new thoroughfare.  The comprehensive plan package is not the same as the detailed TIA associated with other development proposals.  When a related rezoning proposal is being considered concurrently with a Comprehensive Plan amendment, then only the rezoning TIA is required. 

The proposed changes to County Ordinances codify the VDOT requirements and also add a requirement that basic transportation information be provided with all Comprehensive Plan and Comprehensive Plan Amendment applications that do not trigger a VDOT review.

Timeline

VDOT is staging its requirements in the Culpeper District in two steps.  As of January 1, 2008, VDOT is requiring comprehensive plan packages for all Comprehensive Plan and Comprehensive Plan Amendment applications that meet its threshold.  VDOT is only requiring TIAs for Rezonings, Special Exceptions, Special Permits, Subdivision Plats and Site Plans for sites generating 500 vehicles per peak hour or more.  The requirement for other Rezonings, Special Exceptions, Special Permits, Subdivision Plats and Site Plans that meet the thresholds of Chapter 155, 24 VAC 30-155 comes into effect in the Culpeper District on July 1, 2008.

The proposed changes to County ordinances would come into effect upon adoption.  Thus, in some cases, the County requirements could come into effect a few months sooner than the VDOT requirements. 

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission initiated these text amendments on January 31, 2008 and held a public hearing and unanimously recommended approval of the amendments on February 28, 2008.

 

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

Virginia Department of Transportation

ATTACHMENTS:

1.      Proposed Zoning Ordinance Revisions

2.      Proposed Subdivision Ordinance Revisions

3.      Proposed Design Standards Manual (DSM) Chapter 3: Transportation

4.      Summary Table – VDOT Typical Developments That Would Trigger the Need for a TIA

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