PUBLIC HEARING AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor: 

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Planning Commission 

April 12, 2007

Staff Lead:

Department: 

W. Todd Benson, Assistant Zoning Administrator

Community Development 

Topic:

A Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 2-410 to Alter the Standards for Permitting Corner Lots to Have Direct Access to Higher Standard Streets

Topic Description:

 

Section 2-410 of the Zoning Ordinance requires corner lots to have their curb-cut on the lower standard street, with exceptions allowed if seven standards can be met. The final standard is a determination of safety by VDOT and the Board of Supervisors.  The proposed amendment eliminates the other conditions, leaving safety as the determinative factor in allowing corner lots access to higher standard roads.

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct a public hearing and consider adopting the proposed Ordinance.  

Financial Impact Analysis:

No financial impact analysis has been conducted.

 

Summary Staff Report:

Section 2-410 of the Zoning Ordinance requires corner lots to have their curb-cut on the lower standard street, with exceptions allowed if seven standards can be met. The final standard is a determination of safety by VDOT and the Board of Supervisors.  The proposed amendment eliminates the other conditions, leaving safety as the determinative factor in allowing corner lots access to higher standard roads.

The purpose of Section 2-410 is to minimize points of access onto larger roads, presumably for safety.  The existing standards set forth in Section 2-410 are intended to identify cases where it is safe to have access onto larger roads. Occasionally, a proposed development is presented to the County that does not meet all of the standards of Section 2-410 but it is determined that it would be safer to allow access onto the higher standard road.  Such an example is a pending proposal to locate a Popeye’s at the intersection of Routes 17 and 28.  A traffic engineer for the County studying this development is of the opinion that the safest traffic pattern is to have access onto Route 17 rather than Route 28, while the current ordinance would require the access to take place on Route 28.  Thus, a well-intentioned Ordinance works against safety in this instance.

The County recently amended Section 2-410 to accommodate the entrance and exit of emergency vehicles garaged on corner lots. Again, it was determined that safety should be the controlling factor in determining curb cuts and access for emergency vehicles.

The purpose of this text amendment is to eliminate six of the standards for allowing access to higher standard roads and simply use safety as the basis for granting a waiver, as determined by the County. The waiver could be granted by the Director in conjunction with site plans, by the Planning Commission for preliminary plats and other divisions, and by the Board of Supervisors for Special Exceptions and Rezonings.  This approach allows more flexibility in evaluating site conditions on a case-by-case basis, and without Board approval in every instance.

This proposed amendment was initiated by the Planning Commission on January 25, 2007. The Planning Commission, after public hearing, unanimously recommended approval on February 15, 2007.

 

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

Department of Economic Development

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