Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: 

David H. Farrar 

December 10, 2009

Staff Lead:


Bonnie Bogert, Planner II

Community Development


Magisterial District:                                                                                                                  PIN:

Service District:


A Resolution to Approve SPEX10-MA-005: Category 29 Special Exception to Waive the Public Street Requirement for One (1) Lot Marshall District


Topic Description:

The applicant is seeking Special Exception approval to waive the public street requirement for one lot. The applicant is interested in subdividing his five (5) acre parcel into four (4) lots. Article 7-301.1 states that administrative division lots are allowed to be served by private streets. Article 7-301.2 states that private streets are prohibited for all other subdivisions unless a special exception is obtained. One of the proposed lots will be created through the Administrative Subdivision process. Two of the proposed lots will have frontage on a state maintained road. The fourth lot does not have frontage on a state road. A copy of the Special Exception Plat is included as Attachment 1.

The Applicant contends in the Statement of Justification (Attachment 2) that a Special Exception would not be required if the proposed layout of the subdivision had narrow lots which fronted on Route 55. Such a layout would not fit in with the rural characteristics of the surrounding area. The proposed layout would have two houses fronting on Route 55, and then the other two would be located on the rear of the property. In addition, the applicant has met with the Marshall District Supervisor, who suggested that the applicant prepare design conditions in order to ensure that the design of the homes in this proposed subdivision would be attractive in appearance and also in harmony with the homes located in the surrounding area.


Location,  Zoning and Current Land Use:

The 5 acres are zoned Village (V).  Adjacent properties in all directions are also zoned Village (V). The property is located on the north side of John Marshall Highway (Route 55), in between Interstate 66 and Route 55, in the Village of Linden. 

Special Exception Analysis:

Category 29: Sections 5-006 and 5-2900 of the Zoning Ordinance outline the following standards for this Special Exception:

Zoning Ordinance 5-006 General Standards for Special Permits and Special Exception Uses

1.      The proposed use shall be such that it will not adversely affect the use or development of neighboring properties. It shall be in accordance with the applicable zoning district regulations and the applicable provisions of the adopted Comprehensive Plan. The location, size and height of buildings, structures, walls and fences, and the nature and extent of screening, buffering and landscaping shall be such that the use will not hinder or discourage the appropriate development and/or use of adjacent or nearby land and/or buildings or impair the value thereof.

            The proposed use is a 4-lot subdivision on a parcel zoned Village. This is in accord with

            the Zoning District regulations. The proposed height of the homes and

            landscaping/screening shall be in accord with zoning regulations. Having a subdivision

            on this parcel will not discourage the development of adjacent parcels, which are also

            zoned Village. The granting of this waiver would allow the development of four (4) lots on

            this site with only two visible from Route 55. The proposed conditions associated with this

            Special Exception include design  conditions to enable the development to blend in with

            existing development.

2.      The proposed use shall be such that pedestrian and vehicular traffic generated will not be hazardous or conflict with the existing and anticipated traffic in the neighborhood and on the streets serving the site.

           The proposed use is a 4 lot subdivision, which will be served by one internal private street.  

           The vehicular traffic generated is not hazardous or in conflict with the existing traffic on

           adjoining parcels.

  1. In addition to the standards which may be set forth in this Article for a particular category or use, the BZA and Board may require landscaping, screening, yard requirements or other limitations found to be necessary and appropriate to the proposed use and location.

           The proposed use is a 4 lot subdivision, which is required to meet landscaping standards 

           as set forth in Article 7 of the Zoning Ordinance. This requirement shall be met at the time  

           of subdivision.

  1. Open space shall be provided in an amount at least equal to that specified for the zoning district in which the proposed use is located.

            There is no open space required for a conventional village subdivision of 4 lots.

5.      Adequate utility, drainage, parking, loading, and other necessary facilities to serve the proposed use shall be provided. Low impact development techniques are encouraged by the County and shall be incorporated into the site and facility design when deemed appropriate by the applicant after consultation with appropriate county officials. Parking and loading requirements shall be in accordance with the provisions of Article 7.

            The proposed lots will be served by wells and drainfields. There is no parking 

            requirement other than 2 spaces per unit, which is typically met by the driveway for each 

           individual lot.

6.      Signs shall be regulated by the provisions of Article 8, except as may be qualified in the Parts that follow for a particular category or use. However, the BZA and the Board, under the authority presented in Section 007 below, may impose more strict standards for a given use than those set forth in this Ordinance.

            No signage is being proposed with this application.

7.      The future impact of a proposed use will be considered and addressed in establishing a time limit on the permit, if deemed appropriate. Existing and recent development, current zoning and the Comprehensive Plan shall be among the factors used in assessing the future impact of the proposed use and whether reconsideration of the permit after a stated period of time would be necessary and appropriate for the protection of properties in the vicinity and to ensure implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.

             Should the Special Exception for the private street be approved, there should be no time 

            limit imposed on the use of a private street for this subdivision. This property is being

            developed in accord with the Comprehensive Plan.

8.      The proposed use shall be such that air quality, surface and groundwater quality and quantity, are not degraded or depleted to an extent that would hinder or discourage the appropriate development and/or use of adjacent or nearby land and/or buildings or impair the value thereof.

            This standard does not apply to a subdivision.

9.      Except as provided in this Article, all uses shall comply with the lot size, bulk regulations, and performance standards of the zoning district in which located.

         The proposed use is in compliance with the lot size, bulk regulations and performance 

         standards of the Zoning District.


  1. That the requirements of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) necessary for the dedication of public streets will not permit the development of the proposed subdivision in a manner which is in harmony with the surrounding character of the neighborhood or the proposed development scheme;

The requirement for a public street would limit the number of lots created on this parcel due to the amount of area required for street construction, or would result in a layout that is not in harmony with the surrounding character of the neighborhood.

  1. That the proposed private streets, based upon anticipated traffic generation volume, would adequately serve the lots to be developed and provide sufficient emergency vehicle access to the subdivision, and demonstration those adequate provisions will be made to provide for continuing maintenance and repair of the streets by a homeowners association.

It would appear that the proposed private street will adequately serve the proposed lots. Emergency Services has no objection to this Special Exception. A maintenance agreement should be executed to provide for the maintenance and repair of the private street.

Staff and Review Agency Comments:

Staff and Review Agency Comments are included in Attachment 3.

Planning Commission Action:  

On October 29, 2009, the Planning Commission discussed this item at the work session and public hearing. The Planning Commission recommended the addition of a condition which would preclude any future subdivision of this parcel beyond the proposed four lot subdivision. One condition required that VDOT verify that this proposal met its Access Management Standards before it went forward to the Board of Supervisors. This requirement has been met and so is no longer needed in the conditions. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to  recommend approval of this Special Exception with the conditions included in the Resolution.

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors: 

Conduct a public hearing and consider adoption of the attached resolution

Financial Impacts Analysis:


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




1.     Special Exception Plat

2.     Statement of Justification

3.     Staff and Review Agency Comments


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